Life struck me as several cuts above “meh” but never made me jump out of my seat.
"Life Itself," Steve James' acclaimed documentary based on Roger Ebert's 2011 memoir of the same name, is 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.
Film lovers have plenty of other enticing events to look forward to at this year's Humanities festival. Northwestern University professor Harvey Young, will discuss his new book, "Black Theater is Black Life: An Oral History of Chicago Theater," with actor Harry Lennix ("Man of Steel") on October 25th. Darlene Love, the veteran singer featured prominently in Morgan Neville's Oscar-winning documentary, "20 Feet From Stardom," will be sharing stories from her fascinating life on Thursday, October 30th. Philippe Petit, the subject of James Marsh's Oscar-winning documentary, "Man on Wire," will also be in conversation with Alison Cuddy on Saturday, November 8th. Anne Rice, the hugely influential author of "Interview with a Vampire," will be interviewed by her own longtime editor, Victoria Wilson, on November 8th. And for the grand finale, Oscar-winning actress Anjelica Huston will discuss her career with Cuddy and pre-sign copies of her latest memoir, "Watch Me," on Friday, November 14th.
One of this year's 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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