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Film Fest Times Three

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 10, 2006 4:05PM

If you’re willing to hit the road, Roger Ebert’s Overlooked Film Festival has some gems worth seeing.

This year’s festival at the Virginia Theater in stately Champaign, IL runs from April 26th through the 30th. Though all the festival passes are sold out, you can still purchase tickets to individual screenings of some of Ebert’s favorite films including 2006_04_laaaaaady.jpgMy Fair Lady and the criminally ignored David Mamet film Spartan as well as recent fare like Junebug, Millions, and Somebodies.

Though many of the films are available on video, you don’t have the pull necessary to get established directors and stars to show up in your living room. Ebert does. So expect to see Marni Nixon, who provided Audrey Hepburn’s singing voice in My Fair Lady and John Malkovich at a screening of Ripley’s Game, in addition to other filmmakers. Panel discussions oin independent films will also be held.

We have only one quibble. Bad Santa? REALLY? In our brief time on this planet, there are few things we’ve witnessed that we wish we could “unsee.” But the sight of Billy Bob dropping his sack down Lorelai's chimney is number one on that list. With a bullet. We only wish we had overlooked it.

Closer to home, two other fests will hit the Chicago area this month. The Really Short Film Fest arrives at the Abbey Pub on April 22nd at 7 p.m. Not just a film fest, the evening features live music from Beatallica (which is just what it sounds like) and a performance by the burlesque group, The Devil Dolls. Tickets are $10 in advance at $12 at the door.

Also, Asbury Shorts Chicago returns on April 26th to the Lakeshore Theater (3175 N. Broadway) at 7:30 p.m. The evening, hosted by Chicago Sun-Times columnist Rick Telander, features a film by Thank You For Smoking director Jason Reitman and a educational film about zombies starring "The Daily Show"’s Ed Helms among other treats. Tickets are $12.