“There was a thunder in Ebert’s heart, and that was his love for movies, and he wanted to tell the world about films, both big ones and small,” Chase Whale wrote in our Sundance Film Festival review of the upcoming documentary “Life Itself,” and there’s no doubt about that. Whether you agreed with him or not, there were simply no other critics who could make talking intelligently about film as engaging and accessible as Roger Ebert, and that shines through in this vintage interview.
The “Life Itself” Twitter feed tipped us to this great 30-minute chat between the critic and Charlie Rose in 1996, marking Ebert’s first appearance on the show. As always, it’s great stuff to watch, and an interesting time capsule as well. The conversation kicks off with a talk about “The English Patient” and it’s fascinating to see how wrong Ebert was in his prediction that the film would have an uphill battle in getting Academy recognition, and that Juliette Binoche and Ralph Fiennes wouldn’t get Oscar nominations (they both did, with Binoche taking home a trophy for Best Actress).
But again, it’s not about right or wrong, but the talk itself, with Ebert’s knowledge and enthusiasm always a pleasure. Watch below.