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Roger Ebert: A Muted Voice Lives

As a film critic, it was unlikely that Roger Ebert’s life would read like a movie script. But it has. Surviving and overcoming personal obstacles has showed him the value of life beyond the cinema. 

What’s the Latest Development?

Roger Ebert’s new memoir, “Life Itself”, tells the stories of the only film critic to have his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. After suffering the loss of this friend and co-critic Gene Siskel in 1999 and later surviving a rare form of cancer which entailed losing his ability to speak, today Ebert maintains a lively blog. With interests that expand beyond film, the blog maintains an audience larger than the cinephiles who are already familiar with Ebert’s prolific writing. Among his books is a meditation on the mystery and romance of rice cookers. 

What’s the Big Idea?

Ebert’s memoir offers honest reflections of an industry that too often confuses image with reality. Besides his brushes with film greats, Ebert reflects on his personal struggles, including alcoholism, and triumphs, such as his marriage to the former Chaz Hammelsmith. “He writes frankly about his gratitude. ‘She continues to make my life possible, and her presence fills me with love and a deep security,’ the book says. ‘That’s what a marriage is for. Now I know.'”


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