How Siskel and Ebert Changed Hollywood
Author Matt Singer has written a new history of the antagonist critics
Sonny Bunch is a contributing columnist at the Washington Post, The Bulwark culture editor, and member of the Washington Area Film Critics Association.
I’m joined by Matt Singer this week, author of Opposable Thumbs: How Siskel and Ebert Changed Movies Forever. The book, out this Tuesday, is a wide-ranging look at the myriad ways in which Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel’s seminal show — or, really, three shows, which ran across multiple networks over multiple decades —changed not only film criticism but film marketing as well. We talked about the introduction of the thumb system — which, shockingly, was not with the duo from the beginning — and why their genuinely antagonistic relationship hasn’t really translated to the YouTube/podcast era of film criticism.