“Life Itself”: Roger Ebert goes to the movies one last time


“Life Itself” has its Madison premiere at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Union South Marquee Theatre, 1208 W. Dayton St., as part of the UW-Cinematheque summer series. PG-13, 2:03, three and a half stars out of four. FREE!

“For me, the movies are like a machine that generates empathy.” — Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert was a great film writer for many reasons, but one of them was that he wasn’t just a great film writer, just writing about movies when he was writing about movies. Read through his reviews, and you’ll find political arguments, philosophical musings, remembrances of his boyhood in Champaign-Urbana. He believed that the beauty and the power of a great movie didn’t stop at the concession stand, but extended out the front doors into — life itself.

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