Because this is a thing now, Entertainment Weekly yesterday debuted the EXCLUSIVE! new poster for “Life Itself,” the documentary about the life and work of Roger Ebert which will be premiering a new extended cut at Cannes this week. It’s a lovely piece of work, turning the dot on the lowercase “i” in the title’s second word into a projector lens and featuring Ebert looking upward at some unseen movie screen. Technically, he liked to sit in the back on the aisle, but we’ll let that slide. We do, however, have to point out a couple of ironies.
One is that the poster made its debut at Entertainment Weekly, a site that recently eliminated the critic position held for nearly 25 years by Owen Gleiberman, and announced an initiative to recruit unpaid writers via social media and through journalism schools, effectively replacing a paid staff writer with unpaid (or low-wage) amateurs.
Second is that the quote on the poster, the one calling it “Deeply Enthralling” is from Gleiberman himself, back when he still had an EW byline.
Gleiberman’s work, like that of his longtime colleague Lisa Schwarzbaum, will live on in Entertainment Weekly‘s archives, and as part of its history. But It’s more than a little sad than the magazine is promoting a movie about a dead film critic while getting rid of living ones. (“Life Itself,” by the way, opens in the U.S. on July 4.)