Film critic and cultural icon Roger Ebert claims to have seen the first YouTube short film worthy of an Oscar.
"This film deserves to win the Academy Award for best live-action short subject," Ebert wrote on his blog. The short in question, called "Idiot with a Tripod," which can be seen below, is the creation of Jamie Stuart. He recorded shots from the post-Christmas blizzard in New York over the period of a day. Stuart edited and e-mailed the video to Ebert who later shared it on his blog.
Ebert went on to list his reasons for believing the short deserved the honor of an Oscar. "(1) Because of its wonderful quality. (2) Because of its role as homage. It is directly inspired by Dziga Vertov's 1929 silent classic 'Man With a Movie Camera.' (3) Because it represents an almost unbelievable technical proficiency."
The film critic has become significantly internet savvy since his bout with thyroid cancer left him without the ability to speak as a result of reconstructive surgeries.
Since 2006, Ebert, a Pulitzer Prize winner and the Chicago Sun-Times movie critic, has continued to review films and post messages on his Twitter account, which is followed by more than 300,000 people. He also communicates via Post-it Notes and by typing into a computer, which then reads out his text aloud.
Ebert will head back to television in a new PBS program called "Roger Ebert Presents At the Movies", a revival of a show that used his copyrighted "Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down", which is set to premiere on January 21, according to the Los Angeles Times. Ebert will use a computerized voice to deliver regular contributions on the program.
"This is the rebirth of a dream," his website quoted him as saying at the time. "American television is swamped by mindless gossip about celebrities, and I'm happy this show will continue to tell viewers honestly if the critics think a new movie is worth seeing."