(Photo by Naomi Strand)
Jim Emerson, the founding editor-in-chief of RogerEbert.com, is a Seattle-based writer and film critic whose love of movies has led to experience in nearly every part of the film world, from writing (and re-writing and re-writing), through "development hell" and production, to exhibition, marketing (including promotion and advertising), writing features and criticism for many publications (in print and on the Internet), and academic study. He was the editor of the late Microsoft Cinemania, a multimedia movie encyclopedia on CD-ROM and the web, and has been the editorial director of other film-related web sites such as Reel.com and the now-defunct start-up, FilmPix.com. A member of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association while covering film in Los Angeles, Emerson was movie critic for the Orange County Register, and has written for many other publications and web sites including the Seattle Times, Los Angeles Times, Film Comment, Amazon.com, and Premiere. He is also the co-author (with his friend and sometime writing partner Julia Sweeney) of the play and screenplay “Mea's Big Apology” and the film “It's Pat: The Movie,” and was a guest writer for “Saturday Night Live” in early 1994. He is an Extra Special Creative Consultant (for text, music, and images) for Julia's stage monologue (and eventual film), "Letting Go of God." Emerson booked independent and foreign films for a successful Seattle “art-house” (the Market Theater in the historic Pike Place Market), booked ongoing film series at his alma mater, the University of Washington (where he was also a co-founder of the Extension Cinema Studies program), and was a programmer/director for the Seattle International Film Festival and the Floating Film Festival. At the Conference on World Affairs in Boulder, CO, he has shared a microphone with Roger Ebert for week-long shot-by-shot "Cinema Interruptus" sessions ("La Dolce Vita," "The Long Goodbye," "Chop Shop") and hosted a few on his own ("Chinatown," "No Country For Old Men").
Emerson lives with his dogs, Edith and Lolita, in Seattle, and is also the creator in 1998 of the rarely updated Jeeem's CinePad (http://www.cinepad.com
), where you will find sections devoted to his obsessions, including film noir, Frank Sinatra, Buster Keaton, Barbara Stanwyck, “Twin Peaks,” and the history of plumbing in the cinema.
Emerson's list of best movies of all time in the 2002 Sight and Sound International Critics and Directors Poll:
Citizen Kane (Welles)
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (Bu˝uel)
Kings of the Road (Wenders)
The Magnificent Ambersons (Welles)
Sherlock Jr. (Keaton)
2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick)