It's been a long, long nine months for film critic Roger Ebert, who has been recovering from surgery for thyroid cancer. Ebert was finally able to write an update on his condition last August, when he told his many fans that what had started out to be a relatively simple surgery for recurrence of thyroid cancer turned into a major reconstruction effort after cancer was found in his jawbone and it had to be removed. Following the surgery, Ebert was preparing to go home when an artery burst near the surgery site, requiring a second surgery, and ending up with the famous critic spending months in a hospital bed.
Now, in his latest update, Ebert tells fans on his website that after a stint in the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, he's since moved to the Pritkin Center in Florida, where he has continued rehab. While recuperating, Ebert has written some reviews for the Chicago Sun-Times (although not at anywhere near his normal pace) and his Outguess Ebert Oscar feature. Now Ebert is slated to make his first official public appearance since all these health problems began in April at his Ninth Annual Overlooked Film Festival in Urbana-Champaign. Because he's still recovering, Ebert has enlisted the help of some friends to help out with the onstage Q&A, as his speaking voice is "onhold" while he continues to recuperate from a tracheostomy.
I'll be attending the Overlooked Film Festival this year for Cinematical -- it runs April 25-29, and will include a screening of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, for which Ebert wrote the screenplay. You can check out the full schedule for the fest here, and be sure to check back at the end of the month for reports and reviews from the festival.