Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Harvey Weinstein, Barack Obama reflect on the career and life of Roger Ebert
Acclaimed film critic Roger Ebert has written many words of praise over the years for celebrated, prolific filmmakers like Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, and Harvey Weinstein. Now, following the news of Ebert’s death on Thursday, these three filmmakers have their own words of admiration for Ebert.
Spielberg — whom Ebert praised for his enduring “talent and flexibility” in an ever-changing industry — said in a statement that the Chicago Sun-Times critic “wrote with passion through a real knowledge of film and film history.” Read his full statement below, which also highlights the success of the multiple television programs Ebert hosted for 23 years (including At the Movies, which Ebert co-hosted with Gene Siskel, who is pictured above):
The first film review of one of his own films that Scorsese ever read was written by Ebert, for Scorsese’s first feature, 1967’s I Call First (later renamed Who’s That Knocking at My Door). That began for Ebert a longtime appreciation for Scorsese’s work; in 2008 he published a book about Scorsese’s films. The Taxi Driver director’s remarks about Ebert reflect on his personal relationship with the critic. Read Scorsese’s full statement below:
Harvey Weinstein (co-founder of The Weinstein Company, whose films are a perennial favorite during awards season) has spoken out on some of the same film industry-related issues as Ebert, including the MPAA’s controversial decision to give Bully, a documentary produced by TWC, an R rating. (Ebert wrote about the issue for the Chicago Sun-Times last year.) Here is Weinstein’s statement about Ebert:
UPDATE, 8:07 p.m. ET: President Barack Obama has also released a statement about Ebert’s death on the official White House website:
And Directors Guild of America president Taylor Hackford released the following statement on the DGA’s website:
For more about the life and career of Roger Ebert, read EW’s obituary about the lauded film critic here.