Pardon me if I keep this short and sweet.  Roger Ebert left an impression on me from the time I first saw Sneak Previews on WTTW-11, Chicago Public Television.  I found a near-instant affinity for his style and candor in how he reviewed movies.  I was not always in agreement with his point of view, notably on one of my faves: Gladiator, but I still wanted to know what he thought about a movie.  There was hardly a time when a review of his was disappointing or failed in communicating where he stood.

There was another matter, though, about Mr. Ebert which resonates with those of us here on A|N.  I won't presume to make any assumptions about just where he stood on this issue.  Perhaps it is best that Roger says it himself:

In its amiable, quiet, PG-13 way, "The Invention of Lying" is a remarkably radical comedy. It opens with a series of funny, relentlessly logical episodes in a world where everyone always tells the truth, and then slips in the implication that religion is possible only in a world that has the ability to lie[emphasis mine]
-- from Roger Ebert's review of The Invention of Lying

The balcony is closed.

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Comment by Loren Miller on April 7, 2013 at 6:00am

You know what they say: a funeral is not for the dead; it's for the living.  Even with that, though, it strikes me as a slap in the face to Ebert and his wife, especially in the face of the statements you posted earlier, TFA.  Granted that I don't know all the details of this business, but something does seem amiss.

Comment by The Flying Atheist on April 6, 2013 at 11:58pm

Well...a big Catholic funeral service is being held for Roger Ebert on April 8, at Holy Name Cathedral.  A separate memorial service is planned for April 11.  I have to admit, I'm a little surprised.  After all, he was a non-believer.  That reminds me, I really DO need to make out a will so I can have my last wishes honored in a non-religious manner.  

Chicago Tribune: Roger Ebert services set for Monday    

Comment by The Flying Atheist on April 5, 2013 at 3:09pm

A bit of info from Wikipedia:

Political and religious views

A supporter of the Democratic Party,[106] Ebert publicly urged liberal filmmaker Michael Moore to give a politically charged acceptance speech at the Academy Awards: "I'd like to see Michael Moore get up there and let 'em have it with both barrels and really let loose and give them a real rabble-rousing speech."[107] During a 2004 visit to The Howard Stern Show, Ebert predicted that the then-junior Illinois senator Barack Obama would be very important to the future of the country.[108] During a 1996 panel at the University of Colorado at Boulder's Conference on World Affairs, Ebert coined The Boulder Pledge, by which he vowed never to purchase anything offered through the result of an unsolicited email message, or to forward chain emails or mass emails to others.[109][110]

He was critical of Intelligent Design creationism.[111] He has also stated that people who believe in either creationism or New Age beliefs such as crystal healing or astrology are not qualified to be President.[112] Regarding his belief system, he doesn't "want to provide a category for people to apply to [him]" because he "would not want [his] convictions reduced to a word" and states, "I have never said, although readers have freely informed me I am an atheist, an agnostic, or at the very least a secular humanist – which I am".[113] Ebert has also expressed disbelief in pseudoscientific or supernatural claims in general, calling them "woo-woo".[114]

Comment by Loren Miller on April 5, 2013 at 3:04pm

Excellent!  Many thanks, TFA!

Comment by The Flying Atheist on April 5, 2013 at 2:50pm

Loren, Chicago Tonight on WTTW-11 had a very nice tribute to Roger Ebert last night.  Here's the link:

Comment by Michael Penn on April 5, 2013 at 7:59am

I've loved movies and television my entire life and will miss Roger Ebert and his reviews. A good critic makes you actually want to see the films.

Comment by Randall Smith on April 5, 2013 at 7:37am

Nice tribute. I'm not a movie goer, but I often enjoyed tuning in to the "thumbs up" guys.

Comment by Loren Miller on April 5, 2013 at 6:15am


I suppose that it should be no great surprise to me that the best tribute to Roger Ebert's life and work would be his primary pied a terre, the Chicago Sun-Times.  My daughter was good enough to forward this to me.

Please read and enjoy.



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