LIFE ITSELF
2014, Magnolia Pictures and CNN Films, 120 min, USA, Dir: Steve James

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Steve James (HOOP DREAMS) directed this loving but clear-eyed portrait of Roger Ebert, one of the best-known and most influential movie critics of all time. Based on Ebert’s memoir, this moving documentary recounts his professional growth from politicized school newspaperman to Pulitzer Prize-winning Chicago Sun-Times film critic to television household name, as well as his personal journey - after finding love at 50, he waged a public battle with thyroid cancer and emerged as a major voice on the Internet when he could no longer physically speak.


BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY
1989, Universal, 145 min, USA, Dir: Oliver Stone

Based on the autobiography of Vietnam War veteran Ron Kovic, this powerful film earned fellow Vietnam vet Oliver Stone a Best Director Oscar. In one of his best performances, Tom Cruise stars as Kovic, a Marine wounded in a firefight and paralyzed from the chest down. Returning to a society that is indifferent if not hostile, he struggles to reconcile the rhetoric about the war with its reality, eventually taking a place at the front lines of the protest movement. Costarring Kyra Sedgwick and Willem Dafoe.


WHERE THE BUFFALO ROAM
1980, Universal, 96 min, USA, Dir: Art Linson

Bill Murray turns in a transformative performance as Hunter S. Thompson in this one-of-a-kind biopic that draws from several of Thompson’s writings to tell the story of his outrageous friendship with lawyer and activist Oscar Zeta Acosta (called Carl Lazlo in the film and played by Peter Boyle). With music by Neil Young.


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