Roger Ebert has made great strides since the start of his battle with cancer and the multiple complicated surgeries that vanquished the critic's voice. Technology has restored his ability to communicate, but there's something extra special about hearing the movie maven comment on his life and career with the voice many of us remember from his show 'At the Movies.'

Gary Rutkowski's 2005 interview with Ebert for Archive of American Television runs an hour-and-a-half long, but it's well worth your time. The interview is filled with many personal anecdotes and Ebert 101 factoids that you might not have known. It's always strange when people rag on Ebert for being too serious -- and he certainly can be -- but the Chicago Sun-Times critic isn't just about the highbrow.

Once you get past the first two minutes of the video below -- which may or may not be some freshman's film school project -- there's a Mecca of Ebert waiting for you. Find out about Rog's love for sci-fi when he waxes nerdy on the fanzine scene he wrote oodles of stuff for alongside people like Harlan Ellison. You'll also get to hear what prompted his love for movies. Hint: his family, the Prince's Theater in Illinois and the Marx Brothers have something to do with it.

How does Ebert describe his writing style? "I like my readers to believe that they have walked into the middle of a discussion that's continuing about the movie. I digress freely. When it's appropriate, I try to be funny. I can also be serious. There's a good deal of morality and politics in my reviewing, I think." He describes cinema as "the art form of the twentieth century," and the degrees to which film can be a positive or negative influence.

It's great to hear Ebert chat about his former partner in crime, the late Gene Siskel, who was the good cop to his bad cranky one. He talks about one of Siskel's "thumbs down" reviews as being a "major mistake" and describes the popular reviewer as "tall, driven, competitive, very smart, very well informed."

That's all just in the first half hour. More Ebert awaits you below.




[watch the rest of the interview at the Archive of American Television]