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January 29, 2024 61 mins

Matt Singer, author of Opposable Thumbs: How Siskel and Ebert Changed Movies Forever, joins us to discuss two TV guys who argued passionately about movies for over twenty years, during a period when American Cinema was in its heyday, and film criticism rose to the challenge. Matt's book covers the history of S&E's successful collaboration, somewhat surprising since they were first longform movie critics from competing Chicago newspapers, before they joined thumbs and their Two Thumbs Up! became a household movie endorsement. Matt describes the relationship, respect, and competition between the two, as well as his own relationship with Roger Ebert, and the history of S&E's work, how it evolved, what they did well, and maybe some places they missed the boat. Our conversation runs the gamut from fun stuff like skunks on the show to deeper questions about film criticism today. Matt's extraordinary knowledge about the history of S&E, as well as his enthusiasm for Siskel and Ebert as people and critics, for their show, and for movies in general bubbles forth in this episode. Whether you remember Siskel and Ebert or not, don't miss this episode about an extraordinary period in American Film.

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