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Posts Tagged ‘Mike Thomas’

Roger Ebert Documentary Filmmaker on the Sequence He Was Happy to Let Get Away

ShutterstockRogerEbertThere was a fantastic interview over the weekend in Roger Ebert‘s paper of record, the Chicago Sun-Times, with the filmmaker getting ready to unveil at Sundance a feature documentary about the late critic.

Anyone who was a regular, early viewer of Siskel & Ebert likely recalls the pair championing Steve JamesHoop Dreams, long before there was a documentary renaissance and-or it was fashionable to hype non-fiction. As many have noted, it’s extra-special to now have James, a filmmaker who rose up alongside Ebert and his balcony-jousting partner, revisit the journalist’s life story posthumously.

At one point in the conversation with Sun-Times reporter Mike Thomas, James recalls the moments immediately following Ebert’s passing and how, although it would have made for an incredible sequence, he was glad in the end that one event turned out to be for his eyes and those of a few others, only:

“[His body] was in the chapel at the Rehab Institute. I said [to his wife Chaz], “Look, I brought the camera, but it’s sitting over there and we don’t have to film at all.” His body was lying in the chapel and there were a few close family [members] and friends and business associates, and I felt privileged to just be there among them. Everyone held hands and we all said the Lord’s Prayer, because that apparently was a prayer that Roger [liked] a lot.”

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LA Improv Pals Recall Early Genius of Stephen Colbert

Pound for pound, Stephen Colbert remains the funniest man on TV. And per a write-up this week in the Chicago Sun-Times, this man’s talent was evident from a very early college age.

Several of Colbert’s one-time Improv troupe mates at Northwestern, who performed together as the No Fun Mud Piranhas, are now based in LA. They, along with others, recall how obvious it was that Colbert was part of a special comedy breed. Here’s how Joy Gregory, writer-producer on Swingtown, Jericho, and a number of other TV shows, remembers it:

“Even then he was someone who, when he got going, you would just kind of step out of his way and let him go,” Gregory says. “He was clearly really gifted and brilliant. Not to say that he wasn’t a very generous, giving scene partner, because he was, but I observed that I was not the only one who would often give him the reins in a scene.”

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