The rest of Ebertfest was freakin' awesome. Highlights include:
watching the local newspaper photographer try for candids of John Sayles and Maggie Renzi Saturday morning duty of guarding the door right behind Roger and Chaz Ebert's seats so that no one could come in during the movie and cause noise and light distractions. One of the Virginia Theater staff told a confused patron who had come out of that door to get popcorn but couldn't go back in the way he had come, "It's his festival, so we play by his rules." Completely strange pod-person experience of being so generally positive about Roger Ebert that when he was given a basketball signed by the U of I coach, and he went to the middle of the stage and belted "I-L-L" into the microphone, I joined the crowd in yelling "I-N-I" back. I don't think I've ever been part of that cheer before. I don't believe in it. It goes against my cranky "collegiate sports are wasteful in every regard" creed. But Roger wanted me to, so I did. Watching Taal with a theater full of other enthusiastic viewers who also laughed at the things that got at you despite your attempt to feel too cool for schmaltz. And then having the director and one of India's leading film experts congratulate the audience for getting it. Half-price popcorn. Numma.