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Thompson on Hollywood

Arthouse Audit: 'Life Itself' Leads New Releases While 'Begin Again' and 'Snowpiercer' Show Life

Independence Day weekend doesn't tend to be a big specialized release date. In the last six years, only "The Way, Way Back" in 2013 stands out as a significant new release over the holiday. So it isn't surprising that the pickings were modest this year.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • July 6, 2014 3:12 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Screen Talk 4: from Sublime Ebert Doc 'Life Itself' to McCarthy's Ridiculous 'Tammy'

In our fourth Screen Talk podcast, Indiewire critic Eric Kohn and I debate the (dubious) merits of Melissa McCarthy's "Tammy"--is it a bad studio movie or a bad indie movie?--and admire the virtues of Steve James' end-of-life documentary about critic Roger Ebert, "Life Itself."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 3, 2014 5:27 PM
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  • 2 Comments

'Life Itself' Director Steve James Gets Up Close with Roger Ebert at the End of His Life (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW)

Roger Ebert and his wife Chaz enthusiastically embraced the idea of a documentary of his bestselling memoir "Life Itself," and wanted Chicago filmmaker Steve James, whose "Hoop Dreams" Ebert had discovered at Sundance 20 years ago, to direct it.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 2, 2014 5:25 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Full AFI DOCS Slate Includes Holbrook's 'Twain' Odyssey, 'Overnighters' and Alex Gibney Tribute

AFI DOCS has unveiled its full 2014 program, a slate of 84 buzzed-about films from 28 countries that will unspool from June 18-22 in Washington DC and Silver Spring, MD.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • May 21, 2014 11:59 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Missing Out on Ebertfest 2014? Stream Panels and Q&As Now

For those of you missing out on late film critic Roger Ebert's namesake Illinois film festival this year, worry not, because Ebertfest is streaming panels and Q&As on YouTube.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • April 25, 2014 11:37 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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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  • 0 Comments

'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

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