Veteran film critic Roger Ebert revealed last night that the cancer he’s been fighting for over a decade has returned — and as a result, he will be taking a “leave of presence” from the Chicago Sun-Times.
What’s a “leave of presence”? Here’s Ebert’s own clarification, from his Sun-Times blog: “It means I am not going away. My intent is to continue to write selected reviews but to leave the rest to a talented team of writers handpicked and greatly admired by me. What’s more, I’ll be able at last to do what I’ve always fantasized about doing: reviewing only the movies I want to review.”
Additionally, Ebert will be revamping his website, continuing to host his annual Ebertfest film festival, and launching a Kickstarter campaign to bring back his syndicated TV show At the Movies, which has been on hiatus since December 2011. He may also begin writing more personal stories about his health. “It really stinks that the cancer has returned and that I have spent too many days in the hospital. So on bad days I may write about the vulnerability that accompanies illness,” he explained on his blog. “On good days, I may wax ecstatic about a movie so good it transports me beyond illness.”
Here’s hoping he finds many thumbs up-worthy films.