His reviews, essays, and interviews all had a consistent theme: he was well-read on the craft of storytelling, and he encouraged his readers to become educated in similar topics. In addition to film criticism and related topics, Ebert also wrote about philosophical questions. His essays on exactly this topic began with " Bell, Lautau, and the Conflict between Violence and Beauty ", which appeared in Chicago Booth Magazine on September 2, 2011. This essay examines the relationship between Tarantino's Pulp Fiction and the works of the early Italian film theorist Pasolini, whose work is also discussed in Hollywood (1911-13).
Over the course of his review of Verhoeven's Robocop, Ebert expanded his assertions about violence and art in the world. He wrote, "...the body may be nothing more than a cold, useless vessel for the spirit to beat on during its brief prison stay below the surface. How, in other words, does the film at a moment of such nakedness sustain, through the confrontation with a man in a hockey mask, still a beating heart within?". When Ebert wrote: "I am, within the bounds of journalistic propriety, going to accuse Mel Gibson's Apocalypto of being a violent movie." he spoke highly of Gibson, but he also connected the film to the biblical book of Revelation, which he considers a "very violent text". He discusses three factors in violence: the flesh (which is not moral by itself), the will (which must be reconciled with the spirit, thus making one moral), and nature (which is one's true nature by default).
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