Steve James

In cozy Oak Park, black students face a swirl of emotions


Oak Park, Ill., is a gorgeous place. I've gone there to admire the Frank Lloyd Wright creations; I'll return to see some of the Hemingway roots. But even in this good-natured town, known for segregation and diversity, black teens can feel ill-at-ease. Now a well-madeĀ  documentary series focuses on them. Here's the story I sent to papers:

By Mike Hughes

Charles Donalson
figured he was an odd choice for a big-deal documentary.

Roger Ebert: A sharp film scholar with a bar-next-door image


There was always something special about the Siskel-and-Ebert TV shows. They were fine entertainment, with clips, commentary and quick "thumbs up/thumbs down" verdicts. But beyond that surface were two brainy guys who loved movies and weren't so sure about each other. Both died early -- Siskel at 53, Ebert at 70 -- but a documentary offers a fascinating Ebert portrait. It runs on CNN on Jan. 4 and 10; here's the story I sent to papers: