Book + Film Club May: Roger Ebert – Life Itself

The only thing Roger loved more than movies

Steve James

Sidewalk’s Book + Film Club unites movie and book lovers for a monthly film screening and discussion about famous films and the people who make them. At the end of the month, we host a screening of a film related to the book and host a round-table discussion. Each session is $35 and the includes book, film screening, and discussion. Buy 3 or more months at once and get 10% off your registration by using code ‘3ormore' at checkout!

Registration Deadline to have books mailed: Friday, May 3rd. Books will be mailed within 72 hours of this date.

Registration Deadline to have books picked up: Monday, May 20th. Books can be picked up from our Box Office during our regular operating hours Thursday – Sunday from 2pm til Close. You will receive an email when your book is ready to be picked up.

Book: Opposable Thumbs: How Siskel & Ebert Changed Movies Forever by Matt Singer

In Opposable Thumbs, award-winning editor and film critic Matt Singer eavesdrops on [Siskel and Ebert’s] iconic balcony set, detailing their rise from making a few hundred dollars a week on local Chicago PBS to securing multimillion-dollar contracts for a syndicated series (a move that convinced a young local host named Oprah Winfrey to do the same). Their partnership was cut short when Gene Siskel passed away in February of 1999 after a battle with brain cancer that he’d kept secret from everyone outside his immediate family—including Roger Ebert, who never got to say goodbye to his longtime partner. But their influence on in the way we talk about (and think about) movies continues to this day.

Film: Life Itself (2014) Dir. Steve James

“…[T]his isn’t just about film. It’s about love, compassion, and the acceptance that life eventually comes to a close… Roger once said that the movies are like a machine that generates empathy. It helps us understand the thoughts and fears of other people and cultures. Life Itself works in exactly this way… [I]t is a heartfelt exploration of a man who opened film up for the world. He may no longer be around, but what he left will stay for generations to come.” – The Macguffin



Steve James


Zak Piper


Josh Schollmeyer


Stephen Stanton, Roger Ebert, Chaz Ebert, Ramin Bahrani, Richard Corliss, Nancy De Los Santos


Joshua Abrams