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Roger Ebert Speaks!

Well, sort of. Pulitzer Prize-winning author, three-time screenwriter, and America's most recognizable (and beloved) film critic Roger Ebert was silenced by cancer last year, but as Rotten Tomatoes notes:

Ebert "recently returned to the movies with a vengeance, publishing to his website an output of new reviews and 'Answer Man' columns that puts entire fully-staffed newsrooms to shame. The qualities that made Ebert a critical celebrity for decades -- his wonderfully dry wit, deft writing, and a yearning to be moved by cinema -- of course remain intact, but while he's currently aided by a speaking computer, he shares his hope that he'll soon recover his own voice."

Roger_ebert_3 In an interview with Rotten Tomatoes, Ebert (now cancer-free) catches up with readers and offers insight about his long career as a film critic. Here are some highlights from the Q&A:

How are you these days? (We all miss seeing you on the show and at festivals!)
Roger Ebert: I am cancer-free, and looking forward to what I hope will be a final surgery in late January, in which I may regain the ability to speak. I attended the Toronto Film Festival and plan to be back at my own Ebertfest in April and Cannes in May.

Are either of the famous Thumbs™ insured? (And incidentally, when will we see those Thumbs™ again?)

Not insured, only trademarked. If it were up to me, they would have never gone away, but we've become mired in endless negotiations with Disney. Maybe they'll be back soon.

Do you have a favorite seat in a movie theater?

Toward the back, side of the theater farther from the main entrance.

Do you have a favorite review of your own that you've written in your career?
I'm pleased that I reviewed  2001 on the night of its first public screening, and got it right, when the initial reaction was largely negative.

What words or phrases do you over-use?
RE: "Labyrinthine," "cheerful," "alarmingly," "indeed," "a real charmer."

What is your most common concession stand purchase?
RE: Raisinettes.

Even though Ebert speaks with aid of a computer voice program for now, he continues to review movies. For the full interview, click here.

-- Daniel Lehman

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