"He was really happy that morning."
Josh Gad and Will Ferrell will play the guys behind the X-rated "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls."
I love it, but it's also harder than it looks. As someone who loves movies and loves talking about movies, it's amazing to be get paid to watch films and then tell you what I think about them. Some of my earliest memories of and contact with films was via Roger Ebert and the shows "Sneak Previews" and "At the Movies," and I never would've guessed that I'd be doing it myself some day.
That much I gleaned from watching Life Itself, the acclaimed documentary from director Steve James (Hoop Dreams), which is based on Ebert's 2011 memoir, and is actually streaming on Netflix now.
Every time I go see something in a theater, I never really go in alone, but Roger Ebert comes with me, as with questions of what Roger would write.
Movies, said film critic Roger Ebert, are like an "empathy machine." Their mission: to help us understand a bit more about others' hopes, their fears, their dreams. Movies allow us to walk in others' shoes. They help us "identify with the people who are sharing this journey with us."
The JFF programming is vibrantly eclectic, with over 200 movies from 50 countries. While many are Israeli, others span varied genres, nations, themes and styles. I've experienced the thrill of discovery with two of the selections screened thus far.
While all 55 chapters are 4-star reads, the final nine offer moving evidence that, for a man who could not speak, he had restorative observations to make and therapeutic reflections to share.
Watching the film of his life, I was proud of the man on the screen and that second life he found. He was not quite the man I knew, but... I really did know, somehow, back then, that the man he would become was in there, getting ready for his "close up."
I'm not a movie expert or someone trying to be what I think a critic is supposed to be, but simply a guy who loves movies and loves writing about them.