Much has changed in recent years for Roger Ebert, as Esquire so poignantly reported last year. The beloved film critic continues to struggle with the loss of his voice to throat cancer, so he’s passing the torch of his Cinema Interruptus series at CU-Boulder’s Conference on World Affairs. The program, which allows audience members to freeze the viewing of a select film to ask questions or make comments, has been part of the gathering since 1975. “The conference has been a central part of my life for more than 40 years, and I will miss it terribly,” Ebert says (in a statement available on the conference website). “Having lost the gift of speech, I can no longer participate in the ways that gave me such pleasure.”

Seattle film critic Jim Emerson, editor of, will carry the torch this year with the Coen brothers’ 2009 film A Serious Man. But according to the Daily Camera, Ebert may soon return to CU. “Don’t be surprised if I turn up one year for the [jazz] concert,” he adds. “I like that outboard aisle seat on the left, about six rows back.” This year’s 63rd annual conference is slated for April 4 to 8.