Ebertfest 2019: A Glorious Celebration of Cinema – Jennifer Merin reports

Roger Ebert’s Film Festival, aka Ebertfest, is unique in its pure and glorious celebration of cinema. The annual four-day program, which just completed its 21st edition, consists of but a dozen films. Ebertfest is quite compact, as film festivals go. But, this joyful movie event has enormous heart, and it emanates influence and inspires empathy far beyond Champaign, Illinois, the college community in which it makes its home and has found its soulmate.

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20 FEET FROM STARDOM – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

Who are the colored girls who, as Lou Reed sang, go “do do-do do-do”? Who is the woman behind that spine-chilling refrain of “Rape, murder / It’s just a shot away / It’s just a shot away” on the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter”? This fantastic film — from veteran music documentarian Morgan Neville, and a must-see for any fan of modern pop music, from rock to R&B to soul — introduces us to the extraordinary women you didn’t know were behind some of the songs you know by heart.

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