Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Steve James Talks About His Roger Ebert Documentary

posted by Nell Minow

Rogerebert.com editor Matt Zoller Seitz spoke to Steve James, one of Roger Ebert’s favorite filmmakers, and the man behind the crowd-funded documentary about Ebert, based in part on his autobiography, Life Itself: A Memoir.  Seitz writes

It seems fitting that two decades after Roger helped breathe commercial life into “Hoop Dreams,” James would return the favor by adapting Roger’s memoir “Life Itself,” and that it would premiere at Sundance, a festival that Roger’s attention helped legitimize.

In addition to telling the story of one man’s life and career, “Life Itself” recounts the decay of Roger’s body in the final months of his life, after the cancer he’d battled for years returned with a vengeance; it includes medical scenes of great frankness, filmed with the encouragement of Roger and his wife Chaz, this site’s publisher. The result is a testament to the fragility of flesh and the transformative effect of love. More than anything else, it’s a record of Roger’s generosity, the effects of which are still being felt.

YouTube Preview Image

The interview is a treat to read.  My favorite part is when James, one of the people behind the extraordinary “Hoop Dreams,” talks about what he loves about documentaries.

[P]art of the reason that I love doing documentaries is that you start with ideas—and you hope good ideas—about what it’s about and who you’re following and all of that, but if it’s a really great experience it always deviates and deepens as it comes, and is more interesting than anything you could imagine. Because if I could imagine that well, then I should be doing more fiction than docs.



Previous Posts

Interview: Ava DuVernay of "Selma"
My favorite movie of the year is "Selma," the story of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King's march from Selma, Alabama to the state capital, Montgomery, to bring attention to the barriers the

posted 9:41:45pm Dec. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Smile of the Week: A Boy and a Penguin
This reminds me a little of the depiction of a child's world in The Complete Calvin and Hobbes and Barnaby. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iccscUFY860[/youtube] Many thanks to Slate for this and the others on its list of the year's best ads.

posted 12:06:45pm Dec. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Mel Torme and Judy Garland: Christmas Song
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaEedtRHklg[/youtube] I love it that Judy Garland sings "rainbows" instead of "reindeer."

posted 8:00:57am Dec. 21, 2014 | read full post »

What Happened to All the Great Quotable Movie Lines?
Michael Cieply has a fascinating piece in the New York Times about the movie lines we love to quote and why there don't seem to be any new ones. Look through all of the top ten lists of the year, and see if you can think of one quotable line from any of them. That doesn't mean they aren't well wri

posted 3:58:57pm Dec. 20, 2014 | read full post »

George Clooney and the Cast of Downton Abbey
You don't have to be a fan of "Downton Abbey" (or "Mr. Selfridge") to love this hilarious spoof, with guest appearances by Jeremy Piven, George Clooney and the Absolutely Fabulous Joanna Lumley. [iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ryo7fqdmcGQ?rel=0" frameborder="0"] [

posted 1:43:50pm Dec. 20, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.