This year’s Ebertfest opened with a question: “How many film festivals begin with their very own organist?” Better yet, what festival—film or otherwise—jumpstarts the festivities with a gorgeous rendition of “God Bless America” by Jimmy Demmers? Or a brief moment to publicly celebrate the marriage of RogerEbert.com Editor Matt Zoller Seitz and his spouse Nancy Dawson, along with her birthday? How about an impassioned prelude, by festival co-founder Chaz Ebert, urging all in attendance to take the path of empathy? “We are better when we’re all better, together,” she told the audience. All of this unfolded before projectionist James Bond (yes, that is his name) even presented a single frame of “Hair.” That’s Ebertfest for you: come for the movie, stay for … Read entire story.
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