If you still haven”t seen Steve James” congenial “Life Itself”… get on that. Along with being a thorough look at film critic Roger Ebert”s life – the good, the bad, and the hilarious – it”s filled with anecdotes from creatives whose lives he touched over the years. A regular on almost every festival circuit, Ebert championed young filmmakers and earned friendships along the way. One such person: Ava DuVernay, who just earned a Best Director Golden Globe-nomination for her film “Selma”
In a recently released clip from the film, DuVernay tells the story of an Oscar rehearsal she attended with her aunt as a kid. There, she met Ebert for the first time. After yelling “Thumbs up! Thumbs up!” at the Pulitzer Prize-winner, she snagged a snapshot. 30 years later, DuVernay directed her first film “I Will Follow.” When Ebert praised it, DuVernay found a way to reconnect with a man she admired as a kid.
If you”re susceptible to sweetness, the rest of DuVernay”s story may make you teary-eyed.
Come February, “Selma” and “Life Itself” will likely be grouped together in the large pool of Oscar contenders. Watch how their narratives converge in the above video.
“Life Itself” is currently available on VOD. “Selma” arrives in limited release on Dec. 25, 2014 and opens wide on Jan. 9, 2015.