CU Denver’s Director of Film Education, College of Arts & Media, Howie Movshovitz first met renowned film critic and author Roger Ebert more than 40 years ago. Both are well known for their work as movie critics. And they stayed friends until Ebert died in April 2013.

“In 1970 when I met Roger, I was a grad student in English, focusing on old and middle English language and literature,” Movshovitz said. “My friendship with him was one reason I gradually slid over to film, but our friendship preceded my professional involvement in film.”

As part of teaching film courses at CU Denver, Movshovitz said, “I refer to Roger frequently. I don’t assign his work often.”

But because of their history, Movshovitz was interviewed and appears in a new documentary about Ebert. The movie, Life Itself, directed by Steve James (Hoop Dreams, 1994), includes interviews with Ebert, his wife, Chaz Ebert, Ebert’s late TV partner Gene Siskel, director Martin Scorsese, Movshovitz and other notables.

Movshovitz’s comments in the movie touch on Ebert’s participation in the Conference on World Affairs held at CU-Boulder. “During the interview for the movie,” Movshovitz said, “I talked about how Roger conducted his Conference film conversations — with 300 people in the dark.”

Based on Ebert’s best-selling memoir of the same name, the movie explores his work and legacy.

The movie, Life Itself, opened across the United States last month. It is now showing at Denver’s Sie Film Center, 2410 E. Colfax Ave., through Aug. 14. The film also is available for viewing for $6.99 on YouTube.

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