Me and Roger Ebert at Sundance 2006
Esquire has written an incredibly personal and insightful article about Roger Ebert that goes into great detail about all the surgeries he's been going through, how he nearly died, and how life has changed for him these past few years. It's very touching and well worth your time. Ebert might be a polarizing guy ... people either love him or hate him, but there's no denying that he knows more about film than most people have forgotten. His film commentary track on the Citizen Kane DVD is worth the price of the disc alone.
For what it's worth, Roger Ebert was a constant presence around Sundance this year. At the opening press conference, he sat a couple of seats away from me, and when the conference was over, Robert Redford made a point to come down and speak with him personally. Ebert himself can't talk these days, but he communicates through notes and hand gestures, and it was quite a moment to see this renowned film critic with one of Hollywood's most iconic actors.
We also saw him in multiple film screenings throughout the opening week of the film festival, and after reading this article and realizing how much that means, I'm honored to have shared a row with the guy. There's blogging about film news, writing reviews, and doing interviews, and then there's what Roger Ebert does. When you've lived and breathed movies as long as this guy has, you're on a different level.