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
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"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 "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." - Booklist "[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"
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