Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Film critic Roger Ebert reveals that his cancer has returned and he is cutting back his workload

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Update: Ebert dead at 70. Also: dirty tricks Siskel and Ebert played on each other — and their secret handshake.

Those puzzled by the sharp reduction lately in film critic Roger Ebert's customarily prodigious number of tweets and posts can stop wondering:
     The immediate reason for my "leave of presence" is my health. The "painful fracture" that made it difficult for me to walk has recently been revealed to be a cancer. It is being treated with radiation, which has made it impossible for me to attend as many movies as I used to. I have been watching more of them on screener copies that the studios have been kind enough to send to me. My friend and colleague Richard Roeper and other critics have stepped up and kept the newspaper and website current with reviews of all the major releases. So we have and will continue to go on.
     At this point in my life, in addition to writing about movies, I may write about what it's like to cope with health challenges and the limitations they can force upon you. It really stinks that the cancer has returned and that I have spent too many days in the hospital. So on bad days I may write about the vulnerability that accompanies illness. On good days, I may wax ecstatic about a movie so good it transports me beyond illness.
We selfishly cross our fingers for Ebert's successful treatment and his return to even half of his recent, unbelievably prolilfic twitter output. Here are Siskel and Ebert back in the day, behind the scenes, adorably squabbling.

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