Roger Ebert has passed away after a prolonged battle with cancer, and the Internet has wasted no time eulogizing its favorite film critic.
Several channels, such as Current and The Young Turks, have noted Ebert’s unabashed display of his politics, which both allowed him to build trust with his audience and bring light to issues (such as the underappreciated nature of Black cinema) that may have been otherwise ignored.
For online film critics, however, Ebert has a special significance. After all, this is the man who, more than anyone else, made film criticism into a commercial art. He brought personality to his reviews, a personality that many online critics have attempted to emulate in some capacity.
While several YouTube film reviewers have offered their views, the most important and on-point remembrance has come from Doug Walker, better known as the Nostalgia Critic. Walker is arguably the most well-known film critic on the Internet, and he’s an avowed Ebert lover to the point that he framed and hung on his wall a tweet Ebert had sent him. After hearing the news of Ebert’s passing, Walker unretired the Nostalgia Critic character (who posted his final episode last year) to discuss a man he calls “one of the great lovers of movies.”
Walker’s entire monologue is worth watching, but his concluding paragraph struck me as particularly poignant:
“It really, really breaks my heart that he’s gone. But what I do know is that what he’s left us is a great education about movies, about understanding movies, about the passion of loving movies, and that’s a greater education that I know I couldn’t teach, I know so many other critics couldn’t teach, but he found a way and he did it so unbelievably well. And I can say very honestly, so many people got it. We heard it and we loved it and we loved you, Roger Ebert. I’m the nostalgia critic and you will always be remembered.”
Now that’s a eulogy. Two thumbs up, Doug. If you haven’t yet seen Walker’s previous video on Siskel and Ebert, give it a watch today. It’s an equally great way to pay tribute to the greatest voice in the history of film criticism.