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URBANA — WILL-TV will air a new special, "Ebert Remembered," at 8 p.m. Thursday. It will highlight excerpts of WILL-TV interviews with Roger Ebert in which he talks about his childhood in Urbana, his experiences at the University of Illinois and his role as a movie critic.
The cinema enthralls us with illusions within illusions, and even the most obvious can quickly become complicated. Take acting, for example. It's basically a performer pretending to be someone else, and that in itself can be extremely nuanced and complex. But sometimes that complexity derives simply from the fact that one actor portrays more than one character, often at the same time.
Bhavia Wagner started out being an activist 45 years ago when she was Carol Hartstirn, an Urbana student working to save Allerton Park from a dam project.
Now she lives in Eugene, Ore., and the 1974 Urbana High School graduate works to help children in Cambodia get a good education.
CHAMPAIGN — When Roger Ebert first heard of the premise of "Kumare," he assumed the documentary would be a "satirical, snarky comedy" like Sacha Baron Cohen's "Borat."
But not so, Ebert wrote in his August 2012 review of the movie, which will be shown at 2 p.m. Saturday as part of the 15th annual Roger Ebert's Film Festival at the Virginia Theatre.
The 15th annual Roger Ebert's Film Festival runs April 17 through 21. Here is the lineup, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning critic's views about some of the films.
7 p.m.: "Days of Heaven" with short subject "I Remember"
Ebert calls "Days of Heaven" a timeless classic.
CHAMPAIGN — It might come as a surprise for many at Ebertfest to discover that Patrick Wang, who wrote, directs and stars in "In the Family," graduated with a degree in economics from MIT.
He worked for a decade or so as an economist in think tanks and at the Fed before he made the movie, his first, coming to Roger Ebert's Film Festival on Thursday.
To be sure, a solid film biography of Jackie Robinson is long overdue. Though it was made with the best of intentions, and features the man himself, 1950's "The Jackie Robinson Story," isn't a film that has aged well.
CHAMPAIGN — The fourth annual New Art Film Festival will showcase locally and regionally made independent films at the Art Theater, 126 W. Church St., C, from 4 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Friday.
CHAMPAIGN — Passes to all 12 movies and two shorts are sold out for the 15th annual Roger Ebert's Film Festival, taking place April 17-21 at the Virginia Theatre and the University of Illinois.
The Virginia has a waiting list in case a pass holder cannot attend. In the event additional passes become available, those on the list will be contacted.