At 69, veteran film critic Roger Ebert has seen it all and seen them all: tens of thousands of movies, 35 years of thumbs up/thumbs downs on TV, a writing credit on Russ Meyer’s 1970 camp classic “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls,’’ and, more recently, a much-publicized struggle with cancer and attendant surgeries. Having lost the use of his physical voice, Ebert’s more eloquent than ever in his movie reviews, blog entries, disarmingly personal online journal (blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/), and new memoir, “Life Itself’’ (Grand Central). He took the time this week to play Q&A by e-mail.
Q. Newspapers are laying off their arts staff, the online user comment is king. Does film criticism have a future?