Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Roger Ebert, Life Itself, and Conflict of Interest in the Digital Age

Watching Life Itself - shortlisted for the Best Documentary Feature though it ultimately didn’t get a nom - I was reminded of how Roger Ebert was the ballsy pioneer of what might be called “conflict of interest criticism,” an unapologetic leader of a COI new wave. Unlike the old guard, represented by Richard Corliss in Steve James’s lovely cinematic tribute, Ebert had no qualms dispensing with the critic’s illusion of objectivity, going so far as to even review Encounters at the End of the World, a doc dedicated to him by his good friend Werner Herzog. (“I will review it because I love great films and must share my enthusiasm,” Ebert wrote in an open letter to Herzog.)

To read – and comment – on my inaugural Conversation Starter visit Hammer to Nail.

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