Goodbye And Thank You: The Director of Hoop Dreams Talks About His New Roger Ebert Biography, LIFE ITSELF

June 28, 2014 2:45 AM

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Goodbye And Thank You: The Director of Hoop Dreams Talks About His New Roger Ebert Biography, LIFE ITSELF

Film Critic Roger Ebert ended the first paragraph of his review of Hoop Dreams saying that film “gives us the impression of having touched life itself.” There’s a poignant symmetry in the title of Steve James’ newest documentary, Life Itself, about the work of America’s most acclaimed film critic, Chicago Sun Times’ Roger Ebert. Despite obvious warmth and interest in his subject, director James says, “this is an admiring portrait, but it’s not arrived at without showing the man and the warts.”

The title, Life Itself corresponds also to the title of Ebert’s memoir, which the documentary featured in voice over snippets, performed by Stephen Stanton in a great impersonation of Ebert. In his last years, Ebert lost his jaw to cancer and spoke with the assistance of a computer. James documentar...

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