"Life Itself (Roger Ebert doc) (James, 2014)" Sun Jul-06-14 05:23 PM by ZooTown74
A lovely and imperfect elegy to a lovely and imperfect person. Hard to watch in spots. Hilarious in other spots. Quite moving in others.
Roger was a great writer, a film-and-titty-and-booze-loving guy's guy who eventually became a gentleman, with the help of his wife Chaz, who is a beautiful black woman. Roger had two soul mates: Chaz, and Gene Siskel. His relationships with both aren't perfect, and the movie is honest about that fact, which alone makes it worthy of respect. If you've seen the YouTube outtakes of the At the Movies promos, then you already know. And there's some nice anecdotes from Marty, Ava DuVernay, Richard Corliss, and others.
As has been pointed out elsewhere, I didn't quite agree with a section that tried to equate the work of Andrew Sarris and (especially) Pauline Kael with that of a hoity-toity cinema snob, in an attempt to paint Roger as her polar opposite. I have not read very much Kael, but the stuff I read was right in line with his style of populist-yet-still-intelligent film criticism.
Y'all can hate critics as much as you need to, but I'm fitna dig into these essays on film criticism (and specifically, Corliss' essay regarding Ebert's style of film criticism for the masses) that were touched upon in the film.
Touching shit, dun. Might catch you all up in your feels.
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