This Video Shows Exactly What We Lost With the Death of Roger Ebert
"Better Luck Tomorrow" premiered at Sundance 2002, four years before Ebert lost his voice to cancer. And the YouTube title sells it short: "Roger Ebert yelling at Sundance."
But, as the clip shows at about 30 seconds in, what a voice it was.
"Better Luck Tomorrow" was the solo feature-directing debut of Justin Lin, who went on to launch the "Fast & Furious" franchise. It's the story of overachieving Asian high schoolers who dabble in some seriously criminal activities.
Shot at the film's third screening, a viewer takes Lin and his team to task at the Q&A: "Why, with the talent yup there and yourself, make a film so empty and amoral for Asian Americans and for Americans?"
As the filmmakers struggle to find the words to form a response, Ebert stands up and leaps into the fray.
"What I find very offensive and condescending about your statement is nobody would say to a bunch of white filmmakers, 'How could you do this to your people?'"
And he's just getting started.
This is why we loved him: Not only was he an unparalleled film lover and scholar, but he was fearless and outspoken, without grandstanding. Well done, sir.