A good Hollywood tale needn’t wallow in scandal when the true stories behind the music and the movies make for the best tell-all. Shep Gordon, the longtime talent manager and subject of Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon (directed by Mike Myers), lived one such fascinating life. Falling into the music biz after meeting Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix by chance in L.A., Gordon wheeled, dealed, and engineered the careers of Groucho Marx, Blondie, and Alice Cooper (among others) throughout the ’70s and ’80s and beyond—but plied his trade with a down-home integrity that earned him legions of his own fans (celebrity and otherwise). And in fitting commemoration of one of film’s great champions, filmmaker Steve James’s Life Itself provides an intimate portrait of Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Roger Ebert and his lifelong love affair with the movies, from his early, boozy reviewing days in Chicago to his review show with Gene Siskel and later Richard Roeper, and the long struggle with cancer that preceded his death in 2013.
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