Telluride Film Fest: Roger Ebert Honored

Telluride Film Fest: Roger Ebert Honored

For many years, the iconic critic Roger Ebert was a regular at the Telluride Film Festival – and many other similar gatherings around the globe. After Ebert lost his battle with cancer in April of last year, the Telluride Film Fest‘s top two directors, Julie Huntsinger and Tom Luddy, formally dedicated part of last year’s 40th edition him. Here’s a great story about the man written by Patrick Z. McGavin for the website that honors Ebert’s memory.

Ebert interviewing Peter O'Toole

Ebert interviewing Peter O’Toole (from Ebert’s website)

Roger Ebert first attended the Telluride Film festival in 1980, during a period in which it was small and humble. Writing about its transformation from the vantage point of more than two decades later, Roger said: “The festival … has added so many state-of-the-art theaters … that it feels like the most happening art movie town in America.”

This year’s festival, which again ran over Labor Day weekend, offered an emotional and powerful reminder that Roger remains a palpable and deep presence at a festival that was one of his favorites. It is just one of the many ways Roger’s legacy to film culture and critical discourse on the movies is greater than ever.

Roger is gone, but blessedly he was everywhere for these four days in Colorado. In “99 Homes,” his searing indictment of criminal self-dealing governing the American housing crisis and its role in the subsequent economic collapse, director Ramin Bahrani dedicated his movie to Roger. This was, significantly, not at the end of a long crawl of other technical credits. It came right at the top, just after the major possessive credits. Bahrani emphasized Roger’s importance to his life and career.

Following the film’s screening at the Galaxy Theater on Labor Day morning, the great German director Werner Herzog moderated a discussion with Bahrani, providing a chance for two quite different men and artists who were linked by their connection, personally and artistically, with Roger…

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