FREDONIA - The next feature film in the 1891 Fredonia Opera House Cinema Series is the documentary on the life of the late film critic Roger Ebert, "Life Itself." It will be screened on Saturday, Aug. 9, and Tuesday, Aug. 12, at 7:30 p.m.
"Life Itself" recounts the inspiring and entertaining life of world-renowned film critic and social commentator Roger Ebert - a story that is personal, wistful, funny, painful and transcendent. Based on Ebert's bestselling memoir of the same name, "Life Itself" explores the impact and legacy of the critic's life, from his Pulitzer Prize-winning film criticism at the Chicago Sun-Times to becoming one of the most influential cultural voices in America.
The filmmakers were granted unprecedented access to Ebert and his wife, Chaz, during the final four months of his life. In that time, they captured Roger's fighting spirit, his sharp sense of humor, and the ways he directly inspired filmmakers, family and fans. The response to his passing in April 2013 was immense and profoundly moving - front page news not just in Chicago, but worldwide. Influential filmmakers and politicians reflected on Ebert's legacy - everyone from Spike Lee, and Michael Moore to President Obama, who said, "When he didn't like a film, he was honest; when he did, he was effusive - capturing the unique power of the movies to take us some place magical."
“Life Itself,” the documentary on the life of the late film critic Roger Ebert, is the next feature film in the 1891 Fredonia Opera House Cinema Series.
"Life Itself" scores a nearly unprecedented 97 percent on the Rotten Tomatoes movie review website. James Berardinelli, in ReelViews, calls the film "a uniquely powerful motion picture, the kind of open and honest portrayal I can't ever recall having seen about a celebrity. It stands not only as a moving piece of cinema but an epitaph." Bill Goodykoontz, in the Arizona Republic, calls it "portrait of Ebert that is funny, moving, sad, harrowing and ultimately uplifting." Moira MacDonald, in the Seattle Times, calls it "a beautifully paced tribute to a life well-lived." Ty Burr, in the Boston Globe, says "Ebert once described the cinema as 'a machine that generates empathy.' Watching this lovely film, you know exactly what he means." Rated R for brief sexual images/nudity and language, "Life Itself" runs 120 minutes.
The Opera House Cinema Series is sponsored by Lake Shore Savings Bank. Tickets are available at the door for $7 for adults, $6.50 for seniors and Opera House members, and $5 for students the night of each screening. A book of 10 movie passes is available for $60 at the door or online at www.fredopera.org. For more information, call the Opera House Box Office at 679-1891. The series continues with "Begin Again," the smart soul-stirring comedy from the creators of "Once," on Aug. 16 and 19.
The 1891 Fredonia Opera House is a member-supported, nonprofit performing arts center located in Village Hall in downtown Fredonia. For a complete schedule of events, visit www.fredopera.org.