Roger and Me
A couple of years back I wrote a review of a movie that had been the biggest box office smash that year and had won zillions of awards.
I hated it. I hated every moment of it with a passion and fury that outmatched the heat of a thousand fiery suns.
One day, a famous film critic found it and read it. He then tweeted out a link to this review to his thousands and thousands of followers, with the words “THAT’S what I’m talking about!”
Roger had a thing for “citizen criticism”. He used me as an example of how, in the wake of the death of print journalism, that the job of being a “film critic” was granted to everyone in the age of self-publication.
I was terribly flattered at this.
And then this happened:
Well, shit. “I guess I’d better be interesting,” I thought.
So within the next week I wrote a post about how he was both wrong and right about videogames.
I always liked Roger’s reviews. I liked how he was down to earth, and how abnormally fair his reviews were. He did not compare “Halloween” against “Citizen Kane”; he compared it to “Friday the 13th.” It was fair. He did not believe that you had to have gone to film school in order to understand movies; nay, you simply had to enjoy them.
I like that perspective.
When he got cancer – and moreso after he lost his jaw – something changed within his being. I like to think that he took a long, hard look at his life, what he was doing, what he believed, and what he felt was important – and decided to become a voice for that. His posts took on a humanist, compassionate stance. He was always a bold speaker but now he was boldly standing up for things that were classically outside of the purview of a “mere” film critic.
He was a man filled with truth and righteousness and empathy and courage.
I admire him for that.
And I already miss him.