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Twenty thumbs up
[ 12:00 a.m. PDT- 04/16/99 ]

The Overlooked Film Festival, featuring 10 films selected by Chicago Sun-Times movie critic Roger Ebert, opens Wednesday at the Virginia Theatre in Champaign, Ill. "There are countless festivals devoted to the premieres of new films," Ebert writes on the festival's Web site, "but none dedicated to taking a second look at wonderful films that for one reason or another haven't yet found the audiences they deserve."

If you're nowhere near Champaign, the festival lineup could make for a few good weeks of successful video store trips. The films include: Australian director Rolf de Heer's "Dance Me to My Song" (1998); "Thirteen," (1997) a girldungsroman about a 13-year-old African-American; "Household Saints" (1993), which stars Tracy Ullman; Sergei Eisenstein's 1925 silent classic "Battleship Potemkin"; Japanese film "Maborosi" (1995); junkie dishwasher movie "Surrender Dorothy" (1998); "Shiloh," a 1997 movie that looks like a family values winner; the Scandinavian "Hamsun" (1996); Eric Rohmer's "Autumn Tale" (1998); and the Disney 1982 sci-fi pic "Tron," shot in relatively rare 70 mm format. Russ Meyer's "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" (1970), for which Ebert wrote the screenplay and which is pretty wonderful and overlooked itself, will not play.
-- Jeff Stark

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