Linklater sends movie and its stars to Ebertfest

Linklater sends movie and its stars to Ebertfest

CHAMPAIGN — Oscar-nominated director Richard Linklater can't make it back to this year's Ebertfest.

But he's sending the next-best thing in his place — his critically-acclaimed new movie, along with two of its stars

Now playing in select cities, "Everybody Wants Some!!" will be screened as a festival pre-opener at 7 p.m. next Tuesday at Foellinger Auditorium on the University of Illinois Quad. The event is free and, though aimed at students, open to all.

Coming here with the flick: actors Glen Powell and Juston Street and as host, executive producer Stephen Feder, who happens to be a UI alumnus.

"He was our connection," Ebertfest assistant director Casey Ludwig said Monday. "We tried to get Richard Linklater to come and he wanted, to but because of the film opening around the same time, he had other obligations."

A friend and frequent guest of Roger Ebert's Film Festival, Linklater drew attention and awards for his 2014 epic "Boyhood," made over 12 years.

The writer-director is telling news outlets that "Everybody Wants Some!!" is like a "continuation of 'Boyhood'" — it's also been called the "spiritual sequel" to his "Dazed and Confused," released in 1993.

"It begins right where 'Boyhood' ends — the guy shows up to college," Linklater said of his latest work. "Very different guy, different time, all that. But for me, in my own personal experience, it's like the next film from 'Boyhood.'"

The movie will have a wide theatrical release April 15, the third day of the 18th Ebertfest, which opens next Wednesday with "Crimson Peak" and director Guillermo del Toro in person, and closes April 17 with "Body and Soul," a 1925 silent film starring Paul Robeson that will be accompanied by Renee Baker and the Chicago Orchestra Project.

Ludwig said "everything's on target" for the festival, a special event of the UI College of Media, Ebert's alma mater.

All the guests have been lined up for the 12 movies except "Love & Mercy," to be shown at 4:30 p.m. April 16. The 2015 film, directed by Bill Pohlad, is about musician Brian Wilson, the musical genius behind the Beach Boys. Paul Dano portrays Wilson. Ludwig awaits confirmation of a guest with it.

About 50 festival passes, at $150 each, remain available. Tickets to the individual screenings went on sale April 1 and are $15 for adults and $13 for senior citizens and students. Tickets remain available for each of the 12 screenings.

Steven Bentz, director of the Virginia Theatre, said the lines to purchase tickets to Ebertfest and other events there are decreasing because more patrons are buying online.

"On some of our shows, three-quarters of the tickets are being sold online," Bentz said Monday. "We get some by phone but most of the trade is gradually shifting online. We didn't even have an online ticketing system five years ago. It's nice, the convenience."

A dandy dozen

After Tuesday's 7 p.m. screening of "Everybody Wants Some!!" at Foellinger Auditorium, it's showtime at the Virginia. The 12-film lineup for Ebertfest 18:

WEDNESDAY

7 p.m. Crimson Peak

THURSDAY

1 p.m. Grandma

4 p.m. Northfork

8:30 p.m. The Third Man

FRIDAY

1 p.m. Disturbing The Peace

4 p.m. L'Inhumaine

9 p.m. Eve's Bayou

SATURDAY

11 a.m. Force of Destiny

2 p.m. Radical Grace

4:30 p.m. Love and Mercy

9 p.m. Blow Out

SUNDAY

Noon Body and Soul