Ebert appoints HAMLET for ’08

From March 12, 2008:

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A preview in The Hollywood Reporter covers the upcoming 10th edition of Roger Ebert’s Film Festival in Champaign, IL, revealing that the opening night attraction is a 70mm print of HAMLET (1996), directed by Kenneth Branagh, and that festival guests will include Paul Schrader (AUTO FOCUS), Sally Potter (THE TANGO LESSON), Fred Schepisi (FIERCE CREATURES), and Bill Forsyth (LOCAL HERO).


Editor’s note: Let’s demystify the annual ritual where people approach me prematurely and ask what’s playing Ebertfest. I find out these things at the exact same time as John Q. Public – the third week of March – even though it is common practice for Roger Ebert or one of his confidants to let slip a little bit of information early as a tease. By the same token, the credits I noted for the guest filmmakers are just for illustration and not official 2008 selections. Cineastes now know the important selling points for the moment, but rabid Ebertfestarians can glean a few more details from the article linked above.

Elsewhere, the charming Associate Director of Ebertfest, Mary Susan Britt, announced that parking spaces next to the Mental Health Center, across the street from the Virginia Theatre where Ebertfest takes place, can be rented for $100 for the duration of the event. You can guess what is going to happen – attendees with money to burn will snap up all the spots, giving the locals who’ve been complaining about the hike in downtown meter prices yet another reason to bitch. (Seventy-five cents an hour sounds reasonable all of a sudden, doesn’t it?) I can honestly say that I’m glad I planted the Secret MICRO-FILM Headquarters right where it is, because all I have to do is walk. Nyah.

~ Jason Pankoke

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