Silent films, ‘Love And Mercy’, showcased at 18th Ebertfest

Mar 24, 2016

The Virginia Theatre, home to Ebertfest.
Credit Jeff Bossert / Illinois Public Media

The final slate of six films announced for next month’s Ebertfest in Champaign adds a second silent film to the schedule, and two 2015 movies honored for their performances. The recent releases include ‘Love and Mercy’…..depicting famed Beach Boy Brian Wilson’s battle with mental illness at two periods of his life.   The festival will also show ‘Grandma’ starring Lily Tomlin. 

Also on the list released is a French silent movie.   Known in English as ‘The Inhumane Woman’…it’s a 1924 science fiction film that will be accompanied by frequent festival guest… the Alloy Orchestra. Festival Director Nate Kohn says filmgoers prefer to see movies like this without knowing much about them.

Nate Kohn: “Most people are not familiar with most of the silent films we show.  There’s a small core of people who really love silent film, and know all about them, but most people just prefer to be surprised by what they see and what they hear.”

Another silent film by a black filmmaker in the 1920s, ‘Body and Soul’,  will be accompanied by the Chicago Modern Orchestra Project. The 18th annual Roger Ebert’s Film Festival runs April 13 through the 17th at Champaign’s Virginia Theatre.  The festival also plans to screen a 1996 film praised by the festival’s namesake, the late film critic and Urbana native Roger Ebert. The movie, ‘Eve’s Bayou” is a drama set in Louisiana. It was co-produced by Samuel L Jackson.