By now you've heard the unfortunate news that legendary film critic passed away at 70. His career inspired everyone -- from diehard film enthusiasts to casual filmgoers that just wanted to know whether something got a "thumbs up" from a relatable, jolly guy.
Like so many, I grew up on his writing. He defined film criticism. It wasn't just because of his wide reaching platform of newspapers, television, and the Internet. It was through the actual power of his rhetoric. He oozed a particular love of movies. It was his truth. More importantly, he was able to capture universal experiences through his writing and reviews. He was able to touch and move people from widely different backgrounds and circumstances because while he reviewed a film, he simultaneously revealed something else.
His dedication taught me to put the most amount of faith in my own love of artists -- writers, directors, actors -- and the overall package that they create. He showed me that while I had zero desire to make films, I had every right to be moved by them. The movies allowed me to identify with people when there was no one around to relate to. It's that emotion that has allowed me to interview idols -- James Cameron, Angelina Jolie, Robert Zemeckis, Sigourney Weaver, Ridley Scott, Ang Lee, Sam Mendes. The list goes on and on. These are the people who cast mirrors on our own lives. I've followed dreams because Roger Ebert taught me that it's possible. All you have to do is embrace feeling and emotion. You have to grab a hold of your truth.
It's no surprise that his top 10 favorite films are able to do the same thing. Like Ebert, they exemplify the true magic -- the humanity -- of storytelling, even if they exist in the far stretches of the universe. Business Insider recently ranked them with a description from Ebert. Be sure to click the link to read his commentary. They are:
Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
- Citizen Kane (1941)
- La Dolce Vita (1960)
- The General (1920)
- Raging Bull (1980)
- 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
- Tokyo Story (1953)
- Vertigo (1958)
Roger Ebert, you inspired me and filled my love of movies with even more joy. Rest in peace.