Richard Roeper
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Richard Roeper

Chicago, Illinois, United States

Chicago, Illinois, United States
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Acclaimed film critic Richard Roeper will speak about movies and pop culture during a presentation at the University of Central Florida.

“An Evening with Richard Roeper” will begin at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16, in the Pegasus Ballroom of the Student Union. The event is free and open to the public.

Roeper is a columnist and film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times. An Emmy award winner for his documentaries, Roeper has also been honored for his work as a columnist by the Associated Press.

From 2000 to 2006, he co-hosted the popular film review television show “Ebert & Roeper,” replacing the late Gene Siskel as critic Robert Ebert’s sidekick. He left the show in 2008, and he currently co-hosts “The Roe Conn Show” on Chicago’s WLS-AM 890 radio station.

Roeper’s presentation is sponsored by the Campus Activities Board, which also hosts many other events for students interested in film. Most recently, the organization brought the student film festival Campus Movie Fest to UCF. Every Saturday, CAB holds “Movies on the Plaza,” where the latest releases are played on a large projector outside the UCF Arena. - UCF Today


Correction appended

Aspiring directors go to great lengths to have their work reviewed by film critics.

Several years ago at the Sundance Film Festival, one young director gained a modicum of fame when he stood on the counter of a diner and had his film projected on the wall as renowned critic Roger Ebert ate breakfast.

But for a group of Missouri filmmakers, no such stunts were necessary. Last night at the Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts, Chicago Sun-Times columnist and film critic Richard Roeper hosted the Silverscreen Film Festival awards. Roeper was generous with his praise of the 13 short films he viewed, saying some were better than the ones he watches for a living.

“You have energy, enthusiasm, talent, a vision and stories to tell,” Roeper told the filmmakers. “So I just want to encourage you to keep doing this.”

Roeper, who became the co-host with Ebert of the syndicated “At the Movies” in 2000, also regaled the crowd with stories of Ebert’s legendary relationship with the late Gene Siskel. He said the pair played pranks on one another and bickered incessantly. Ebert, who has battled cancer and had most of his throat removed in recent years, now relies on a computer to communicate. He still reviews as many as a half-dozen movies per week. Siskel died in 1999.

“They didn’t focus group it, they didn’t screen test it, but it worked,” Roeper said of the show featuring the two critics that debuted in 1975. “They were both very animated, both very passionate, and they would just go at it.”

In a free-flowing speech, Roeper weighed in on:

* The “Twilight” saga: “Glistening vampires aren’t too menacing to me,” he said.
* 3-D movies: “If you’re still putting on the same dorky glasses they had back in the ’50s, then how good is the technology?”
* His brethren in the film critic business: “Many of them shouldn’t be in front of a camera, many of them shouldn’t see the light of day.”

But the most treasured words were the those Roeper reserved for the filmmakers in attendance.

Kyle Ayers, an MU senior, won awards for “best story,” “best director” and “best comedy” with his film “On Track,” the story of a man who is followed by a laugh-track in his day-to-day life. Roeper called it “funny” and a “clever idea.”

“I’m memorizing those words, because I want to put them at the beginning of my movie,” Ayers said. “This was great.”

Perhaps the most courageous director was Casey Berner, an MU freshman who filmed his surgical treatment last year at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota for a rare cartilage disorder, relapsing polychondritis. Berner’s “Just Breath” won the award for “best documentary.”

“The point of the film is that millions of people look normal on the outside, they go to school, go to work,” said Berner. “But behind closed doors, they’re dealing with medication, doctors and insurers. It’s a huge added stress that most people don’t ever see.”

The films will be available for viewing online next week at silverscreen.missouri.edu.

This page has been revised to reflect the following correction:

SECOND THOUGHTS: Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Sunday story about the Silverscreen Film Festival awards included an incorrect title for University of Missouri freshman Casey Berner’s documentary. The film, which won the “best documentary” award, is titled “Just Breath.”

- Columbia Daily Tribune


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Bio

Richard Roeper is a newspaper columnist, author, radio talk show host and television personality.

For eight years, Roeper was the co-host of the nationally syndicated "Ebert & Roeper." He is currently working on a number of television projects, including a reality show and a return of the "Ebert & Roeper" franchise.

Roeper is the host of "Starz Inside," a monthly documentary series on Starz. He has appeared as a guest on "The Tonight Show," "Oprah," "Nightline," "Conan O'Brien," "Live with Regis and Kelly" and dozens of other shows.

As a commentator for the Fox affiliate in Chicago, Roeper won three Emmys. He has hosted radio shows on a number of stations in Chicago, including WLS-AM and WLUP-FM.

Roeper continues to write his award-winning daily column for the Chicago Sun-Times. He has also written for Esquire, TV Guide, Playboy, Entertainment Weekly, Reader's Digest and other publications. He is the author of eight books, including "Bet the House," a look at gambling in America, to be published in early 2010.