July's Reel Reads Selection! Purchase a copy of Life Itself by Roger Ebert during the month of July and receive a special “Loft Reel Reads” discount off the cover price – 20% for Loft Members and 10% for the general public. Copies of the book are available at The Loft Cinema and Antigone Books.
“Intensely emotional. A life spent at the movies gets the cinematic epitaph it richly deserves.” – Scott Foundas, Variety
“A big-hearted, absorbing documentary. Anyone who cared about Roger Ebert will find it necessary viewing.” – Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
“Deeply enthralling. Documentary master Steve James has put the pieces of Ebert’s life together with extraordinary fascination and vision.” – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
Acclaimed filmmaker Steve James (Hoop Dreams), along with executive producers Martin Scorsese (Goodfellas) and Steven Zaillian (Moneyball), presents Life Itself, a new documentary recounting the inspiring, entertaining and colorful life of world-renowned film critic Roger Ebert - a story that is by turns personal, funny, moving and transcendent. Based on his bestselling memoir of the same name, Life Itself explores Roger Ebert's unique and fascinating legacy – his Pulitzer Prize-winning film criticism at the Chicago Sun-Times, his turn as screenwriter of Russ Meyer’s Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, his role as a television celebrity, his often-tumultuous on-and-off screen relationship with fellow critic Gene Siskel, and finally, his “third act” as a major voice on the Internet when he could no longer physically speak - all culminating in his ascension as one of the most distinct and influential cultural icons in America. Bridging high and low culture, Roger Ebert defended film as a populist medium even as he championed films that challenged mainstream aesthetics and expectations. Insisting on bare honesty, Life Itself is as much a love letter to Ebert as it is an expression of Ebert’s own love - for his family, for humanity in general, and, of course, for the movies. (Dir. by Steve James, 2014, USA, 115 mins., Rated R, Magnolia Pictures) Digital