Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

Roger Ebert loses his voice with dignity.

If you are in or about Belfast next week, you should check out My Dog Tulip at the Queen’s Film Theatre. It’s a really nice little animated picture based on a miserablist memoir by the excellent J R Ackerley. Why …

Mon, May 9, 2011, 22:03

   
YouTube Preview Image

If you are in or about Belfast next week, you should check out My Dog Tulip at the Queen’s Film Theatre. It’s a really nice little animated picture based on a miserablist memoir by the excellent J R Ackerley. Why listen to an idiot like me. Pay attention instead to the admirable Roger Ebert. This video features an edited version of the great man’s review from January . But how is this possible? Following surgery for cancer, Ebert has been unable to speak. Perhaps that computer-generated voice he was experimenting with has finally gone live. The story is — for us, if not him — rather more delicious than that. Roger has persuaded Werner Herzog to speak his words. What a wonderful notion. Listening to this clip, one is reminded that the German director really has one of our era’s most distinctive and attractive voices. For all his Teutonic nihilism — “I believe the common character of the universe is not harmony, but chaos, hostility, and murder” — he speaks in a timbre that burbles with warmth and humanity.

A lovely idea. Hats off to all involved.