告而不别:罗杰·伊伯特的告别信(A LEAVE OF PRESENCE)

编者按:本文为罗杰·伊伯特生前(4月2日)发布在自己博客中的告别信,简单讲述了自己的影评人生涯中所做的几件大事,并且对未来做出了大致的规划。罗杰·伊伯特1967年4月3日,开始到《芝加哥太阳报》担任影评人,于2013年4月4日因病逝世。

谢谢你们。四十六年前,即一九六七年四月三日,我到芝加哥太阳报就职影评人。自那时起,你们之中有些人读过我的影评和专栏文章,有些还给我写过信,还有的是看了我的电视节目,读过我的书,上过我的网站,来过我组织的电影节、俱乐部。不论我们是怎么结识的,我很高兴认识了你们,感谢你们这些让影评人求之不得的好读者。

一般情况下,每年我会给芝加哥太阳报写两百篇左右的影评文章,且通过环球新闻社发行,刊登在两百多份报纸上。去年是我一生最高产的一年,写了三百零六篇影评,每周一到两篇博客,还有告而不别是什么意思呢?就是说我并没有离开。我的打算是继续挑一些影片写影评,但是其他的影评将会转交给一些极有天赋的作者来写,他们都是我亲手挑选而且十分仰慕的影评人。现在,我终于可以做我一直想的事儿:只评自己想评的片子。

与此同时,我将重组 Rogerebert.com 的官网,将它从太阳报属下转到一个独立的公司 Ebert 电子媒体,这个公司将由我,我太太 Chaz,和我们的好友 Josh Golden。离开天天忙碌的责任后,我可以继续驻芝加哥太阳报为影评人,同时在自己的名号下做些事。

Ebertfest是我举办的年度电影节,至今已是第十五年,今年四月十七至二十一日将在我的家乡母校伊利诺大学 Urbana-Champaign 举行。为了回应大家对“看电影”电视节目回归的要求,未来两星期内我将发动筹款活动。电脑游戏迷注意了,我还在考虑做个跟电影有关的游戏或 app,做出来之后你可以跟我争论它是不是艺术。(译者注:Ebert和读者曾旷日持久地争论游戏是否艺术。)

另外,我会继续跟才华横溢的影人Steve James 讨论给我拍传记片的计划,此片还有 Zaillian 和 Martin Scorsese 参加制作。有人想给我拍传记这件事本身就让我又感激又深感谦卑。

当然还有一些变更。让我告而不别的直接原因是健康状况。之前疼痛令我行动不便的骨折被发现是癌变,放射治疗使我不能象平时那样去影院看电影,我越来越多地看片商寄给我的拷贝。好友兼同事 Richard Roeper 和其他影评人最近帮我的网站和专栏写了很多大片发行的影评,使影评不致中断,他们会继续帮手。

到了生命的这个阶段,影评之外我会写一些跟病痛和体能限制的文章。癌症复发把我困在医院多日,不免令人沮丧,所以有时我会写疾病带来的软弱,有时我会描述好电影怎样让我精神焕发。

我还打算重温经典老片,给已经出版了三册的“伟大电影”系列再加上一本。

眼下我将把精力投入到 Ebert Digital 和新官网上。Rogerebert.com 新版官网有很强的互动和搜索功能官网,将于四月九日推出,到时候你就能试用这些新功能了。我们会提供更多的独立影片,外国片,纪录片,以及重新发行的经典旧片。网站上除了有我的自1967年起写过的一万多篇影评以外还会包括很多其他人写的影评。你未必会同意他们的所有观点,就像你也反对过我的观点,但是仍能欣赏他们的贡献。这些影评人有些是我通过四年前开始的“远方通讯”活动联络到的,当时我发现博客上很多留言来自世界各地而且精通电影,便着手发起这个项目。

我们还在找更多的影评人给网站写稿,我希望能争取到一些让我仰慕多年的作者。我们将发表更多的独立影片、外国片、纪录片、经典老片的评论。在电视网、有限电视、互联网混为一体的现代,我们会继续发表普利策奖得主(电视评论家)Tom Shales 的文章,以及 Jim Emerson 的博客 “Scanners”,我跟 Jim 最早在微软结识,当时他是 Cinemania 的主编。Ebert 俱乐部通讯报由温哥华的 Marie Haws 编辑,将给读者带来更多的内容。

多年以来,我一丝不苟地把每一张自己的发表文章都细细叠好,存档收集在书桌上。今天,科技进步让媒体更多更好,传播更广。虽然有各种各样的困难和挑战,我们选在现在重新设计推出 Rogerebert.com 网站,足以证明Chaz和我多么看好网站和 Ebert Digital 电子媒体。我希望你们都能留步网站看望我,我仍会在此。

在这沉思的日子我要再说一遍,感谢你们与我共度此行,我们看电影再见!(译/颜俊)

英文原文:

Thank you. Forty-six years ago on April 3, 1967, I became the film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times. Some of you have read my reviews and columns and even written to me since that time. Others were introduced to my film criticism through the television show, my books, the website, the film festival, or the Ebert Club and newsletter. However you came to know me, I’m glad you did and thank you for being the best readers any film critic could ask for.

Typically, I write over 200 reviews a year for the Sun-Times that are carried by Universal Press Syndicate in some 200 newspapers. Last year, I wrote the most of my career, including 306 movie reviews, a blog post or two a week, and assorted other articles. I must slow down now, which is why I’m taking what I like to call “a leave of presence.”

What in the world is a leave of presence? It means I am not going away. My intent is to continue to write selected reviews but to leave the rest to a talented team of writers handpicked and greatly admired by me. What’s more, I’ll be able at last to do what I’ve always fantasized about doing: reviewing only the movies I want to review.

At the same time, I am re-launching the new and improved Rogerebert.com and taking ownership of the site under a separate entity, Ebert Digital, run by me, my beloved wife, Chaz, and our brilliant friend, Josh Golden of Table XI. Stepping away from the day-to-day grind will enable me to continue as a film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, and roll out other projects under the Ebert brand in the coming year.

Ebertfest, my annual film festival, celebrating its 15th year, will continue at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, my alma mater and home town, April 17-21. In response to your repeated requests to bring back the TV show “At the Movies,” I am launching a fundraising campaign via Kickstarter in the next couple of weeks. And gamers beware, I am even thinking about a movie version of a video game or mobile app. Once completed, you can engage me in debate on whether you think it is art.

And I continue to cooperate with the talented filmmaker Steve James on the bio-documentary he, Steve Zaillian and Martin Scorsese are making about my life. I am humbled that anyone would even think to do it, but I am also grateful.

Of course, there will be some changes. The immediate reason for my “leave of presence” is my health. The “painful fracture” that made it difficult for me to walk has recently been revealed to be a cancer. It is being treated with radiation, which has made it impossible for me to attend as many movies as I used to. I have been watching more of them on screener copies that the studios have been kind enough to send to me. My friend and colleague Richard Roeper and other critics have stepped up and kept the newspaper and website current with reviews of all the major releases. So we have and will continue to go on.At this point in my life, in addition to writing about movies, I may write about what it’s like to cope with health challenges and the limitations they can force upon you. It really stinks that the cancer has returned and that I have spent too many days in the hospital. So on bad days I may write about the vulnerability that accompanies illness. On good days, I may wax ecstatic about a movie so good it transports me beyond illness.

I’ll also be able to review classics for my “Great Movies” collection, which has produced three books and could justify a fourth.

For now, I am throwing myself into Ebert Digital and the redesigned, highly interactive and searchable Rogerebert.com. You’ll learn more about its exciting new features on April 9 when the site is launched. In addition to housing an archive of more than 10,000 of my reviews dating back to 1967 we will also feature reviews written by other critics. You may disagree with them like you have with me, but will nonetheless appreciate what they bring to the party. Some I recruited from the ranks of my Far Flung Correspondents, an inspiration I had four years ago when I noticed how many of the comments on my blog came from foreign lands and how knowledgeable they were about cinema.

We’ll be recruiting more critics and it is my hope that some of the writers I have admired over the years will be among them. We’ll offer many more reviews of Indie, foreign, documentary and restored classic revivals. As the space between broadcast television, cable and the internet morph into a hybrid of content, we will continue to spotlight the musings of Pulitzer Prize-winning TV critic Tom Shales, as well as the blog “Scanners” by Jim Emerson, who I first met at Microsoft when he edited Cinemania. The Ebert Club newsletter, under editor Marie Haws of Vancouver, will be expanded to give its thousands of subscribers even bigger and better benefits.

For years I devoutly took every one of my tear sheets, folded them and added them to a pile on my desk. The photo above shows the height of that pile in 1985 as it appeared on the cover of my first book about the movies published by my old friends John McMeel and Donna Martin of Andrews & McMeel. Today, because of technology, the opportunities to become bigger, better and reach more people are piling up too. The fact that we’re re-launching the site now, in the midst of other challenges, should give you an idea how important Rogerebert.com and Ebert Digital are to Chaz and me. I hope you’ll stop by, and look for me. I’ll be there.

So on this day of reflection I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me. I’ll see you at the movies.

三月鸟

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