Life Itself - Magnolia Pictures

University of Illinois Alumni Association

Expired December 18, 2020 8:00 AM
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The University of Illinois Alumni Association is excited to bring you the latest installment in our Virtual Cinema Series: LIFE ITSELF, a documentary film that recounts the inspiring and entertaining life of world-renowned film critic, social commentator, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign alumnus Roger Ebert, MEDIA ’64.


The UIAA has partnered with Magnolia Pictures to bring University of Illinois alumni this viewing opportunity. The film rental fee is $5.00, and a portion of film rental proceeds will benefit the Roger Ebert’s Film Festival Fund.


As part of our 2020 Homecoming celebration, the UIAA and College of Media will offer a panel discussion on LIFE ITSELF on Wednesday, December 2 at 5:00 PM CT. Panelists will include Chaz Ebert, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of and President of the Roger and Chaz Ebert Foundation; Steve James, acclaimed filmmaker and LIFE ITSELF director; and Nate Kohn, ’69 LAS; MS ’72 MEDIA; PhD ’95 MEDIA, University of Georgia professor and Festival Director of Roger Ebert’s Film Festival (Ebertfest). To register for our panel discussion, please click


Thank you for supporting our Illini community during this time

Acclaimed director Steve James (Hoop Dreams) and executive producers Martin Scorsese (The Departed) and Steven Zaillian (Moneyball) present LIFE ITSELF, a documentary film that recounts the inspiring and entertaining life of world-renowned film critic and social commentator Roger Ebert – a story that is by turns personal, funny, painful, and transcendent. Based on his bestselling memoir of the same name, LIFE ITSELF explores the legacy of Roger Ebert’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.

“A THRILLING TALE WITH UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTERS. Ebert’s life contained as much melodrama, tragedy and uplift as any weepie movie he reviewed. Any biographical documentary demands onscreen star quality, and this one has a hero and a heroine worth rooting for.” – Richard Corliss, Time

“IF YOU AREN’T MOVED BY “LIFE ITSELF,” YOU OUGHT TO HAVE YOUR HEART EXAMINED.A soaring, delightfully entertaining testament to the power and poetry of words. And cinema. And love.” – Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

“A work of deftness and delicacy, by turns a film about illness and death, about writing, about cinema AND, FINALLY, AND VERY MOVINGLY, A FILM ABOUT LOVE.” – Geoffrey O’Brien, New York Times

“DEEPLY MOVING. IT MAY SOUND LIKE A FILM THAT WOULD ONLY BE OF INTEREST TO FELLOW FILM CRITICS, BUT THE OPPOSITE IS TRUE. Director James has unerring instincts as to what parts of Ebert’s story are worth spending time on.” – Kenneth Turan, LA Times


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  • Year
  • Runtime
    121 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Director
    Steve James
  • Producer
    Zak Piper, Steve James, Garrett Basch
  • Executive Producer
    Zak Piper, Steve James, Garrett Basch