YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Quick Takes: Roger Ebert fights cancer again

April 04, 2013

Roger Ebert, one of America's 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, calling it a "leave of presence."

Writing on his site Tuesday night, Ebert said that a hip fracture has turned out to be cancerous and that he was taking a pause as he received radiation treatment. He still will write, but many reviews will be picked up by others.

"Last year, I wrote the most [reviews] of my career, including 306 movie reviews, a blog post or two a week, and assorted other articles," he wrote. "I must slow down now."

He added, "What in the world is a leave of presence? It means I am not going away."

With his eloquent posts, sharp Twitter feed and other forms of writing, Ebert has solidified his status as one of the country's most well-read critics, even as he has fought illness over the last seven years.

— Steven Zeitchik

Madonna to sell art for a cause

Madonna is selling a painting from her private collection to benefit education initiatives for girls. "Trois Femmes à la Table Rouge" (Three Women at the Red Table) by Fernand Léger is worth an estimated $5 million to $7 million and will be sold by Sotheby's, the singer announced Wednesday on her official website.

The painting, which dates from 1921, is an abstract work created in Léger's signature pseudo-Cubist style.

The pop star said in a statement that she will "donate all the proceeds to support girls' educational projects in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries where female education is rare or nonexistent."

"Trois Femmes" will go on view in Hong Kong and London this month before returning to New York for the May 7 auction.

— David Ng

Guitarist departs Bon Jovi tour

Bon Jovi took the stage at a Calgary, Canada, show Tuesday missing one key member — guitarist Richie Sambora.

The band said in a statement that Sambora has pulled out of its current tour for the foreseeable future, citing "personal issues."

The tour will take them through Europe, South America and South Africa before some October U.S. dates.

Sambora has been sidelined previously for rehab for painkiller addiction and an arrest for DUI.

Last year, he released a well-received solo album, "Aftermath of the Lowdown"; many of its songs were about those struggles with addiction.

Bon Jovi is doing its best without him. At that Calgary show, the Daily Mail cited Jon Bon Jovi telling the crowd, "I had two choices — pack up and go home or give you everything I got.... Richie Sambora won't be performing for a while. If there's ever a night I need you, it's tonight, Calgary!"

— August Brown

Linklater goes for 'A Walk'

Over the years, a number of film directors have taken their shot at "A Walk in the Woods," Bill Bryson's popular travel memoir circa 1998.

Now the project looks to be getting new life with veteran filmmaker Richard Linklater.

The director is set to come aboard and could shoot the independently financed movie as early as this fall, according to Robert Redford, who will produce and star in the film.

A number of drafts of the screenplay have been overseen by Redford, with the Pulitzer-winning novelist Richard Russo taking a crack at it last year.

Nick Nolte, Redford's friend and sometime-collaborator, will star as Katz opposite Redford's Bryson.

— Steven Zeitchik

Los Angeles Times Articles