Roger Ebert's passing in April inspired many heartfelt columns and video remembrances and editorial cartoons, several featuring the film critic's iconic thumbs up or balcony seat.
But Mr. Ebert played another role in Hollywood beyond that of the person who skillfully, thoughtfully and often sardonically summarized a movie. He wrote for the pictures, too, a fact known by just about all of his fans.
The cult classic among them? You know it, so say it with us now: "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls," the over-the-top, 1970-fied, eye-poppy cornucopia directed by Russ Meyer. "Dolls" and Mr. Ebert took two different paths -- the flick became a midnight favorite and the critic, of course, became a trusted paragon of film criticism -- but tied in Hollywood history they forever remained.
Now Cinespia, the organization behind the Hollywood Forever screenings, and The Cinefamily, the filmiacs steering the Silent Movie Theatre ship, are pairing up to screen the movie and remember the beloved critic. And, a lovely, moving bonus: Chaz Ebert will be in the house "to present Siskel & Ebert memories" and host the evening.
Other lively bonuses? The Strawberry Alarm Clock will reunite for a live performance -- yep, dig it -- and a number of people involved with the flick, including actress Erica Gavin, will appear. It's going to be a major night for both the film's fans and those who keenly miss Roger Ebert.
We certainly miss his calm take on filmdom, especially in this blockbuster-laden season. Who else has gone back to reread cinematic sum-ups from years past in the last few months? Probably thousands of us have.