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Memories are made of this

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Gene Siskel and I fought like cats and dogs, and we made some good television.

During those early years for "Sneak Previews" our favorite occupation was dreaming up "special editions" which were sort of like the "think pieces" we wrote for our papers.

I hadn't seen those shows for years, but it turns out they were safely slumbering in the vaults of Wttw/Chicago, our public television station. Starting Friday, we're going to be airing the best of those old shows on "Ebert Presents At The Movies."

Our favorite special edition was titled "Going to the Movies with a Critic." The idea was to follow the process of reviewing a single movie from beginning to end. The show opens with Gene and me receiving a call from John Iltis, then (and now) a Chicago movie publicist. It was
See full article at Roger Ebert's Blog »

The great American documentary

Today, fifteen years after I first saw it, I believe "Hoop Dreams" is the great American documentary. No other documentary has ever touched me more deeply. It was relevant then, and today, as inner city neighborhoods sink deeper into the despair of children murdering children, it is more relevant. It tells the stories of two 14-year-olds, Arthur Agee and William Gates, how they dreamed of stardom in the NBA, and how basketball changed their lives. Basketball, and this film.

Photo copyright by Roka Walsh. Used with permission

"Hoop Dreams" observed its 15th anniversary Wednesday night at the Gene Siskel Film Center. Agee and Gates were both there. Gates, now a minister, observed that in one period of time he buried 20 victims of gang violence, 16 of them under 16. Agee said when he looks at his friends in the film today, "ten of them are no longer with us." Yet there they sat,
See full article at Roger Ebert's Blog »

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