Life Itself background creation

2022-02-04 08:23
When Steve James was invited to shoot a documentary about Roger Ebert, despite his admiration for Roger as a film critic, Roger also had a profound impact on his career   , but he wasn't sure he really wanted to tell Roger's story, and didn't change his mind until he read Roger's memoirs. Because Roger's life was full and exciting, his unusual thirst for adventure convinced Steve James that he deserved a documentary   .
In the early days of filming, Roger thought he was free of cancer, but when filming entered a critical period, he learned that his time was running out. Steve James asked him for his opinion, and Roger decided to continue filming, because he wanted to show the audience a real self from the beginning, including of course him in the face of death. Roger died before the film was finished  .
Steve James made his friendship with co-star and rival Gene Sikos an important part of the film, and although Roger has co-hosted the show with others since Sikos's death, the film makes no mention of these. In fact, he was going to at least also cover the story of Roger's collaboration with Richard Roper, but Roger died while he was planning to interview Richard. He studied his previous interviews, sorted out the structure of the film, and found that Gene's decision to hide his condition from his wife after he learned that he had cancer had a profound impact on Roger, and he realized that Roger must be explored from here. encounter. So he decided to focus on Roger's show and relationship with Gene, and left out the story of Roger's collaboration with the other partners   .
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Extended Reading

Life Itself quotes

  • [first lines]

    Roger Ebert: We all are born with a certain package. We are who we are. Where we were born, who we were born as, how we were raised. We're kind of stuck inside that person... and the purpose of civilization and growth, is to be able to reach out and empathize a little bit with other people. And for me, the movies are like a machine that generates empathy. It lets you understand a little bit more about different hopes, aspirations, dreams and fears. It helps us to identify with the people who are sharing this journey with us.

  • [Director Steve James is filming Roger in the hospital where he's just shown him the new chair he will use]

    Steve James: So Roger, did you not pay your insurance premiums, and so you didn't get the chair till now?

    Roger Ebert: [through voice synthesizer on his laptop] Steve, I'll do the jokes here.

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