Hoop Dreams: where are they now?

A new article in The Guardian, "Hoop Dreams: where are the main figures now?", looks back at the lives of those featured in the legendary 1994 documentary.

Describing the lives of Arthur Agee, William Gates, Gene Pingatore, Sheila Agee, Bo Agee, Curtis Gates, Emma Gates, and Luther Bedford, the article summarizes material drawn from interviews and news reports published since the release of Hoop Dreams, and shows the enduring impact of this beloved film.

Chicago Magazine this week listed Hoop Dreams at #1 in a list of "The 10 Best Chicago Documentaries." Also on the list were Kartemquin's The Interrupters (Steve James, 2011) at #4, Inquiring Nuns (Gordon Quinn & Jerry Temaner, 1968) at #8, and Now We Live on Clifton (KTQ Collective, 1974) at #10.

First exhibited at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the audience award for best documentary, Hoop Dreams is the remarkable true story of two American dreamers; an intimate reflection of contemporary American inner-city culture, following two ordinary young men on the courts of the game they love. The film appeared on more critics' top 10 lists than any other in 1994, and was Oscar-nominated for Best Editing, but infamously caused a widespread outcry and change in the voting procedures when it was not nominated for Best Documentary. It was added to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry in 2005.

The Criterion Collection will release the newly restored film on Blu-ray disc on March 31st, 2015. It is available now for pre-order.

The restored version is also available to watch at SundanceNow Doc Club and to digitally own or rent at iTunes.

The recently completed restoration represents the collaborative effort of Sundance Institute, UCLA Film & Television Archive, the Academy Film Archive and Kartemquin Films. It premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, where the film's director Steve James also premiered his new film, Life Itself, which is about one of Hoop Dreams’ greatest champions, Roger Ebert.

Hoop Dreams was shot primarily on analog Beta SP videotape, so the image was cropped and transferred for its commercial release. Working from multiple elements, including standard definition video masters and a 35mm film print, the project team created a new uncropped, high definition digital master that better represents the pictorial quality of the original videography. Digitally remastered at Modern VideoFilm with sound restoration by Audio Mechanics, this version allows future audiences to see the film as conceived by filmmakers Steve James, Peter Gilbert, and Frederick Marx.