mackknopf: (Movies)
Chris Jones wrote a profile of film critic Roger Ebert in a recent Esquire magazine article.  It's not a hatchet job or a fanboy ovation.  It's a sincere, honest look at a man who has had suffering, but found his peace of mind.  For those who don't know, operations to save Ebert from cancer almost four years ago lost him his ability to eat solid food and to talk.  His lower jaw had to be removed.  With the faculty of speech lost, Ebert turned to writing to express himself, churning out prolific amounts of words both in his reviews and in his online journal.  For people who appreciate the writing or the man, the two of which are increasingly harder to separate these days, I recommend the article.   

In recent good news, Ebert is now able to somewhat speak with the aid of a computer that has had his recorded voice programmed into it.  It's a triumph of technology, and he made a public appearance using it on the Oprah Winfrey show.  It's not like having his true voice again, that can never be replaced, but it's a solid positive in his life, and he appears delighted about it.

"With all the publicity about me 'getting my voice back,' some people have the idea that a computer program has magically allowed me to speak again. That will never happen. I type, and the words come out. No one can type fast enough for conversational repartee. With the new software from Edinburgh the words will come out sounding like me. That's huge."

He's also planning to produce a new movie review show, with the occasional guest appearance.  I follow Ebert's work regularly and occasionally read his blog, but before the article, I had no idea of the strain he was under.  He's bearing up well, but as Ebert says, he's not surprised the profiler took an elegaic tone with the story.  I don't honestly know if I could find such peace if I believed there was nothing after death.  Sometimes I believe, sometimes I don't.  Most of the time I try not to think about it, to be stoically indifferent to the prospect.  But Roger Ebert hasn't found God, yet he's not afraid.

Below are excerpts from Chris Jones' article.  I know I was moved.

Read more... )



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March 2012

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