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John Wick

The film breathes exhilarating life into its tired premise, thanks to some dazzling action choreography, stylish visuals and–most importantly–a vintage anti-hero performance from Keanu Reeves.

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Citizenfour

Though superlatives can mischaracterize any movie’s qualities, it is not an overstatement, I think, to call “Citizenfour,” Laura Poitras’ film about Edward Snowden, the movie…

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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Chaz Ebert and Steve James to Appear at Chicago Humanities Festival

"Life Itself," Steve James' acclaimed documentary based on Roger Ebert's 2011 memoir of the same name, will be a much-anticipated topic of discussion at the 2014 Chicago Humanities Festival. Chaz Ebert will join James and moderator Alison Cuddy, festival program director and former WBEZ host, to share stories about the widely beloved film at 3pm on Saturday, October 25th. The event will take place at Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson Street, Evanston, and will feature clips and never-before-seen outtakes from the film. 

Other special guests included on this year's lineup are David Brooks, Lena Dunham, Renee Fleming, Vijay Iyer, Jamaica Kincaid, Darlene Love, Guy Maddin, Philippe Petit, Paula Poundstone, Anne Rice, Marjane Satrapi, Wallace Shawn, Patti Smith and Andrew Ross Sorkin, to name a few. One of the most intriguing highlights is a presentation about the upcoming documentary, "Radical Grace," directed by Rebecca Parrish. The film focuses on American Catholic nuns who vocally challenge the church to remain true to its faith. Parrish and one of her subjects, Sister Christine Schenk, co-founder of FutureChurch, will be on hand for audience discussion and will share clips of the film, currently in rough cut form, at 4:30pm on October 25th. The conversation will unfold at Harris Hall, 1881 Sheridan Road, Evanston, and it will begin a half-hour after the "Life Itself" event ends.

The Chicago Humanities Festival is devoted to championing the humanities, providing opportunities for the public to meet and engage with some of the most influential figures in modern culture. As indicated on its site, the festival promotes a belief that "access to cultural, artistic and educational opportunities is a necessary element for a healthy and robust civic environment." For the full festival lineup and to purchase tickets, visit the official CHF site. To see where "Life Itself" is screening in theaters and at home, click here.

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