May Book + Film Club: Roger Ebert – Life Itself

The only thing Roger loved more than movies

Steve James


Sidewalk Film Center + Cinema

May 29

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 May MAILING Registration Deadline: Friday May 3. Books will be mailed within 72 hours of this date. May PICK UP Registration Deadline: Monday May 20. Pick up from our box office during our operating hours of 2pm-10pm Thursday - Sunday. (You will receive an email when your book is ready to be picked up.) Private screening and discussion will take place at Sidewalk Cinema May 29th at 7 PM.



Steve James


Zak Piper


Josh Schollmeyer


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


Joshua Abrams