In Memory of Roger Ebert: “Roger Ebert: The Essential Man” by Chris Jones

The Chicago Sun-Times’ front page today in memory of Roger Ebert.

The Chicago Sun-Times’ front page today in memory of Roger Ebert.

Esquire, 2010

For only the second time after reading this story a year ago—two years late—I opened its link hours before Roger Ebert died, and I put it in the footnotes of Wednesday’s post on Chris Jones’ “The House of Hefner” while Roger Ebert, though slowed by his reemerging cancer, was still very much alive, explaining he wouldn’t be reviewing “as many” movies this year. I had opted to review a new Jones instead of an old—the newest—and it seemed only right to at least include a link to one of his greatest ever at the bottom of the post. Then hours later it suddenly seemed horrible and wrong, like Esquire might have felt to offer only an excerpt to the testimony of Ebert’s greatness. Here we will review that testimony, ignoring the new-writer-each-week pattern and the new-publication-each-week pattern. Another Chris Jones Esquire masterpiece. And we’ll remember Roger Ebert.

Synopsis: The story was written four years after Ebert had his lower jaw mostly removed due to a vicious cancer that originated in his thyroid in 2002. Ebert cannot talk, eat or drink. To communicate he writes on Post-its, which he prefers over talking through Alex, a voice simulator with a generic American accent. He’s also one of the Chicago Sun-Times’ most loved and decorated movie critics. Read the rest of this entry »