I stayed home from work yesterday because I had such a headache that it was hard for me to turn my head. I never get headaches, so that was different. It did get better and I ended up on Netflix and watched “Life Itself…” which was the movie about Roger Ebert’s life. I really had no idea that Roger Ebert was as impressive as he was! He was an excellent writer and seemed to have a moral compass in his reporting that may have been unprecedented at the time.
Like everyone, I came to know him from “At The Movies” with Siskel and Ebert. Gene Siskel was my favorite reviewer because I agreed with him more that I did with Ebert. Movies have always been a passion of mine so this was one of my favorite shows and I made sure not to miss it. Dad watched it with me too every now and then. Roger Ebert was very passionate about his reviews. It always upset me when he used to argue with Siskel about their differences in opinion. One review I remember so well was Ebert’s review of “Blue Velvet” directed by David Lynch. Ebert hated it! He thought it was offensive, degrading, and morally, possessed no compass at all. Siskel thought it was wonderful. It soon became evident that what Ebert disliked was the subject matter and the way the characters behaved in the movie. When I realized that, it seemed to me that Ebert’s review was a little too personal to be taken seriously. That’s something that Siskel pointed out when he reviewed the movie during his allotted time in the show. So after watching Ebert’s movie yesterday (where they went over this review in a segment) I decided to watch “Blue Velvet” as I had never seen it, but had heard all kinds of things about it. I found it on Netflix also and was drawn into it immediately. It’s a strange, creepy movie with characters that I don’t think I’d want to have in my life, but they were interesting enough. The scene that repulsed Ebert so vehemently was a scene in which Dennis Hopper’s character abuses Isabella Rossellini’s character in a way that I really don’t want to try to explain. It involved his fist rather than his penis, if you get my meaning. For those of you who’ve seen the movie, you know what I’m talking about. When I saw that scene, I realized that for it’s time, that must have been a shocking scene. I noticed that my feeling towards Ebert’s thoughts about this particular scene softened some. He must have been incredibly sensitive with a character reinforced with morals regarding respect for human life. In that moment of fist-f***ing I found Roger Ebert to be a sweet man and I wanted to know him better. So I picked up my iPad and looked online for his blog. Interestingly enough, it’s still maintained even though he passed away in 2013. I plan on going back to review some of his old reviews. Toward the end of his life he used social media and his blog to stay in touch with his fans and with the rest of the world. I found myself wanting to read this book of his life. I think Roger Ebert was an impressive sort, very sweet in his manner, and very loving when it came to his family.
“Blue Velvet” is a very good, weird movie. I’m sure this was David Lynch’s intention. A movie reviewer I am not, but I think his scene composition and dressing was brilliant. Would I want to watch it again? No, not unless it was a director’s cut with notes and all that (I love that stuff!). I even watched the pilot for “Twin Peaks” which was David Lynch’s one and only TV show. Again, very weird with some strange characters. It’s starting to look like a one-trick pony at work here, but I’ll try not to judge.
At nearly 1:30am I went to bed. My headache was gone and I’d discovered another person who inspires me, someone that I thought wouldn’t. I love when that happens!