Roger Ebert’s Brutal Take On Fan Culture
Although he died in 2013, the great Roger Ebert is still providing us with nuggets of Ebert-y goodness . Throughout his career, Ebert's had some memorable takes on pop-culture, from his intense hatred of David Lynch's Blue Velvet to his glowing review of Spawn, which he considered an "experimental art film." That second one paved the way to a gloriously contentious episode of Siskel & Ebert, AKA UFC for movie nerds.
Siskel and Ebert were also early defenders of the artistic integrity of the Star Wars franchise, defending it against one critic's claims that George Lucas' movies "keep children stupid children forever."
But just because he was a Star Wars fan, doesn't mean that Ebert couldn't totally bag on Star Wars fans from time to time. In an Ebert quote that's been making the rounds on social media, Ebert calls out "extreme fandom"which he condemns as a "security blanket for the socially inept." He goes on to dunk on the type of obsessives who camp out on sidewalks for a movie, arguing that they may be "more into camping on sidewalks than movies." It's a thoroughly brutal piece of writing, the kind of tea bagging he normally reserved for Rob Reiner's North.
Ebert's harsh words may have a point; after all, the kind of pop-culture gatekeeper-ism he describes here can potentially lead to toxicity. But adding to the savageness of it all, this passage wasn't part of some lengthy essay on the state of modern film audiences. It was literally just a review of Fanboys, the harmless comedy about Star Wars fans attempting to break-into Skywalker Ranch. I mean, it was no Spawn, but still.
Top Image: Lucasfilm, Sound Opinions