I’m very excited about my return to Roger Ebert’s Film Festival on Thursday. I love this festival, organized by the leading film critic in the world because it is unique. Instead of the usual quirky indies and other unreleased festival fare trying to get distribution, these are gems that have already been released but did not get what Roger thinks is the audience they deserved. Roger brings in the people who made the films to talk about them. But my favorite part is that while most festivals have far-flung simultaneous screenings that make you feel like you are running an obstacle course and always missing what everyone says was the best film of the festival, at Ebertfest there is just one film at a time, all shown at the magnificent Virginia Theater in Champaign, Illinois. I am especially looking forward to one of the annual highlights — each year, he shows a silent film with live accompaniment from the Alloy Orchestra.
I’ll be reporting in from the festival, so stay tuned. And if any of you happen to be there, come over and say hello! For those who can’t make it, I recommend joining Ebert’s online club. His newsletters, available to club members only, are delightful and well worth the micro-price, less than $5 a year.