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12 items from 2012

Martin Scorsese plans Roger Ebert documentary

10 September 2012 7:19 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Scorsese has optioned Ebert's book Life Itself: A Memoir, which follows the American film critic's public triumphs and personal struggles

Roger Ebert, the Us's best known film critic, looks set to be the subject of a documentary about his life, with Martin Scorsese as producer.

The Oscar-winning director has optioned Ebert's 2011 book, Life Itself: A Memoir. Hoop Dreams' Steve James will direct, while Scorsese's The Gangs of New York collaborator Steven Zaillian is on board as an executive producer.

"When I first learned they were interested, the news came out of a clear blue sky," Ebert wrote in an email to the Chicago Sun-Times, his regular employer. "I once wrote a blog about Steve James' Hoop Dreams, calling it 'the great American documentary'. His The Interrupters, about volunteers trying to stop street violence in Chicago, is urgent and brave. Now to think of him interested in my memoir is awesome. »

- Ben Child

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Roger Ebert Documentary To Be Produced By Martin Scorsese

7 September 2012 2:30 PM, PDT | MTV Movies Blog | See recent MTV Movies Blog news »

By Ryan Gowland

Not every film critic is going to get a movie based on their life story, but not every film critic has the renown of Roger Ebert, whose 2011 memoir Life Itself has been optioned to become a documentary from "Hoop Dreams" and "The Interrupters" director Steve James and executive producers Steven Zaillian ("American Gangster" and "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" scribe) and some guy named Martin Scorsese.

Ebert himself broke the news on his Twitter (via The Film Stage), then explained how the project came together to CriticWire.

"This dropped out of the blue," explained Ebert. "They say they have a good idea for an approach. I believe Steve James' 'Hoop Dreams' is one of the greatest documentaries ever made, and my hopes for this are so high. I never thought of my book as a doc. I'm keeping hands off any involvement, such as with the screenplay, »

- MTV Movies Team

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Roger Ebert Memoir ‘Life Itself’ Getting Doc Treatment From Martin Scorsese, Steve James and Steven Zaillian

7 September 2012 7:54 AM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

The world’s most famous film critic is getting his own documentary. Rising in fame since he started writing about cinema in the ’60s, there are few, if any, colleagues that have more clout, respect and knowledge than Roger Ebert. The Chicago-based critic will now be receiving the much-deserved documentary treatment, based on his 2011 memoir Life Itself. Check out his announcement on Twitter below:

Whoa! My memoir has been optioned for a doc by Steve James (“Hoop Dreams”) and Steven Zaillian, with Martin Scorsese as exec producer.

Roger Ebert (@ebertchicago) September 7, 2012

That’s right, Steve James, the documentary master behind The Interrupters and Hoop Dreams, will be teaming with Schindler’s List and Moneyball scripter Steven Zaillian to begin early work on a feature surrounding Ebert’s life. While Martin Scorsese isn’t directing, it’s great to see he’s attached as executive producer, with his wealth of film »

- (

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This week's new film events

10 August 2012 4:05 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The Adventure Travel Film Festival, Sherborne

If you're the adventuring type, vicariously or otherwise, camping out at a Dorset girls' school for this delightfully homespun event will be no great challenge. On screen, there are bizarre and obscure travel films from the past 80 years: there's paragliding across Canada; canoeing down the Congo; around the world on a penny farthing; hitch-hiking across the Us; motorbiking through muddy Siberia with Polish devil-worshippers (really). Away from the screen, sample the smoked squirrel at the roadkill cookout.

Sherborne Girls School, Fri to 20 Aug

Mexfest, London

The familiar and the unexpected mix in this cinema-based celebration, which highlights the traditional features of Mexican culture – music, food, wrestling – alongside the less traditional ones, such as vintage sci-fi B-movies. There's still a distinctly local flavour to the latter, hence Santo Vs The Martian Invasion, with its masked-wrestler hero, or the brilliantly titled The Aztec Mummy Vs The Human Robot. »

- Steve Rose

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Roger Ebert At 70: Did He Save Or Destroy Film Criticism?

15 June 2012 12:56 PM, PDT | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

Roger Ebert has a lot to celebrate when he turns 70 on June 18. Despite the horrible ailments of the last decade that have taken away his ability to eat, drink, or speak, he's still America's leading movie critic, a distinction he's held for more than 30 years. (Of course, he shared the honor for much of that time with his TV frenemy Gene Siskel, until the latter's death in 1999.) An avid adapter to social media, he's used the Internet to make his reviews more widely read than ever. (You can read some of his most memorable critiques in the gallery at the bottom.) But what does it mean, at a time when film criticism as a profession is all but dead, to be the top critic? And what role has Ebert's own career played in making criticism what it is today? By bringing criticism to TV, did he (however inadvertently) dumb »

- Gary Susman

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Top Ten Tuesday: The Best of Russ Meyer

12 June 2012 8:37 AM, PDT | | See recent news »

The Russ Meyer Show Featuring Kitten Natividad takes place in St. Louis this Friday, June 15th at The Way Out Club. Details at the end of this article.

Article by Jim Batts, Dana Jung, and Tom Stockman

Russell Albion “Russ” Meyer was born in California in 1922 and spent WWII as a combat photographer. In 1953 Playboy magazine debuted and Meyer was one of its first centerfold photographers. Meyer had a knack, and a passion, for photographing gorgeous, busty women and felt that the gals in the nudist camp movies that were popular in the ’50s were far too plain-looking for his tastes. In 1959, Meyer scraped together $24,000 and made The Immoral Mr. Teas, a quaint, colorful, and cartoonish movie about a nerdy fellow whose life is constantly interrupted by beautiful large-breasted women in various stages of undress. There was no sex in Meyer’s film and he made no pretense of presenting nudity as a lifestyle choice, »

- Movie Geeks

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Not Available on DVD: Mondo Topless

8 June 2012 9:58 AM, PDT | | See recent news »

This article was originally posted in February of 2010 but is being reposted here with updates and to tie in to next week’s Wamg Top Ten Tuesday List “The Best of Russ Meyer”.

Mondo Topless (1966) is Russ Meyer’s send up of the swingin’ 60′s, a pseudo-documentary portrait of San Francisco, and most of all, a tribute to Meyer’s favorite subject; naked women! The 61-minute sort-of-documentary is sparse, even by Russ Meyer standards – just a rock soundtrack by The Aladdins accompanied by an overexuberant announcer who provides double entendre narration as stacked women dance about displaying their figures. Mondo Topless, which seems relatively wholesome now, was definitely a product of its time and requires historical perspective (and, despite the name of this column, it Is available on DVD).

With today’s endless cornucopia of internet porn, it’s hard to believe that less than 50 years ago, there was an »

- Tom Stockman

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Somerset House To Premiere ‘On The Road’ And ‘Lawless’ At Fantastic Film4 Summer Screen Festival

17 May 2012 12:38 PM, PDT | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

London always offers a lot of amazing film events, awards and festivals but one definite highlight of the every season is the Somerset House Film4 Summer Screen, in association with American Express. This year is runs from August 16th – 27th and includes three UK Premieres including two hot from the Cannes Film Festival.

Tickets are on sale now from (or call Ticketmaster on 0844 847 1715) and usually they are snapped up very quickly, so we thought Thn Readers would like a little heads up, plus a guide to what’s showing.

Running for 12 nights, there’s a great mix of cult, classic and contemporary all set spectacularly in Somerset House’s 18th century courtyard. To further capture the audience, the films are shown on a giant 17 x 8 metre screen with surround sound in full effect, it’s a magnificent experience. As well as the best films, we »

- Dan Bullock

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UK Premieres of On the Road & Lawless set for Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House

14 May 2012 1:58 AM, PDT | | See recent HeyUGuys news »

Every year, Film4 partners up with Somerset House in London to put on the biggest outdoor cinema host to a selection of some of the best upcoming and classic films, and every year, it’s a big success.

Last year’s films included Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, a Die Hard / Attack the Block double-bill, Serpico, Troll Hunter, Thelma & Louise, and the UK premiere of The Skin I Live In.

The line-up for this year’s Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House has been announced, with tickets going on sale this Friday, and it includes the UK premieres of two highly anticipated films in the form of Walter Salles’ adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road and John Hillcoat’s Lawless, as well as the people’s premiere of Akiva Schaffer’s The Watch (previously titled Neighborhood Watch).

On top of that, they’ll be bringing one of the »

- Kenji Lloyd

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Foxy Indeed: Grier Autobiography Optioned

6 April 2012 6:18 AM, PDT | Boomtron | See recent Boomtron news »

Foxy: My Life In Three Acts, Pam Grier bio, to hit theaters

Actress Pam Grier (Foxy Brown, Coffy, The Big Bird Cage, Scream Blacula Scream, The Arena, Jackie Brown, Black Mama, White Mama) has an autobiography out. I had no idea, and I’m quite the Grier fan. Guess I’m also an idiot.  The full title is Foxy: My Life In Three Acts, and it apparently deals with her life and career in quite an unvarnished fashion (the word “sensual” has been thrown around, so I’m guessing it might get a bit lurid. Not that there’s anything wrong with that).  Well, the word is that the book has been optioned, and hopefully it might end up being a nice companion piece to Mario Van Peebles’ 2003 film about his filmmaker father Mario, Baadasssss!

Apparently to cover her “formative years,” the biopic (can we all just assume it will be called Foxy? »

- Cameron Ashley

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Pam Grier Gets A "Foxy" Biopic

6 April 2012 4:46 AM, PDT | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

Imprint Entertainment has optioned the film rights to actress Pam Grier’s autobiography "Foxy, My Life in Three Acts".

Grier was an iconic African American female sex symbol and action star in the 70′s, arguably the most recognisable name in the 'blaxploitation' genre. First appearing in a cameo in "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls", the actress made numerous films in the genre including "Foxy Brown," "Coffy" and "Women in Cages".

She's also been steadily employed in films and on TV over the past four decades including films and shows like "Jackie Brown," "Jawbreaker," "Escape from L.A.," "The L Word," "Ghosts of Mars," "Smallville" and "Larry Crowne".

The film's story follows Grier’s life both past and present - her relationships with the likes of Richard Pryor, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Freddie Prinze Sr.; nights out with John Lennon, Harry Nilsson, and Peter Lawford; and her ongoing battle with cancer.

Eunetta »

- Garth Franklin

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Ae Movie Club Part 3D: "Big Miracle", "W.E." and Vintage Olyphant Beefcake!

3 February 2012 9:57 AM, PST | The Backlot | See recent The Backlot news »

Well hello there! Welcome to this week's installment of The Ae Movie Club, the most thrilling celebration of Hollywood since the last scene of Day of the Locust. (Look it up, watch it, and wonder how you ever got along without it.)

It may be the dead of winter (though you'd never know it from the weather in New York), but things are thankfully starting to warm up on the movie front after the traditionally dull month of January (aka Major Studio Dumping Month). So that means you only have a few more weeks to catch up on all the Oscar contenders and last season of Downton Abbey before the cineplexes are once again in full swing. So - as a gay farmer might say, "Make heyyyyyyyy while the sun shines."

In today's combo pack I've tucked a few Reviewlets of new movies opening this weekend (Big Miracle and W. »

- brian

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