Roger Ebert, one of America's most preeminent and popular film critics, has announced that he will reduce the amount of writing he takes on as he fights a new battle with cancer.
Writing on his site Tuesday night, Ebert said that a hip fracture has turned out to be cancerous and that he was taking a short pause as he received radiation treatment to combat the disease. He would still contribute to his site, but many reviews would be picked up by others.
"Typically, I write over 200 reviews a year for the [Chicago] Sun-Times that are carried by Universal Press Syndicate in some 200 newspapers," he wrote. Last year, I wrote the most of my career, including 306 movie reviews, a blog post or two a week, and assorted other articles. I must slow down now, which is why I'm taking what I like to call 'a leave of presence.'"
PHOTO: Celebrites by The Times
He added, "What in the world is a leave of presence? It means I am not going away. My intent is to continue to write selected reviews but to leave the rest to a talented team of writers handpicked and greatly admired by me."
Ebertfest, the April gathering in Champagne-Urbana that this blogger has found to be one of the most enjoyable film gatherings around, will go on as planned, and Ebert said he would soon begin a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to bring back the "At the Movies" TV show. (You can read the full statement here.)