Life Itself Looks Like the Documentary Roger Ebert Deserves

Slate's Culture Blog
May 21 2014 7:52 PM

Life Itself Looks Like the Documentary Roger Ebert Deserves

 Roger Ebert is honored at the historic Chicago Theatre on July 18, 2005.
Life Itself, which began filming before Ebert's death, will chronicle the critic's storied career.

Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

It's been a little over a year since Roger Ebert, perhaps the most influential film critic of all time, passed after a long battle with cancer. It was and still is a titanic loss for the film community, and for readers everywhere. But we now have the first trailer for Life Itself, the Ebert documentary that looks more than up to the task of honoring the late critic's work and wisdom.

The film looks fairly comprehensive: we get glimpses of Ebert's famous rivalry with Gene Siskel, his ascent to the preeminent position in American criticism, and his courage and continued joy for film when surgery rendered him incapable of speech. Filmmakers like Werner Herzog and Martin Scorsese also pay homage to the critic. Life Itself's director is Steve James, whose Hoop Dreams Ebert called "the great American documentary" and the best film of the '90s; the movie will hit theaters July 4.

Sharan Shetty is a writer for Brow Beat. You can follow him on Twitter

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