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Life Itself: Roger Ebert Documentary

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by YankeeFan, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Opens Friday:

    “The gist of my pitch was: I loved your memoir, and I love the way you look back on your life through this prism of your life now,” says James. “You’re looking back on your life from the perspective of someone who can’t eat, can’t speak, and has been compromised in some ways—though not intellectually, or creatively. I want to follow you around in the present, to get a window into your present life and how you go about it, despite all that you’ve been through, and then use that at a springboard to the past.”

    Ebert gave James the proverbial two thumbs up, and the project was a go. Then came the issue of financing. Despite the “amazing story,” all the major TV networks stonewalled the filmmaker, including HBO. “I got the same response: He’s Roger Ebert, but he’s just a film critic. I was shocked. I thought this would have been one of the easiest films to fundraise for, and it wasn’t.”

    James had to hustle for every penny, first receiving seed money from a group of “venture philanthropists,” including Michael Ferro, the owner of the Chicago Sun-Times. It wasn’t enough to finish the film—that was accomplished later thanks to an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign that raised $160,000— but gave his team the green light to begin filming, which commenced in December 2012.

    Life Itself, in theaters July 4, opens with Ebert in the hospital, hammering away on a film review. In his heyday, he’d churn out about 200 reviews a year for the Sun-Times, which were syndicated nationwide. Despite the loss of his jaw, voice, and ability to eat—in one heartbreaking scene, we witness a nurse draining his throat by suction via a tube in his neck—Ebert’s final year was his most prolific as a critic, amassing, he says, “306 movie reviews, a blog post or two a week, and assorted other articles.” There’s a spark in his eye, and he feels, despite his compromised physical state, brimming with life.

  2. linotype

    linotype Well-Known Member

    I wish that Ebert was still around so he could review this documentary.
  3. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

  4. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    I wish that he was still around so he could tell Rob Schneider to eat a dick again.
  5. Cyrus

    Cyrus Member

    The Post's critic gave it a glowing review. I might have to see it tomorrow.
  6. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Movie is on CNN tonight.
  7. RecoveringJournalist

    RecoveringJournalist Well-Known Member

    Best movie I saw last year.
  8. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    I dvr'd it, but haven't watched it yet.
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