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FILE – In this April 27, 2011 file photo, film critic Roger Ebert welcomes people to the opening of the 13th annual Ebertfest film festival on the University of Illinois campus in Champaign. (AP Photo/The News-Gazette, Robert K. O’Daniell, File)
Roger Ebert was a lifeline.
Whether you were just a kid who loved movies or, like me, a film school graduate stuck in a part of the country where few people, if any, could discuss the medium the way you needed to, Ebert and Gene Siskel’s appearance on PBS’ “Sneak Previews” in the late 1970s was a weekly half hour of soul saving.
The news of Ebert’s death at 70 Thursday after a long, inspiring battle with cancer triggered thousands of appreciations from people he taught to love movies, generations of film critics he mentored, and Hollywood figures he both praised and