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Thompson on Hollywood

Ebertfest 2014 Lineup Honors the Late Legendary Film Critic, Will Open with 'Life Itself'

Sadly, this is the first year the late Roger Ebert won't be attending his very own Ebertfest. And so the folks at his namesake Illinois festival have put together a great lineup for this year's 16th annual edition, which will go down in Champaign-Urbana April 23-27. Chaz Ebert will return as emcee.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • March 20, 2014 12:38 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Sundance Buy: Magnolia Grabs CNN Ebert Doc 'Life Itself'

The Wagner/Cuban Company’s Magnolia Pictures has acquired US theatrical, VOD and home entertainment rights to "Life Itself," Steve James' heart-tugging documentary about the life of Roger Ebert. The film brought audiences to tears at January's Sundance Film Festival as they grieved the loss last year of their beloved Chicago film critic after a long battle with cancer.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 4, 2014 7:16 PM
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'Life Itself' Director Steve James Gets Up Close with Roger Ebert at the End of His Life (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

Roger Ebert and his wife Chaz enthusiastically embraced the idea of a documentary of his memoir "Life Itself," and wanted Chicago filmmaker Steve James, whose "Hoop Dreams" Ebert had discovered at Sundance some 20 years ago, to direct it. James found himself in an unusual situation as Ebert's health took a turn for the worse as he was filming, and Ebert and Chaz allowed the filmmaker access to the last weeks of Ebert's life before he faded from view.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 23, 2014 4:11 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Sundance Review: Steve James' Roger Ebert Documentary 'Life Itself'

Thanks to the miracle of modern technology, I have just now been able to view a downstream of Life Itself – Steve James’ extraordinary documentary about the late, great Roger Ebert – at the same time the film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.
  • By Joe Leydon
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  • January 20, 2014 2:46 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Steve James Promises Surprises in Roger Ebert Documentary 'Life Itself,' Set to Premiere (and Livestream) at Sundance 2014 (EXCLUSIVE)

The critic Roger Ebert was a fixture at Sundance, such a fixture that the towing of Ebert’s car on once-sleepy Main Street in Park City years back was bellweather evidence that Sundance was outgrowing its ski town origins. Now, nine months after Ebert’s death from cancer in April, "Life Itself," the new bio-doc directed by fellow Chicagoan Steve James ("Hoop Dreams") will debut in Sundance’s Documentary Premieres section. TOH! talked to Steve James about putting Ebert on the screen.
  • By David D'Arcy
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  • December 11, 2013 1:48 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Steve James' Sports Doc 'Head Games' Coming to Theaters this September [Trailer]

Steve James' documentary "Head Games" has been acquired by Variance Films for a September 21 release. James ("Hoop Dreams," "The Interrupters") looks at the concussion crisis in American sports, and asks the question, “How much of you are you willing to lose for a game?” "Head Games" is inspired by the events in football star and WWE wrestler Christopher Nowinski's book of the same name, and features interviews with him, Bob Costas, Cindy Parlow Cone and Keith Primeau, among others. Trailer and synopsis below.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • July 31, 2012 4:28 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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