How To Read a Movie

I’m gonna be completely honest, despite being a huge film buff my entire life, I never liked Roger Ebert. To be fair, I never really followed or pay much attention to him, nor did I read any of his work, so perhaps I truly do not have an accurate view of Ebert. That being said, from what I do know about and have read from him, Ebert always came off to me as being incredibly smug. He seemed to have ridiculously high standards for films, to the point where anything that wasn’t on the same level as the Godfather or Citizen Kane he would simply dismissed as not being worth watching, being reserved only for those who do not have high-quality tastes in film. On top of this, Ebert seemed to be so committed to his role as a critic that it feels like he forgot that the whole point of a movie is to provide enjoyment to the viewer, and doesn’t need to have some kind of deep psychological insight. With all that being said however, I do think this article written by Ebert was very well done. The whole point of this article basically boils down to the argument that every frame of a movie can contain hard to notice details, imagery with messages hidden in them, artistic shots, and a slew of other filming techniques that may not be noticed unless one slows down to examine them. Not only do I think this is 100% true about most good movies, but this does show Ebert as someone who can definitely appreciate film making with genuine effort put into it, which I admit is something I actually do respect about him.

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