“At the Movies,” the last incarnation of the review show Roger Ebert and the late Gene Siskel started over three decades ago, came to an end last year. But Ebert isn’t letting the dream of televised criticism fade — alongside his wife Chaz, he’s been producing a shiny new series, “Ebert Presents… At the Movies.”
The weekly show will kick off on public television stations across the country on January 21st. Back in September, this short pilot/”demo” hit the web:
Today Ebert announced that the co-hosts of the show will be Christy Lemire, who can be seen in the video above, and in the place of Elvis Mitchell, whose schedule is presumably too packed with glamorous things to accommodate a weekly taping, 24-year-old Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, a writer for MUBI.
Christy Lemire has been the critic of The Associated Press for 12 years, and was AP’s first full-time movie critic. “I admired the way she reviewed with Richard Roeper when she co-hosted our show,” Ebert said, “and I have long respected her criticism. On television, Christy is a natural. From the day I saw her with Richard, I knew she was right for this job.”
He didn’t have to search far to find the Chicago-based Ignatiy Vishnevetsky. Hearing him discuss films one day in the Lake Street Screening Room used by Chicago critics, Ebert said, “I was struck by the depth and detail of his film knowledge, and by how articulate he was.” After reading his work online, Ebert was sold.
It’ll be interesting to see how these two, who seem to take very different angles on criticism, interact, but really, what’s more important to me is how they bicker. Film criticism on the web has spread over blogs, essays, podcasts, videos, collections of stills — if I’m going to get dragged back to taking it in on TV, it’s going to take some high quality disagreement, that moment in which, back in the Siskel and Ebert days, it seemed like the pair on screen forgot about the cameras and just got into it over a movie.