On the occasion of his
41st anniversary as film critic for the Chicago
Sun-Times, Roger announces his imminent return to
I am at last returning to the movie beat. After my
current stay at the
Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, I'm looking forward to opening
night of my annual film festival at the University of Illinois
April 23, and I will resume writing movie reviews shortly thereafter.
you as bored with my health as I am? I underwent a third surgery
in January, this one in Houston, and once again there were
complications. I am sorry to say that my ability to speak was not
restored. That would require another surgery.
But I still have all my other abilities, including
the love of viewing
movies and writing about them. And at my side I have my angelic
The festival is shaping up well. Thanks to festival
director Nate Kohn, the schedule, which is already released at
includes appearances by filmmaker and U. of I. graduate Ang Lee;
directors Paul Schrader, Sally Potter, Tom DiCillo, Bill Forsyth,
Tarsem Singh, Jeff Nichols, Barry Avrich, Taggart Siegel, Eran
and Joseph Greco. We are also happy to welcome actors Joey Pantoliano,
Aida Tuturro, Christine Lahti; and the Alloy Orchestra.
It was Schrader's line from his screenplay for Martin
Scorsese's "Raging Bull" that inspired my acceptance
of my bandaged appearance: "I ain't a pretty boy no more."
Assisting in the onstage Q&A sessions will
be my TV partner, Richard
Roeper; my Chicago Tribune colleague, Michael Phillips; my longtime
friends, Time magazine film critic Richard Corliss and his wife,
a film expert; Sony Pictures Classics president Michael Barker;
scholars David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson; Professor Eric Pierson;
RogerEbert.com editor Jim Emerson; Movie City News editor David
Poland; film scholar Hannah Fisher; and U. of I. alum and Sports
Illustrated's Bill Nack.
The longest distance commute to the festival will
be Farmer John Peterson, who lives in northern Illinois but will
fly in from New
I am still cancer-free, and not ready to think about
more surgery at
this time. I should be content with the abundance I have.
So that's the latest. I have been so moved by the
messages I've received from so many of you. Thank you. Now let's
go to the movies.