Thursday, May 23, 2019

The New Malick at TFF #46? / The Critics at Cannes /Coming Soon

Hope that your week has been going well.  It's Thursday!


Like a lot of the film community, I've been keeping an eye on the latest film, A Hidden Life,  from auteur Terrence Malick for...well...a long time.  News appeared this week that might nudge its chances of playing at Telluride a bit closer to a reality.

Fox Searchlight acquired the film for U.S. distribution after its play in Cannes.  The film was reportedly acquired for somewhere between $12-14 million.  

The anticipation at this point is that Searchlight will likely position the film for a fall release, plays at a fall fest or fests and campaign it as an awards contender.

Malick is notoriously reclusive and his previous Telluride brief, as best as I can sniff it out, came in 1998 as a producer for the film Endurance (IMDb link here).

Fox Searchlight's participation certainly doesn't hurt the films chances of playing at TFF #46 as the distributor has become a frequent presence in the San Juans over Labor Day weekend.  Last year Searchlight was at the fest with Can You Ever Forgive Me, The Favourite and The Old Man and the Gun.  In 2017, FS screened The Shape of Water at TFF #44 which, of course, went on to capture the Oscar for Best Picture.  Searchlight has also has Best Picture wins in the last decade with 12 Years a Slave and Birdman both of which also played the Telluride fest.

So...this week's acquisition activity probably bumps up the chances that A Hidden Life makes its way to southwest Colorado in about thee months.


Checking in with Reini Urban's collection of critical responses to the films that have been screening this last week-plus at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival.

With just a few days left before awards are handed out Bong Joon-Ho's Parasite sits atop the overall critical reception.  The film boasts a cumulative 8.57 rating on a scale of 10 (with over 200 critics counted) making it not only the highest rated film of the Palme competitors but the top rated film when all categories are considered.

Parasite has U.S. distribution from a relative newcomer on the scene: Neon.  Despite its youth, Neon has been well represented at Telluride the past few years with The B Side: Elsa Dorfman's Portrait Photography (2016), Border (2018) and The Biggest Little Farm (2018) all making the TFF lineup so Parasite becomes a serious potential TFF #46 film.

Other notes from the critical compilation: 3 other Palme competing films are in the critics top ten at the moment.  That includes Almodovar's Pain and Glory (8.43 at #3) , Sciamma's Portrait of a Lady on Fire (7.76 at #6) and Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in...Hollywood (7.57 at #9).

Robert Eggers The Lighthouse is at #2 with a 8.48 rating.  The Lighthouse is being distributed domestically by A24.  Aside from the Tarantino film which with be released in the U.S. on July 26th, the other four films have a shot at Telluride.

Other Cannes films that I've taken note of as potential TFF choices and their critical response at this point include:

Young Ahmed/Dardennes- 5.47
A Hidden Life/Malick- 6.93
Matthias and Maxime/Dolan 5.84
Frankie/Sachs 5.53
Joan of Arc/Dumont 6.30
Port Authority/Lessovitz 5.56
Diego Maradona/Kapadia 7.11
Family Romance/Herzog 5.95
The Climb/Covino 6.76

A rating above 6.0 is generally regarded as good to great but hasn't necessarily been a determinative factor regarding whether TFF programs a Cannes film.

The Palme and other awards will be announced tomorrow and Saturday.

The Urban critical compilation is linked here.


Still of Sarah Paulson in The Goldfinch (from IMDb)

Anton Volkov's Trailer Track website says we're about to get the first trailer for John Crowley's The Goldfinch.  Based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, the film stars Nicole Kidman, Sarah Paulson and Ansel Engort. 

The film is set for U.S. release on Sept. 13th and is distributed by Warner Bros with Amazon Studios distributing worldwide and also acting as a production company for the film.

All of this means that it's a TFF #46 possibility.

Stay tuned for the trailer.

That's it for today.  Come back Monday for a look at Cannes awards results and if that menas anything for Labor Day weekend.


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Monday, May 20, 2019

Dispatches from Cannes / Interviews: Herzog, Dern and Chester

Good Monday friends of film...


The 72nd Cannes Film Festival has essentially reached its halfway mark with the Palme d’Or and other awards set to be handed out this weekend.

In its first week the critics have given big boosts to Pedro Almodovar's Pain and Glory, Bong Joon-ho's Parasite and Xavier Dolan's Matthias and Maxime among others.  Early critical reaction has also very favorable for Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Here’s the link to the largest online compilation of the critical response to the films from Cannes thus far.


Lots of interviews from people that either have films out or coming out that played TFF #45 or are involved with the current edition of Cannes:


Scott Roxborough for The Hollywood Reporter talks to Werner Herzog whose film Family Romance LLC is playing as a part of the Cannes Fest as a special screening.

The interview is here.


Katie Kilkenny does an interview for The Hollywood Reporter with Oscar nominee Laura Dern talking about her new film that played at TFF #45.  That's ed Zwick's Trial by Fire which also stars Jack O'Connell.

The interview with Dern is Linked here.


Joshua Encinias writing for The Film Stage talks with John Chester for of Big Little Farm.  The documentary played at TFF #45 and made a big impression on everyone who I talked to who had seen it.

That interview is here.

More to come on Thursday.


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Thursday, May 16, 2019

Moving Image from A Hidden Life / The Burns' Country Tour Continues / Coppola's Megalopolis Edges Closer

Hello on this Thursday...


We got our first video image of Terrence Malick's latest film this week.  A Hidden Life is set to compete for the coveted Palme d"or at Cannes' 72nd Film Festival with its premiere screening scheduled for Sunday night.

A Hidden Life (previously called Radegund) tells the story of a young Austrian who is punished by the Nazi regime in World War II for claiming to be a conscientious objector.

The Film Stage linked the teaser, and it is only a teaser as it runs a meager 15 seconds.  Here it is via YouTube:

Here's the link to The Film Stage story.


You have to hand it Ken Burns and his production company, Florentine Films.  They have been very busy promoting his upcoming multi-part documentary called Country Music for a while now.

That has extended to a recent interview with Melissa Newman for Billboard that was up this week.

Burns discusses a wide range of topics concerning the 16+ hour, eight episode mini-series that will run in its entirety over two weeks in September (following TFF #46) on PBS.

The dating of the initial PBS screening works well to anticipate Burns' return to Telluride and also that there is a reasonable chance that at least some of the documentary will screen as a part of  the film fest.

Here's the link to the Billboard interview.


80 year old American film master Francis Ford Coppola continues work on his latest passion project.  Megalopolis has been on Coppola's mind for decades and was derailed, at least in part, by the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

The latest news this week was that Coppola has actively moved into the casting phase for the project and the two names being dangled in a number of outlets were Jude Law and Shia LaBeouf..

More details are linked here via The Playlist.

That's the MTFB for today.  More to come on Monday.


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Monday, May 13, 2019

So Many Trailers and Teasers: Judy / Frankie / Family Romance LLC / Diego Maradona / New Images from A Hidden Life

Welcome back from the weekend and Mother's Day...hope all the mothers had a swell day.


With the 72nd Cannes Film Fest opening tomorrow a number of films that will be screening dropped video over the weekend some of which are potential Telluride entrants.  Also appearing was a trailer for the non-Cannes film Judy starring Renee Zellweger as Judy Garland.  So today's post is largely devoted to connecting TFF fans with some of those trailers all of which are linked here via YouTube.


Judy is set to be released Sept 27th from Roadside Attractions which was last at Telluride in 2017 with the Oscar winning (Best Actor and Original Screenplay) Manchester by the Sea.

Along with the trailer, linked here's a story about its release from: Indiewire.


Ira Sachs' family drama is set to play Cannes a week from today as a part of the Palme d'Or competitive slate.  The film stars Isabelle Huppert, Brendan Gleeson, Greg Kinnear and Marisa Tomei.  Huppert was a TFF tribute recipient in 1986.

The film currently has no U.S. distributor or release date.

Here's the trailer:

And an accompanying story from The Playlist.


Family Romance from Werner Herzog is also playing Cannes out of competition and is scheduled to screen Saturday night.  The film is set in Japan and IMDb says it is about " A man is hired to impersonate the father of a  young girl".

Here's the trailer:

And an story about the trailer and film from The Hollywood News.


And finally a trailer for the documentary Diego Maradona about the life of the world renowned soccer player from director Asif Kapadia.  The film comes from HBO and is set for release in the U.S. on Sept. 24th putting it in a sweet spot to screen at either Telluride, Toronto or both.

Here is its trailer:

And a story about the trailer and the doc from our friend Alex Billington and

Diego Maradona screens at Cannes on the 19th.


While we don't have a trailer release for Terrence Malick's A Hidden Life, we do have a peek at new stills from the film that is scheduled to screen at Cannes in Palme competition on the 19th.

Here's a look a some of those images from The Film Stage:

See more of the pics from The Film Stage here.

A Hidden Life tells the true story of an Austrian World War II conscientious objector who refused to serve for the Nazis.  The film is seeking U.S. distribution and a subsequent domestic release date.

And for those that are's the link to the official schedule for Cannes.

There's your Monday MTFB.  I'll have more on Thursday and coming next Monday a first look at the critical reaction to the first week of Cannes' films.


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Thursday, May 9, 2019

More on Ad Astra / Pierre Rissient: One Year Gone / Indiewire's 15 Anticipated Cannes Films

Hello all on this Thursday...


In my Monday post I passed along the story that Disney/Fox looked like they were going to push James Gray's space drama, Ad Astra, into the fall schedule from its previously announced release date of May 24th.

Well, it didn't take long for that uncertainty to dissipate as multiple sources reported on Tuesday that Ad Astra's new release date will be Sept. 24th. That likely means some premiere at Venice, Toronto and/or Telluride.  New York is removed from consideration as it will run from Sept 28th to Oct. 14th.

Zack Sharf writing for Indiewire specifically suggests that the film's chances at playing one or more of the fests has increased saying: "The move most likely means that Disney will target a launch for the drama at the fall film festivals, be it Venice, Telluride or TIFF."

Ad Astra stars Brad Pitt as an astronaut who goes searching for his father (Tommy Lee Jones) who was also an astronaut but who has been missing for years.


Telluride favorite Pierre Rissient died a year ago ( May 5, 2018) and earlier this week Scott Foundas, who is now an executive for Amazon Studios and who has had a significant past with TFF, wrote a tribute on the one year anniversary of Rissient's passing that appeared this week.

That tribute appeared at Cinema Scope ( and you can find that piece linked here.

Foundas is currently credited as the Executive in charge of Production for Amazon's Radioactive from director Marjane Satrapi (Perspolis) which could be a film in the conversation for a spot at TFF #46.


This week the folks at Indiewire put together a  list of 15 films that are about to premiere over the next couple of weeks at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival.

On their list are a number of films that I think have a chance of making the TFF #46 lineup including:

Family Romance, LLC (Herzog)
Frankie (Sachs)
A Hidden Life (Malick)
The Lighthouse (Eggers)

The Cannes Fest opens on Tuesday evening with Jim Jarmusch's The Dead Don't Die.

That's today's MTFB.  More on Monday.


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Monday, May 6, 2019

Ad Astra Flies Back Into Consideration / Frankie: SPC Has It and Some Images

The first weekend of May 2019 is in the books.  Hope you had a good one!


I've had James Gray's Ad Astra on the radar for quite some time.  The film combines high concept and prestige plus a notable cast (Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland, Ruth Negga) to have created quite a  stir.  Also creating a stir has been its shifting release dates.  At one point it was set for a Jan. 2019 release and its latest official release date has been May 24th.  That date will also reportedly go by the wayside according to a number of sources over the past few days and I mention that here because the scuttlebutt now is that Disney/Fox has settled on a fall release for the film which may well include the fall festivals.  

"Fall Festivals" usually refers to Venice, Toronto, New York and, of course, Telluride.  Gregory Ellwood writing at The Playlist reported that "it's likely that Fox will aim for a Venice debut" which would make a good deal of sense...and perhaps the film would follow what has become a not uncommon move of transferring directly from Venice to Telluride.  The Shape of Water, Gravity, Birdman and La La Land have all been recent travelers of that path.

I, for one, am pleased that this film is back in the conversation and will be looking over the summer for other clues about its ultimate fate regarding where it play and if that could include TFF #46.


Ahead of its premiere at Cannes in the next week or two came news late last week that Ira Sachs' Frankie starring former TFF Tribute recipient Isabelle Huppert has been acquired by Sony Pictures Classics.  SPC's claim moves Frankie right into consideration for possible TFF #46 inclusion.  SPC has historically had a very solid relationship with TFF.  As a matter of fact, it has been the strongest distributor relationship with TFF over the near decade and a half I have been attending.

Last year was a bit of an aberration as SPC only had Ralph Fiennes' The White Crow in the TFF lineup.  In the 2017, more characteristically, SPC had five films on the TFF #45 program: Fantastic Woman, Loveless, The Rider, Foxtrot and Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool.  Over my time at TFF, SPC has averaged 4.4 films per year.

Penelope Cruz in Pedro Almodovar's Pain and Glory

I honestly expect SPC to be back at TFF with more than one film in 2019.  Perhaps Pedro Almodovar returns with a TFF film for the first time since 2006's Volver with his Cannes entry Pain and Glory?  Could we see the documentary about John  Prine (John Prine; Hello In There)?  Or the Clive Owen, Tim Roth starrer The Song of Names?

And who knows what SPC might acquire in the next couple of months as a result of Cannes?

Both The Film Stage and Deadline have stories about the SPC acquisition of Frankie as well as numerous images released prior to its Cannes' bow.  You can find The Film Stage story here and the Deadline story here.

Done for Monday.  More on Thursday.


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Thursday, May 2, 2019

The Best of the Decade and Telluride / Could 44 Someday Be at TFF? / No New Apocalypse Now for TFF #46

Good Thursday everyone...Happy May!


After having teased it for a couple of weeks, Jordan Ruimy of World of Reel published his compilation of over 250 film critics, bloggers, programmers, distributors, academics and the like after asking them "What are the best films of the 2010's?".  Participants were told to name five in no order of preference.

The best film of the decade?  Drum roll please...George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road.

Jordan was kind enough to have invited me to participate.  Three of the films that made my final list of five made it into the final top 25.  My final five were (in alpha order): 12 Years a Slave, Birdman, Inside Llewyn Davis, A Separation and Shame.

On the final top 20 in Jordan's poll A Separation finished #9, Inside Llewyn Davis was $10 and 12 Years a Slave was #21.

As you might expect, Telluride Film Fest film's were all over the list.  Jordan ran a more comprehensive list of the top 75 and TFF films that made the cut included:

#3 Moonlight
#7 Roma
#9 A Separation
#10 Inside Llewyn Davis
#12 Under the Skin
#13 Carol
#14 Toni Erdmann
#20 The Act of Killing
#21 12 Years a Slave
#23 La La Land
#26 Amour
#26 (tie) Ida
#35 Blue Is the Warmest Color
Six films tied at #41: Son of Saul, The Turin Horse, The Rider, Manchester by the Sea, Leviathan, First Reformed
#53 Faces Places
Four films tied at #58: Gravity, Stories We Tell, The Other Side of the Wind, Foxtrot
Two films tied at #70: The Look of Silence and Frances Ha.

That's an astounding 26 films of the top 75.  That also means that roughly 10% of the TFF schedule over the last nine years is on the list.

Here's my original list of 20 films to start with that I published back on April 11th:

2010- True Grit
2011- The Tree of Life, Shame, A Separation
2012- Lincoln, The Life of Pi
2013- 12 Years a Slave, Nebraska, Inside Llewyn Davis
2014- Birdman, Foxcatcher, The Grand Budapest Hotel
2015- Son of Saul, Spotlight, Mad Max: Fury Road
2016- Moonlight, La La Land
2017- Lady Bird, Dunkirk
2018- Roma

Making Ruimy's list of 75 from my top 20:

2011: The Tree of Life, A Separation
2013: 12 Years a Slave, Inside Llewyn Davis
2014: The Grand Budapest Hotel
2015: Son of Saul, Mad Max: Fury Road
2016: Moonlight, La La Land
2017: Dunkirk
2018: Roma

Finally, the massive list of respondents to Ruimy's poll included industry professionals who have been a part of my annual poll of professionals following the conclusion of TFF:

Nick Allen/
Alex Billington/
Peter DeBruge/Variety
Gregory Ellwood/The Playlist
Scott Feinberg/The Hollywood Reporter
Mark Johnson/Awards Circuit
Eric Kohn/Indiewire

Others of note:

Erik Anderson/Awards Watch
David Ansen/Newsweek
Drake Doremus/Film Director
Pete Hammond/Deadline
Monte Hellman/Film Director
Peter Howell/The Toronto Star
Annette Insdorf/Columbia Film School
Dave Karger/TCM
Eric Lavallee/Ioncinema
Rod Lurie/Film Director
Joey Magidson/Awards Circuit
Matt Neglia/Next Best Picture
Tom O'Neil/Gold Derby
David Poland/Movie City News
Steve Pond/The Wrap
Cedric Succivelli/International Cinephile Society
Jeff Wells/Hollywood Elsewhere

Ruimy's entire post is linked here.


I have wondered since it was announced nearly a year ago what the Barrack and Michelle Obama might produce as a part of their development deal with Netflix and as of a couple of days ago; it appears we have our first set of answers.

Vice reported earlier this week that Obamas have seven projects in development.  They include television series, documentaries and a feature film centered on the life of Frederick Douglass.

Of particular note in terms of a possible Telluride play are the documentary Crip Camp which focuses on a camp for disabled kids that was founded in the late 1960's as well as Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom which is very early in its development.

The Vice story and a complete rundown of the seven projects is here.


I speculated in Monday's MTFB post that the latest version of Apocalypse Now (dubbed "The Final Cut") which screened at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this week might make an appearance at TFF #46.  That speculation seems to have taken a hit since Monday as multiple outlets have reported that the film will be released in theaters on Aug. 15th.

There is a newly cut teaser for this final version.  Here that is via YouTube:

And the story from SlashFilm is linked here.

That's your MTFB for this Thursday.  I'll have more on Monday.


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Monday, April 29, 2019

A Salute to Mark Medoff / First Teaser for Young Ahmed / One More Time for Apocalypse Now

Good Monday to everyone.


(Photo via Getty Images and The Wrap)

Mark Medoff-Oscar nominee and Tony Award winning writer died on Tuesday.  He was 79.

The disclaimer: to the best of my knowledge, Mr. Medoff had no connection to the Telluride Film Festival.

So why mention him here?

As many of you know, in real life I'm a high school speech/drama/debate/English teacher.  I've had students performing Mr.Medoff's work for a long, long time.  Sometimes as competition pieces individually or as duos.  Sometimes for play competitions (at least three times).  So, obviously, his work has made an impact in my life and the lives of my kids.

And he was a New Mexico guy.  He taught for many, many years in Las Cruces at New Mexico State University and though I'm not a New Mexico native, I've spent a lot of time there.  It's just down the might say.

So, Mr. Medoff, a salute to you, sir.  Thanks for the sharing your gift with the world, my kids and me.

Here's The Wrap's story about Mr. Medoff's passing.


High on my list of films from Cannes that I think are most likely to travel to Colorado for Labor Day weekend is the latest social drama from The Dardennes Brothers.  The Dardennes have had a rich history with both the Cannes Film Festival and TFF so, though it doesn't happen that their films do the Cannes/Telluride connection, it's occurred enough over the years that you'd be a little silly not to expect it to happen again.

The Dardennes film is Young Ahmed and its plot is described at IMDb as:  "A young Belgian hatches a plot to kill his teacher after embracing an extremist interpretation of the Quran."

Young Ahmed currently doesn't have U.S. distribution but prior to its screening at Cannes next month, the film's producers have released a teaser/trailer.

Here that is from YouTube:

Linked here is an accompanying story on the teaser's release from The Film Stage.

Young Ahmed's IMDb page is here.


Francis Ford Coppola screened what he is saying is the definitive version of his 1979 classic, Apocalypse Now, at the Tribeca Film Festival.  This latest version has been renamed Apocalypse Now: The Final Cut.  Coppola screened Apocalypse Now Redux as a part of TFF in 2014.

I am wondering if  Coppola might return again to TFF to screen the latest version.

The Wrap had this story about the Tribeca screening which includes the note that Coppola expects a theatrical release at some point later this year.  Depending on the timing for that and the interest level from the fest and Coppola...maybe.

I have linked the story from The Wrap here.

That's it for your MTFB on this Monday.  More for you on Thursday...


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Thursday, April 25, 2019

A Couple of Outside Shots / New Del Toro May Have DiCaprio / Fienne's The White Crow Opens This Weekend

Good Thursday morning to all...


Looks these last few days at two films that I have avoided including as TFF #46 possibilities are Ang Lee's Gemini Man and Robert Eggers The Lighthouse.

However, we got the first trailer for Gemini Man this week (from YouTube):

And Ang Lee has, though not for awhile, had a presence at Telluride and the film is set for release on Oct. 11th.  Paramount has it under its wing and has occasionally landed at TFF (the last time in 2017 with Downsizing and An Inconvenient Sequel).

Also, here's the story on Gemini Man from Indiewire

Also, we got the first still from Robert Eggers The Lighthouse.  It's from A24 which has been involved at Telluride quite a bit over the last five years or so.  Here's the still via Indiewire:

The Lighthouse was announced as one of the competition films in the Cannes sidebar section Director's Fortnight.  Sometimes films from DF make their way to T-ride.


(Photo via Rob Latour/Shutterstock/Variety)

Word is buzzing that Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio may sign on to an emerging Guillermo Del Toro project currently titled Nightmare Alley.  The film would be a remake of a 1947 film starring Tyrone Power.

Del Toro's play at TFF 44 with The Shape of Water and its win for Best Picture means we'd be wise to keep an eye on its development.


Sony Pictures Classics reminded us yesterday that the Ralph Fiennes directed film about the life of Rudolf Nuryev, which played TFF #45, opens in New York and Los Angeles this weekend.  The reminder came in the form of an email with a great poster for the film.

Here's a look at the poster:

The White Crow will expand to other parts of the country in the coming weeks.

That's your MTFB for this Thursday.  Thanks for playing.  More will be on its way to you on Monday!


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Monday, April 22, 2019

Narrowing the Field / Nuggets About The Irishman / Fremaux and Cannes' Insights

Welcome back from the holiday weekend...


I teased on my April 11th post that I have been asked to be a part of a "Best of the Decade" project and posted the list of 20 films I came up with to work from.

The completed project is set to come out next month sometime and as the organizer has let the cat out of the bag, I am assuming that I can too.

If you're on Twitter you may have seen this tweet the last week from Jordan Ruimy who runs the World of Reel website:

So...connecting the dots...yes, I'm one of Ruimy's "200".

As you may remember from my earlier post, these were my top 20 2010 films:

2010- True Grit
2011- The Tree of Life, Shame, A Separation
2012- Lincoln, The Life of Pi
2013- 12 Years a Slave, Nebraska, Inside Llewyn Davis
2014- Birdman, Foxcatcher, The Grand Budapest Hotel
2015- Son of Saul, Spotlight, Mad Max: Fury Road
2016- Moonlight, La La Land
2017- Lady Bird, Dunkirk
2018- Roma

And further...time to winnow my list down from 20 to 10.  Chronologically, here are my 10 best of the 2010's:

2010- True Grit
2011- The Tree of Life, Shame, A Separation
2013- 12 Years a Slave, Inside Llewyn Davis
2014- Birdman
2015- Son of Saul
2017- Lady Bird, Dunkirk

I'll have my top five soon...


Joe Pesci and Martin Scorsese on the set of The Irishman (via Phillip Vaughn/Shutterstock and Indiewire)

Perhaps the most anticipated film of 2019 is Martin Scorsese's The Irishman.  The film is being produced by Netflix which gives at least some hope that it could possibly make the Venice/Telluride couplet in a few months.

Recently Indiewire's Zack Sharf wrote about an interview with one of the film's producers: Jane Rosenthal.  Rosenthal revealed some small bits of information and insight about the upcoming mob flick from the director of Goodfellas and The Departed.

You can find that story linked here.


Cannes Film Fest artistic director Thierry Fremaux had a conversation over the weekend with Indiewire's Eric Kohn about the 2019 lineup for the venerable festival. 

Among topics discussed: Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in ...Hollywood, The Truth and Rocketman.

And it should come as no surprise that there are further films that will be added to the various sections that make up the total program for Cannes #72.

The Kohn/Fremaux interview is linked here.

That's your MTFB for this Monday and I'll have more for you on Thursday...


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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Cannes Lineups Announced / Anderson, VR and Cannes

Welcome to Thursday...Time to open the Cannes...



In the Palme d'Or competition:

Pain and Glory (Almodovar)
The Traitor (Bellocchio)
The Wild Goose Lake (Yinan)
Parasite (Joon-ho)

Young Ahmed (The Dardennes)
Oh Mercy! (Desplechin)
Fire Next Time (Diop)
Matthias and Maxime (Dolan)
Little Joe (Hausner)
The Dead Don't Die (Jarmusch)
Sorry We Missed You (Loach)
Les miserables (Yi)

A Hidden Life (Malick)
Nighthawk (Filho and Dornelles)
The Whistlers (Porumboiu)
Frankie (Sachs)
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Sciamma)
It Must Be Heaven (Suleiman)
Sybil (Triet)

Un Certain Regard:

Invisible Life
The Swallows of Kabul
The Brother's Love
The Climb
A Sun That Never Sets
Room 212
Port Authority
Zhou Ren Mi Mi
Summer of Changsha

Special Screenings:

For Sama
Etre Vivant et le Savior
Family Romance LLC

Out of Competition

The Best Years of a Life
Too Old to Die Young
Diego Maradona
Le Belle Epoque

Midnight Screening:

The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil

The complete lineup is here from The Film Stage

My best guess-sight unseen-of Cannes' films that could make the jump to Telluride:  Young Ahmed, Family Romance LLC (Herzog), Matthias and Maxime, Sorry We Missed You and A Hidden Life.

Notable films that many thought might make the lineup but didn't (at least yet) :

The Truth, Midsommar, Wendy and First Cow.  Most noticeable was the absence of Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in...Hollywood.  Cannes artistic director Thierry Fremaux said the film was not ready though did suggest that the door was still open should Tarantino finish before the festival kicks off on May 14.

And, as was true last year, Netflix will not have any films in any section of the fest.

The Hollywood Reporter covers omissions here.


One title that we had heard earlier this week that would play during the Director's Fortnight  is Laurie Anderson's Virtual Reality project Go Where You Look: Falling Off Snow Mountain.  The project will consist of three installations according to Michael Nordine writing for Indiewire.  The installations are: Aloft, Chalkroom and To the Moon.

Anderson has collaborated with Hsin-Chien Huang to create the project.

TFF #45 scored Eliza McNitt's Spheres VR presentation last year, which leads me to believe that another VR presentation could easily be part of the TFF #46 lineup and Anderson certainly has been involved with Telluride.  Her most recent TFF presence was in 2015 with her documentary Heart of a Dog.  Anderson also continues to be one of TFF's "Esteemed Council of Advisors".

Indiewire's story about Anderson's VR installation at Cannes is linked here.

More on Monday...


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Monday, April 15, 2019

Late Breaking: Cannes #72 Poster Honors Varda / Final Set of Program Dedications / Peterloo Arrives / More Cannes Spec / The Burns Country Tour Continues

Good Monday to everyone.  Writing on my phone today as I have been art showing in Texas.


Just released is the poster for the 72nd edition of Cannes featuring late film maker Agnes Varda.  Here it is:


Here’s the last set of program dedications from TFF that I can find.  It appears that the fest began the feature of dedicating programs in 1990.
So, to complete the list I begin sharing last week here are the first few dedications from 1990-1997:

#24 1997- James Stewart
#23 1996- Louis Malle
#22 1995- Kathleen Tynan
#21 1994- Dennis Potter
#20 1993- Gary Essert
#19 1992-Nestor Almendros and Marion Zunz
#18 1991- Joel McCrea
#17 1990- Michael Powell


Mike Leigh’s historical epic that played at TFF 45 last Labor Day opened in the United States Last weekend. As a result there has been a modicum of P.R. material appearing to coincide with it release.
The film was modestly received at T-ride and critically since then.

Leigh talked about the film in a recent post from J. Don Birnam writing for Awards Circuit.  You can find that interview linked here.


Jeff Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere has a post up with more speculation/predictions about which films will be named Thursday to the lineup for the 72nd Cannes Film Festival.

Included among the titles is the first mention that I’ve seen that Cannes might include if Jay Roach’s examination former of Fox News head Roger Ailes.
The film, titled Fair and Balanced, is reported by IMDb as “expected Dec. 20th and stars John Lithgow as Ailes.
Margot Robbie, Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman also star.
Also mentioned in the Wells article Armando Iannucci’s The Personal History of David Copperfield,  Pablo Larrain’s Ema, Danielle Lesowitz’s Port Authority, Cristi Puiu’s Manor House and Marco Bellochio’s The Traitor.

Any of those films might be part of a Cannes-Telluride one-two punch.
As many of you know, Cannes and Telluride will often share an average of 7-8 films so this week’s Cannes lineup announcement should give us a lot to ponder as we look forward to TFF #46.
Wells’ post can be found here.


(Photo of Johnny Cash from Episode 5 of Country Music via Sony Music Archives and The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

The Ken Burns Country Music Tour (at least that's what I', calling it) to bring attention to his forthcoming documentary about the history of country and western music in the United States is making another stop.  This time in Pittsburgh on Wednesday of this week.  As a part pf that stop, Burns did a solid interview with Scott Mervis for The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Burns doc is scheduled to launch on PBS a couple of weeks after the Telluride Film Festival (Sept. 15th) leading me to think that Telluride might be the final stop on "the tour".

The Post-Gazette article can be seen here.

That's a wrap on your Monday MTFB.  I'll be back on Thursday.  That post may well come a little later in the day so that I can do a bit of an entry on the Cannes lineup which will largely be announced that day.


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Thursday, April 11, 2019

More Program Dedications from Past Fests / Best of the Decade / News from Cannes

Good Thursday film fans.


Spurred by the recent death of Agnes Varda and my speculation that we might find the 46th TFF program dedicated to her when we show up in the San Juans in late August, I began chronicling the people who have had past fests dedicated to them as far back as I can find them in the actual TFF programs.

In my last post I was able to list dedications for the last ten years of the festival (2009-2018).  Today that listing continues with a look at dedications from 1999-2008:

#35 2008- No dedication
#34 2007- Edward Yang and Ulrich Muhe
#33 2006- Jody Goodman
#32 2005- G. Cabrera Infante
#31 2004- Fay Wray
#30 2003- Stan Brakhage
#29 2002- Chuck Jones
#28 2001- Richard Farnsworth
#27 2000- John Berry
#26 1999- Albert Johnson

I'll have he next flight of program dedications in Monday's post.


I was recently asked to contribute to a survey of the best films of the decade (2010-2019).  So I have been pondering what might end up on my list.  I have been tasked with naming five films.  To that end, I have started the process by creating a list of 20 films to winnow down to the five.

As you might expect, the original list of 20 is heavy with films that played at Telluride but it's not exclusively TFF films.

Here's the working list at the moment listed chronologically by year:

2010- True Grit
2011- The Tree of Life, Shame, A Separation
2012- Lincoln, The Life of Pi
2013- 12 Years a Slave, Nebraska, Inside Llewyn Davis
2014- Birdman, Foxcatcher, The Grand Budapest Hotel
2015- Son of Saul, Spotlight, Mad Max: Fury Road
2016- Moonlight, La La Land
2017- Lady Bird, Dunkirk
2018- Roma

Of the 20 films seven of them are films the did not screen at Telluride.

Got to get it down to five...not going to be easy.


Ahead of next week's reveal of the bulk of titles that will play the Cannes Film Festival was the announcement this week that the venerable french film fest will open with the latest from Jim Jarmusch.  His film The Dead Don't Die will be the opening night film.  The film plays on Tuesday, May 14th to open the 72nd edition of Cannes.

The Dead Don't Die is described as a zombie comedy and stars Adam Driver, Bill Murray, Chloe Sevigny as well as Steve Buscemi and Tom Waits.

Jarmusch appears to have been involved with Telluride thrice in the past in 1984 with Stranger than Paradise; in 1989 with Mystery Train and in 1993 with Coffee and Cigarettes, the third short in the series was released that year.

The film has been off my Telluride radar for some time as it will open in the U.S. on June 14th.

I have linked the announcement news from Indiewire and the IMDb page for The Dead Don't Die is linked here.

That's your MTFB for this Thursday.  Come back on Monday for more.


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Monday, April 8, 2019

The TFF Program and Dedications / Trial by Fire Trailer and Release Date / Francis Ford Coppola Announces Megalopolis

Good Monday and welcome to the start of another week in April 2019...


With the passing of film legend Agnes Varda a few days back, MTFB has spent some time re-visiting her career. 

I wondered last week in this space if Varda might be honored by TFF with a dedication in the 2019 program.  I mentioned that the festival has done that before and cited 2018's program dedication to Pierre Rissient. 

And that got me to often has the fest dedicated the program?  When and to whom?  It seemed to me to be a natural extension to seek some answers to those questions especially since I have spent some time trying to put together some of the festival's past and preserve it here.  Sooo...

I have gone to the programs themselves to see what the record shows and here's what I have discovered from the past decade's programs...the following dedications:

#45 2018- Pierre Rissient
#44 2017- Sam Shepard
#43 2016- Paul Cox and Abbas Kiarostami
#42 2015- Peter von Bagh
#41 2014- Stanley Kauffmann and Peter O'Toole
#40 2013- Les Blank, Roger Ebert, George Gund, Donald Richie
#39 2012- Bingham Ray and Jan Sharp
#38 2011- Richard Leacock and Arthur Penn
#37 2010- Max Palevsky
#36 2009- Horton Foote and Budd Schulberg

I'll keep going back to older programs and continue this search for the next couple of posts.


Ed Zwick's Trial by Fire which was one of two films that played in Telluride last Labor Day inspired by articles written by David Grann (the other was The Old Man and the Gun) has a trailer and a release date-May 17th.  That according to both and

Here is the trailer linked from YouTube:

 Trial by Fire stars Jack O'Connell and Laura Dern.


Photo via Rob Latour/Shutterstock and Deadline

Over the weekend the film interweb was abuzz with the announcement from Francis Ford Coppola that he will begin filming a long gestating dream project entitled (at least at the moment) Megalopolis.  The film is characterized in reporting from's Mike Fleming Jr. as "a sprawling film as ambitious as Apocalypse Now.

Coppola is reported as saying the filming will begin this year.

With Coppola's fairly recent return to Telluride (with Apocalypse Now Redux and The Cotton Club) you have to wonder if a TFF screening of the new film might be something that could be a part of a future fest lineup.

The article is linked here.

That's this Monday's MTFB.  I'll have more on Thursday.


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Thursday, April 4, 2019

More on Agnes Varda / Report from CinemaCon: The Goldfinch / New Title for Radegund / Thanks to World of Reel for the Invitation

Good Thursday to all...


Photo via Indiewire

The death of film making pioneer Agnes Varda has continued to send reverberations through the film community and the honorifics and reminiscences continue to appear online and in major publications.  As I did on Monday, I have linked a few more of those here:

From the Cannes Film Festival official site

Manohla Dargis for The New York Times

Jude Dry for Indiewire with comments from female film makers including: Greta Gerwig, Ava Duvernay, Lena Dunham and a dozen others.


Part of the cast of The Goldfinch at CinemaCon (via Indiewire)

CinemaCon attendees got the first look at a trailer for John Crowley's adaptation of Donna Tartt's Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Goldfinch earlier this week.

The film is certainly on my watch list as a potential choice by TFF programmers for this year's fest.  The film is scheduled for U.S. release on Sept. 13th and is from the combination of Warner Bros. and Amazon Studios.  The combination of factors means that it could play any or all of the combination of Telluride, Venice and Toronto.

Kate Erbland writing for Indiewire filed this report from CinemaCon detailing the roll out of the first filmed images of the film.


Amid fevered speculation that Terrence Malick's new film will be announced as a competition film for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival on April 18th came news this week that its title has officially been changed. 

The film has been discussed for months with the working title Radegund.  However, Indiewire's Zack Sharf reported on Tuesday that the film will now be titled A Hidden Life.

The film follows the true story of World War II Austrian Conscientious Objector Franz Jagerstatter who was executed by the Nazis in 1943.

Sharf's story from Indiewire is linked here.

A Hidden Life is on my TFF #45 watch list.


I got a nice invite from Jordan Ruimy of the World of Reel website to participate in a project he is currently working on.  I don't want to give away what it is until Jordan is ready to unveil it but I did want to publicly give him a thank you and a shout out and tell you that something is in the works.

You can take a look at World of Reel by clicking here.

And thanks again for including me Mr. Ruimy.

That's today's MTFB.  Thanks for taking the time to give it a look.  More on Monday.


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Monday, April 1, 2019

Agnes Varda 1928-2019 / Garrone's Big Weekend

I hope it is a good day for you today...

AGNES VARDA 1928-2019

Hard news over the weekend as cinephiles the world over learned of and mourned the passing of  revered filmmaker Agnes Varda.

Varda was a giant of European cinema as one of the prominent voices that emerged with the French New Wave.

Varda was an Oscar nominee for Best Documentary for her 2017 collaboration with artist JR: Faces Places which played at TFF #43.  Varda also was a recipient of an Honorary Oscar.  She was among TFF's first tribute recipients being recognized at the 4th Telluride Film Festival.  Here's a snap of the entry for her tribute from the official TFF #4 program:

Tributes and reminiscences poured in from the film community from around the world over the weekend and I have linked several of those below:

It wouldn't surprise me that Varda could have the TFF #46 program dedicated to her in five months much like Pierre Rissient last year.  I had already thought that some version of her latest and last film, Varda by Agnes (listed by IMDb as a television series),  which screened at the Berlin Fest in February, might show up as a part of the TFF #46 program and with her death, I suspect that becomes even more likely.  That is unless the producers/distributors choose to release it in the U.S. before Labor Day weekend.

One other note...among my favorite things to stumble across as I was preparing this story was the IMDb entry for Varda's 1967 documentary short Uncle Yanco which featured none other than Tom Luddy.  Yes.  There's a picture and a credit and the description mentions that the two were friends.  Here's the pictorial evidence:



Word this weekend that Matteo Garrone's Dogman, which played TFF #45 fared very well at the David di Doantello Awards picking up nine trophies out of a total of 15 nominations including Best Picture, Direction and Screenplay.  The David di Donatello Awards are described by Varitey as Italy's equivalent of the Oscars.

Variety's coverage of those awards is linked here.

Meanwhile, almost simultaneously, we got our first glimpse of Garrone's next project...a live action version of Pinocchio starring Oscar winner Roberto Begnini.

Here's a pic of Begnini as Pinocchio's creator Geppeto:

Still via Greta De Lazzaris via The Hollywood Reporter

THR reports that Garrone plans to wrap principal photography by May... which could mean that with a quick turnaround...maybe people might see it as early as Labor Day...just saying...

Coverage is linked here from:

That's a wrap for this sad Monday.  I'll have more on Thursday...


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