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Discussion in 'Movies' started by Jarod M, Mar 7, 2004.
Wow! Lawrence in 70mm! The General!
I want to go to this. Just to see Lawrence of Arabia in 70mm.
Hear, hear. I feel a road trip coming on...
First off, anyone who is thinking about coming to the festival, but does not have a pass or a ticket yet, should buy one as soon as possible. Last year, the festival passes sold out prior to the beginning of the festival, and tickets to individual films were sold out for five of the films (more sold out after opening night). Lawrence is sure to be a hot ticket.
After having time to reflect on the list of films, I have to say that this lineup is most impressive. These truly are overlooked films, to me anyway. Lawrence is overlooked in regards to the 70mm format, and The General qualifies in the overlooked genre of silent film. Ok, I had to get that explanation out of the way, since people always ask how certain movies could possibly be categorized as overlooked. The aforementioned films are the only ones that I have seen.
Some of these films are very obscure to me. I didn't even realize that Terry Zwigoff made a film prior to Crumb. If I did hear about the Pacino film at the time of its release, then I have since forgotten about it. Errol Morris is fresh off his Oscar win, which makes the showing of Gates of Heaven quite timely. El Norte received four stars from not only Ebert, but also Leonard Maltin. Not that I value Maltin's opinion very much, but this is worth noting because Maltin has given precious few movies from the last 25 years 4 stars (according to my Cinemania search, anyway).
Hey Jarod, I'm coming again this year.
This will be the fourth time I've attended, and I think this is a pretty strong group. I've only seen four of the twelve (Lawrence of Arabia, Gates of Heaven, My Dog Skip, and The Son, the first two on VHS only). My early reaction is that this may be the best group of films since the third festival, but since that was the first one I attended, I'm not sure if the newness of the experience is coloring it. (Still, 2001 in 70mm alone made it pretty great.)
I'll second the recommendation to get a pass now if you plan to attend. I bought mine in December so that I was assured of getting in. If you're coming from out of town, there's really no other way to do it than buy your passes or tickets ahead of time. It's a good time, and even with the increased price, it's one of the best values you'll get for your moviegoing dollars.
As I noted on my blog, there appears to be one film yet to be announced (the Brown vs. Board of Education doc). Always interesting to see who the guests will be too.
I knew my twice-daily skim of this forum would come in handy some day -- thank you very much! This will be my first time in attendance at Ebert's film festival, and my fourth (!) screening of LOA in 70 mm. My first screening was 15 years ago at this very theater (the Virginia in Champaign, IL), and it will be a thrill to watch with Mr. Ebert and Mr. Harris in attendance. Great fun!
My Dog Skip is the only movie that made me cry in the last 10 years.
Werner Herzog's Invincible has just been added. This year's lineup just keeps getting better.
Not only has Herzog's film been added, but also Herzog himself! The times are now listed for the films. Only three films on Thursday and Friday. I'm surprised by the early (4:30) start time for what I would consider to be the prime time slot on those days. The next film isn't until 9:00. Hopefully they will change this. I would rather have a long late afternoon break.
Ebert has officially announced the festival in today's Sun-Times.
The addition of Jack Valenti should be interesting. Ebert has often clashed with Valenti concerning the failings of the ratings system.
Whatever you folks who are going do, DO ***NOT*** miss Louie Bluie!! Siskel and Ebert reviewed Louie Bluie on their show, and that's why my husband and I went to see it in the theater. It isn't that it's an "ohmigodit'ssoGREAT" movie, but you'll be forever greatful that you got to know Howard Armstrong. It's been on my All-Time Favorites since I first saw it, and that's strictly because of Armstrong. I would never have been "introduced" to him otherwise.
Because we saw the show, and because we went to see the movie, we were overjoyed when, after we moved to Chicago, we were able to see Howard Armstrong play live several times at a club called Rosa's. To meet him, to be introduced to him for real, is something that we both cherish.
Sweet Old Song is an ok documentary about his later life, but it won't mean anywhere near as much if you haven't seen Louie Bluie first.
Howard Armstrong died last year at the age of 94. Here's his obituary from PBS (there's a LOT of information about Armstrong there, including some of his artwork):
Btw, Louie Bluie isn't available on DVD *or* VHS.
Lawrence of Arabia sold out quickly. A friend of mine went to buy tickets on the Monday following the Friday that the individual session tickets went on sale, and it was already sold out. I also suspect that the passes are sold out, since they haven't been available online in several days.
Here's a link to a Champaign News Gazette story about Jack Valenti, serving as a preview for his appearance at the festival.
Anyone besides Jarod and I going to be in attendance this year?
Right now my plans are to lug along my desktop computer so I can write updates during the festival and post them to my blog at http://reeltimes.blogspot.com. Should be a lot fun.
Just an update on the ticket situation--as of last week Gates of Heaven, People I Know, The General, and LOA were all sold out. All 1000 festival passes also sold out. You can resort to the standby line if you're desperate for tickets, but I'd guess that there won't be many standbys let in for LOA.
You overlooked Jerry (pun intended). This will be my first time attending Eberfest, actually my first time attending any film festival. I'll be the guy scratching his head with a confused look on his face.
All films are now sold out.
Any of the new festival-goers have any comments? Hopefully it lived up to what you were expecting. Lawrence did not look as good as Patton or 2001. That is just my opinion, but it was obvious that the print that we saw had been around a few years. Also, it was not as "clear" as the other two films, and often grain was quite noticeable. It just did not have that same "looking through a window" feel. I expect that the source material (being taken from lower generation material due to the unavailability of the original negative) was to blame. Honestly, I think that I was spoiled by 2001 and Patton, the only other 70mm films that I can personally reference. In addition, Lawrence did not strike me as a masterpiece. A good movie, to be sure, but I don't see it being up there with kane, Vertigo, 2001, and other such films that are often mentioned as the greatest of all time. Speaking of which, The General rates up there with the best, an opinion that has become cemented for me after seeing it with an audience. The other highlights of the festival were Invincible and its director, Werner Herzog. I was in awe of this movie, which deserved a better reception by critics. Herzog himself was a fascinating man who mesmerized the audience with his stories about his life and filmmaking.
For more comments about the festival, you can read Mark's comments and also the official festival blog.
Due to newborn baby commitments, I missed the first two and last four movies shown. Which means I couldn't even attend LOA which was my original reason for going. Didn't yet know it was going to be on Wednesday night when originally announced. I'd already seen the restored 70mm print three times anyway, but I regret not being able to witness Robert Harris's interview. The Ebertfest blog says they had a second showing of LOA on Sunday.
Anyway, I loved this festival. Ebert spoke briefly before each movie, and had interview and question-answer sessions lasting from an hour up to over 90 minutes (!) after (at least that's what I heard about El Norte -- I had to bail at 12:30 a.m. since I was exhausted). I couldn't believe how much there was to take in. Even with two less movies than in previous years, we were left with very little free time, once you factor in the panels (which I skipped), Ebert book signing, and getting in line an hour early each morning in order to secure a good seat for the day.
Loved it, and hope I can go back again sometime.
I saw a reference to the second showing of Lawrence in the blog too, but that's the only place I heard about it. I don't know if this was a special showing not open to the public or what. I know that they could have sold quite a few tickets to the second showing of Lawrence if they publicized it. I didn't stay for the after film discussion on Sunday, so I don't know if they mentioned it then.