"Life Itself," Steve James' acclaimed 2014 documentary about the life and legacy of our site's namesake, Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic Roger Ebert, will be screened at 7pm CT this Thursday, May 19th, at FACETS, 1517 W. Fullerton Ave., in Chicago. The Oscar-nominated director, who was FACETS' 2015 Screen Gems Honoree, will be in attendance for a Q&A with FACETS Film Program Director Charles Coleman following the screening.
According to the FACETS site, "Roger Ebert was a long-time friend and champion of FACETS and our founder Milos Stehlik. But more importantly, Roger was an inspiration and ally in the uncompromising belief that film has the power to change lives. As Milos said at Roger’s memorial: 'You showed us what movies and life can teach us. We can overcome. We could be passionate about movies because movies are life – and life matters.'"
"Life Itself" is screening this week at FACETS as part of the venue's 47th Anniversary Celebration, which also includes the special film series Milos's Picks, Kartemquin Films X Full Spectrum Features, FACETS Label Presents: Real Chicago. The latest installment of Milos's Picks also happens to be one of Roger Ebert's favorite films, Terrence Malick's 2011 masterpiece, "The Tree of Life." It will screen at FACETS at 7pm CT on Friday, May 20th.
In his four-star review, Ebert wrote, "Terrence Malick's 'The Tree of Life' is a film of vast ambition and deep humility, attempting no less than to encompass all of existence and view it through the prism of a few infinitesimal lives. The only other film I've seen with this boldness of vision is Kubrick's '2001: A Space Odyssey,' and it lacked Malick's fierce evocation of human feeling. There were once several directors who yearned to make no less than a masterpiece, but now there are only a few. Malick has stayed true to that hope ever since his first feature in 1973. I don't know when a film has connected more immediately with my own personal experience. In uncanny ways, the central events of 'The Tree of Life' reflect a time and place I lived in, and the boys in it are me. If I set out to make an autobiographical film, and if I had Malick's gift, it would look so much like this."