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O Cinema Wynwood90 NW 29th Street, Miami (305) 571-9970
Join us on Sat, July 12th at 1pm for a Free panel discussion with South Florida film writers. Scroll down for full details.
Acclaimed Director Steve James & Executive Producer Martin Scorsese present LIFE ITSELF, a documentary that recounts the inspiring and entertaining life of world-renowned film critic and social commentator Roger Ebert by exploring the legacy of Ebert’s life, from his Pulitzer Prize-winning film criticism at the Chicago Sun-Times to becoming one of the most influential cultural voices in America.
The filmmakers were granted unprecedented access to Roger and Chaz during the final four months of his life. In that time, they captured Roger’s fighting spirit, his sharp sense of humor, and the ways he directly inspired filmmakers, family and fans. The response to Roger’s unexpected passing in April 2013 was immense and profoundly moving – front page news not just in Chicago, but worldwide. Influential filmmakers and politicians reflected on Roger’s legacy – everyone from Spike Lee, and Michael Moore to President Obama, who said, “When he didn’t like a film, he was honest; when he did, he was effusive – capturing the unique power of the movies to take us some place magical.” Roger was an avid supporter of independent film, and an early champion of the work of iconic filmmakers, and LIFE ITSELF interview subjects, such as Werner Herzog, Errol Morris and Martin Scorsese.
Roger himself became an iconic force when he joined with Gene Siskel to create one of the longest running, most influential television shows in history, making Chicago the cultural center of film criticism. The film features candid and insightful interviews with many of the principal producers of the show, along with the first ever feature documentary interview with Siskel’s wife, Marlene. In the wake of Roger’s illness and disability, Roger’s writing grew creatively and in importance – transcending film criticism. Using his blog, and social media, Roger became a must-read commentator, thoughtfully addressing the political and social issues of our time. His public defiance of cancer and the resulting disfigurement literally and symbolically put a new face on the disease, and brought inspiration to countless thousands in the disabled community and beyond.
Despite his “leave of presence,” his body of work stands as a great populist monument, accessible inspiration for the next generations of film lovers. LIFE ITSELF gives a definitive document of the flesh and blood man who forever changed what it meant to be at the movies: Roger Ebert.
“Intensely emotional. A life spent at the movies gets the cinematic epitaph it richly deserves. James cuts — as in all of his best work — straight to the human heart of the matter, celebrating both the writer and the man, the one inseparable from the other.”
“Richly satisfying. Engrossing, unflinching, moving and comprehensive. An astute and sensitive account of a fully realized man and a life overflowing with abundance and achievement. James has done a wonderful job of telling a colorful life story.”
– HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
“A clear-eyed portrait of a complicated, Falstaffian figure. A big-hearted, absorbing documentary. Anyone who cared about Roger Ebert will find it necessary viewing.”
– CHICAGO TRIBUNE
“Far more than just a tribute to the career of the world’s most famous and influential film critic, the often revelatory Life Itself is also a remarkably intimate portrait of a life well lived — right up to the very last moment.”
– CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
“What does the movie version of Life Itself really have to show or tell us? A great deal, it turns out.”
– ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
“Steve James’ documentary recognizes that Roger Ebert’s genius was that he was not a genius.”
“Ebert was a sparrer, a happy combatant, and the movies were always a springboard to a conversation. His life’s work is well-represented here …”
– TIME OUT NEW YORK
“James tells this unapologetic story with little sympathy, as per Ebert’s wishes, and a lot of passion—he wants the audience to really know who Roger Ebert was, and understand the importance of his work.”
– THE PLAYLIST
“Life Itself gives measured and pragmatic reflection to many of the things that are most interesting about Ebert’s personal and professional life.”