Ebert, probably the most prolific film critic of all time, here distills his massive life's work into a single volume. After a nostalgic introduction recounting his initial forays into criticism, he presents reviews of the best films of each of the past 38 years, from Bonnie and Clyde to Crash, and a selection of foreign films, documentaries, and "overlooked and underrated" works. More compelling are longer "think pieces" on such topics as colorization, the movie-ratings system, digital projection, and Star Wars' deleterious effect on Hollywood. Those, and a selection of star profiles and interviews, allow him to share his expertise and voice his passion in a fashion that daily reviewing seldom permits. The volume's final selection, a 2004 piece about the healing effect of viewing movies--and of writing about them--during his convalescence from cancer treatment, may well serve as his valedictory. As film criticism becomes more marginalized, Ebert may come to be seen as the last of a kind--the critic who actually has the power to influence a national audience. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
“Roger Ebert loves movies more, and better, than almost any critic I’ve ever met. He also has a keen understanding of the way they work, which you will find out as you make your way through this irreplaceable collection of reviews, reminiscences, and critiques. There’s a lifetime of thought and appreciation between these pages—a life, really—and you simply can’t say that about most other collections of film criticism.”
(Martin Scorsese 2006-06-01)
“Roger Ebert understands how to pop the hood of a movie and tell us how it runs, while still enjoying the ride with his box of popcorn or, in some cases, a bottle of aspirin. Awake in the Dark captures both those sides of Ebert and shows him to be a serious friend of film, someone who loves the movies as much as he understands them.”
(Steven Spielberg 2006-06-01)
“Roger Ebert is the grand poobah of them all.”
(Robert Altman 2006-06-01)
“Roger Ebert has become a member of our households, our families. He is the one who tells us all about the movies. And, as his passion for the cinema is so deep, and his knowledge so profound, he is the one we can always trust.”
(Werner Herzog 2006-06-01)
“This is a fittingly grand and sweeping collection of Roger Ebert’s writing on film. Ebert is the most widely read and most trusted film writer in America because he is still, in some way, an amateur viewer—he goes to the movies as a pilgrim, ready to be amazed, wanting to be enlightened. He believes in the power of the medium, and has not, after all these decades, become the least bit calloused to it. And no one is more eloquent in expressing why and how the best movies work, and why they’re so incredibly necessary.”
(Dave Eggers 2006-06-01)
"To love the movies, [Ebert] tells us, 'does not mean to sit mindlessly and blissfully before the screen. . . . The task of every movie is to try to change how you feel and think during its running time,' and the task of the viewer is to participate in the process. He is moral but not moralistic, preferring stories of flawed people who struggle to do the right thing and fail over simplistic heroes facing simplified choices."
(Tara Ison Los Angeles Times
“[Ebert's] writing is top-notch. In Awake in the Dark, Ebert has produced his most personal collection of reviews, essays, and interviews, providing insights into the man as much as the movies he loves. . . . This volume contains some of Ebert's most exciting writing.”
(Gary Kramer Filmbill
"Always alert to trends and defending film as an art form. Ebert never fails to connect with his readers."
"[This] excellent new compendium . . . serves as a fine way to remind us that Ebert is, first and foremost, a gifted writer. A survey of his 40 years in the business of loving and explaining movies, it's essential reading for anyone who likes film."
(Nik Dirga Blogcritics
"As film criticism becomes more marginalized, Ebert may come to be seen as the last of a kind—the critic who actually has the power to influence a national audience."
(Gordon Flagg Booklist
See all Editorial Reviews