CLEAN SLATE: April 2007

On the first of each month, Clean Slate will pitch a question or two that involves the business and art of movies in Champaign, Urbana, and the cities beyond. “Comments” will be left open so that readers of C-U Blogfidential can discuss! Some topics will be perennials and others will be drawn from current local issues, while a “just-for-fun” query might occasionally sail in from left field.

Write me right now if you have a suggestion for a future Clean Slate topic. Otherwise, click below and talk constructive shop! [Warning: All comments will be moderated.]

~ Jason Pankoke

Look, ma! It's the Clean Slate clapper!

April 2007

Question: Which Ebertfest screenings will you attend this year?

3 Responses to CLEAN SLATE: April 2007

  1. deb :

    We’re going to see Perfume on Thursday evening. I saw it in Indianapolis a month ago and thought it was…icky. How’s that for a professional evaluation? But it was also very powerful. I simply couldn’t look away and the images have lingered in my mind. The mark of a great movie – no matter how “icky”! I also think Alan Rickman is a very “overlooked” actor and am excited about seeing his Q&A with Ebert.

    This will be my first visit to the ebertfest and it would be nice to hear a little about it from some people who have been there. Do you or anyone here have suggestions for a newcomer? Where to go…where to stay…hints for getting around…? It is a madhouse, or do things run pretty smoothly?

    Thanks! I enjoyed reading your blog. Good stuff.

  2. Administrator :

    Hi Deb, thanks for checking out CUBlog!

    As of right now, downtown Champaign does not have any hotels. The only thing is a little quirky bed-and-breakfast which happens to be a block down from where I live, which is about 4 blocks from the Virginia Theater. There are a couple of hotels maybe a half-mile east of d.t. on University Avenue which intersects the d.t., and also way north and way south on Neil Street, which also intersects the d.t. The exits along I-74 will be loaded with options, of course.

    Try contacting Ebertfest personnel through and see if they have a deal with local hotels where you can get a discount if you tell them you are coming to town for the film festival.

    Also, find the link for the Champaign County Visitors’ Bureau under “Of Interest in C-U” on this blog. They have a long list of all area hotels, the chains and locally-operated ones.

    Downtown Champaign is itsy-bitsy compared to downtown Indy, but there’s enough of a diverse selection of bars, restaurants, and coffee shops (including a 24-hour diner!) that food will not be a problem. A few blocks away lies Campustown, the shopping and eatery area that intersects the University of Illinois campus. Plenty of choices, whether you walk or drive. The Ebertfest program will be loaded with ads for such places. The Illinois Terminal is also in downtown, about 3 blocks from the Virginia, where you can catch a bus to all corners of C-U through the late evening.

    Since Ebertfest is not a “wheel-and-deal” type film festival, it isn’t nearly as … intense … as you might be thinking. Usually, festival guests and staff are very approachable. The block that the Virginia is located on will be blocked off and have 2-3 food vendors on-site. There is also a nice community park in plain sight if you want to escape briefly. There are city parking lots that are metered during the weekday (25 cents per hour ’til 5 p.m.), but if you don’t mind walking a bit, the area around the park is all residential and you can probably find an unmetered space on the street without a problem. Just don’t take mine. LOL

    ~ JP

  3. Deb :

    Thanks JP! I appreciate your been-there-done-that advice. There really doesn’t seem to be much about the featival on the net. Someone told me that ebertfest was like Sundance. Being from Indiana (which is simply on the other side of the corn field from Illinois), I just couldn’t imagine that much intensity, culture and passion allowed to run freely on the streets of Champaign!

    Thanks again! Now I’ll just keep my fingers crossed that I can get tickets for the shows on Thursday.