I’m not sure I can remember living without the internet and DVDs. I know it happened, but if they both went away, I’d have to become a hermit and create movies in my imagination.
However, back in the 70s and 80s I did get to connect with movies in two ways. I read Pauline Kael’s reviews in the New Yorker and I watched Siskel and Ebert on television.
I was exposed to a lot of film because of them. Unfortunately, most movies they reviewed never appeared in our local non-plexed theatres. I was thrilled that in London, Ontario there was a repertoire theatre I could go to during the year I worked on my Masters of Library Science.
I began to get literate enough that when viewing opportunities did come, I was ready. I clearly remember renting my first VCR and video tapes in the early 1980s. It was so exciting.
So, a part of my life has ended with the death of Rober Ebert. My biggest regret is that I didn’t get to go to Eberfest – his yearly homage to forgotten films.
Ebert mostly matched my taste in film. I used his “100 Best Movies” to figure out what films I wanted to show my students. More than that, I liked his personality.
He also said that he was only good at short form writing. I appreciated that comment because I feel the same thing about myself.