Review: Ebert, Awake in the Dark
Taking its inspiration from Ebert’s own critical methodology as set forth in his new book Awake in the Dark: The Best of Roger Ebert, Tara Ison’s review for the L.A. Times balances her critique of Ebert’s work “between the bottom line and the higher reaches, between the answers to the questions (1) Is this [book] worth my money? and (2) Does this [book] expand or devalue my information about human nature?”
(1) Yes, this is a meaty and comprehensive collection of over 40 years’ worth of impassioned film writing—not merely reviews but profiles and essays as well; and (2) Yes; Ebert indeed expands our knowledge of human nature through his incisive analysis of the 20th century’s (arguably) primary form of artistic expression, of its evolution and its lure.
If Ebert’s book can live up to his own stringent standards you know it’s got to be good. Ebert’s masterful blend of entertaining and intelligent essays on everything from Star Wars to Meryl Streep is truly an indispensable chronicle of the American cinema since the late 1960s.