Ebert's Bests

University of Chicago Press
16

Roger Ebert is a name synonymous with the movies. In Ebert’s Bests, he takes readers through the journey of how he became a film critic, from his days at a student-run cinema club to his rise as a television commentator in At the Movies and Siskel & Ebert. Recounting the influence of the French New Wave, his friendships with Werner Herzog and Martin Scorsese, as well as travels to Sweden and Rome to visit Ingrid Bergman and Federico Fellini, Ebert never loses sight of film as a key component of our cultural identity. In considering the ethics of film criticism—why we should take all film seriously, without prejudgment or condescension—he argues that film critics ought always to engage in open-minded dialogue with a movie. Extending this to his accompanying selection of “10 Bests,” he reminds us that hearts and minds—and even rankings—are bound to change.
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About the author

Roger Joseph Ebert was born on June 18, 1942 in Urbana, Illinois, and died on April 4, 2013. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was editor of the Daily Illini. He is best known for his film review column in the Chicago Sun Times since 1967 and for the television programs Sneak Previews, At the Movies with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert and Siskel and Ebert and The Movies. After Gene Siskel's death in 1999, Roger Ebert teamed up with Ruchard Roeper for the television series Ebert and Roeper and The Movies which began airing in 2000. Ebert's movie reviews were in more than 200 newspapers in the U.S. and worldwide by Universal Press Syndicate. He wrote more than 15 books, including his annual movie yearbook which was a collection of his reviews for that specific year. He became the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize. In June 2005, he was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; he was the first professional critic to receive this award. He received honorary degrees from the University of Colorado, the AFI Conservatory, and the School of Art Institute of Chicago. Ebert died on April 4, 2013 at age 70. He had lost his voice and much of his jaw after battling thyroid and salivary gland cancer.

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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Dec 20, 2012
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Pages
32
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ISBN
9780226048901
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Language
English
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Genres
Performing Arts / Film / Guides & Reviews
Performing Arts / Film / History & Criticism
Performing Arts / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Roger Ebert has been writing film reviews for the Chicago Sun-Times for over four decades now and his biweekly essays on great movies have been appearing there since 1996. As Ebert noted in the introduction to the first collection of those pieces, “They are not the greatest films of all time, because all lists of great movies are a foolish attempt to codify works which must stand alone. But it’s fair to say: If you want to take a tour of the landmarks of the first century of cinema, start here.

Enter The Great Movies III, Ebert’s third collection of essays on the crème de la crème of the silver screen, each one a model of critical appreciation and a blend of love and analysis that will send readers back to the films with a fresh set of eyes and renewed enthusiasm—or maybe even lead to a first-time viewing. From The Godfather: Part II to Groundhog Day, from The Last Picture Show to Last Tango in Paris, the hundred pieces gathered here display a welcome balance between the familiar and the esoteric, spanning Hollywood blockbusters and hidden gems, independent works and foreign language films alike. Each essay draws on Ebert’s vast knowledge of the cinema, its fascinating history, and its breadth of techniques, introducing newcomers to some of the most exceptional movies ever made, while revealing new insights to connoisseurs as well.

Named the most powerful pundit in America by Forbes magazine, and a winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Roger Ebert is inarguably the most prominent and influential authority on the cinema today. The Great Movies III is sure to please his many fans and further enhance his reputation as America’s most respected—and trusted—film critic.
Dave Kehr’s writing about film has garnered high praise from both readers and fellow critics. Among his admirers are some of his most influential contemporaries. Roger Ebert called Kehr “one of the most gifted film critics in America.” James Naremore thought he was “one of the best writers on film the country as a whole has ever produced.” But aside from remarkably detailed but brief capsule reviews and top-ten lists, you won’t find much of Kehr’s work on the Internet, and many of the longer and more nuanced essays for which he is best known have not yet been published in book form.

With When Movies Mattered, readers welcomed the first collection of Kehr’s criticism, written during his time at the Chicago Reader. Movies That Mattered is its sequel, with fifty more reviews and essays drawn from the archives of both the Chicago Reader and Chicago magazine from 1974 to 1986. As with When Movies Mattered, the majority of the reviews offer in-depth analyses of individual films that are among Kehr’s favorites, from a thoughtful discussion of the sobering Holocaust documentary Shoah to an irresistible celebration of the raucous comedy Used Cars. But fans of Kehr’s work will be just as taken by his dissections of critically acclaimed films he found disappointing, including The Shining, Apocalypse Now, and Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Whether you’re a long-time reader or just discovering Dave Kehr, the insights in Movies That Mattered will enhance your appreciation of the movies you already love—and may even make you think twice about one or two you hated.
No film critic has ever been as influential—or as beloved— as Roger Ebert. Over more than four decades, he built a reputation writing reviews for the Chicago Sun-Times and, later, arguing onscreen with rival Chicago Tribune critic Gene Siskel and later Richard Roeper about the movies they loved and loathed. But Ebert went well beyond a mere “thumbs up” or “thumbs down.” Readers could always sense the man behind the words, a man with interests beyond film and a lifetime’s distilled wisdom about the larger world. Although the world lost one of its most important critics far too early, Ebert lives on in the minds of moviegoers today, who continually find themselves debating what he might have thought about a current movie.

The Great Movies IV is the fourth—and final—collection of Roger Ebert’s essays, comprising sixty-two reviews of films ranging from the silent era to the recent past. From films like The Cabinet of Caligari and Viridiana that have been considered canonical for decades to movies only recently recognized as masterpieces to Superman, The Big Lebowski, and Pink Floyd: The Wall, the pieces gathered here demonstrate the critical acumen seen in Ebert’s daily reviews and the more reflective and wide-ranging considerations that the longer format allowed him to offer. Ebert’s essays are joined here by an insightful foreword by film critic Matt Zoller Seitz, the current editor-in-chief of the official Roger Ebert website, and a touching introduction by Chaz Ebert.

A fitting capstone to a truly remarkable career, The Great Movies IV will introduce newcomers to some of the most exceptional movies ever made, while revealing new insights to connoisseurs as well.
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