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Roger Ebert documentary ‘Life Itself’ heads to FilmScene

Roger Ebert Life Itself

Steve James’ documentary ‘Life Itself,’ opening at FilmScene on July 18, shares its title with the memoir of its subject, the late film critic Roger Ebert. Having only begun production in the final months of Ebert’s life, the documentary quotes Ebert’s memoir at length to supply narration and clarity, but one of the questions James is unable to get Ebert to answer before his death is “Why did you call your memoir Life Itself?” It’s a question the film itself leaves unanswered, at least explicitly, inviting us to ponder it of James’ documentary, just as he did of Ebert’s book. […]

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Talking Movies: Watch Robot Jox instead

Robot Jox!

Pacific Rim (2013), Godzilla (2014), The Edge of Tomorrow (2014), Transformers 4 (2014): mechs, monsters, quasi-mechs who are monsters. Summer films have easily identifiable trends, and recently the trend has been a potentially pernicious (but sometimes enjoyable) kind of technological fetishism operating at all levels: Characters in films meld with machines while we the audience […]

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Celebrate Pete Seeger and his musical legacy this weekend

Peet Seeger Screening at FilmScene

Legendary folk musician Pete Seeger died just two months ago at the age of 94. He not only gave the world songs like “If I Had a Hammer (The Hammer Song)” and adapted “We Shall Overcome” into its now-familiar form, but also showed how music can be a tool for progressive politics. Both of these songs, for example, were anthems of the Civil Rights Movement, in which Seeger was an early, avid and vocal participant — despite having been blacklisted from television appearances during the communist witch hunts of the 1950s. […]

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Screenshot: An ode to the days of cheating

Nintendo Power

There are some things missing from most games these days—elements of gameplay that were once essential parts of the home gaming experience. Extra lives, for example, are a thing of the past, obviated by the ability to save one’s game, and by the ubiquitous “autosave.” With extra lives, so too goes the “Game Over,” the […]

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Screenshot: The rules of the game

Madden 25

September rolling around again means not only the return of professional football, but also of professional football’s most popular simulacrum, the Madden video game franchise. EA Sports has been releasing a Madden game every year since 1990, though the first game was published in 1988, making this year its 25th; yet, because Madden is typically […]

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