Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Seventh Telluride Film Festival Re-Visited / Updated Critical Responses from France / Indiewire Handicaps the Palme Contenders




THE SEVENTH TELLURIDE FILM FESTIVAL RE-VISITED



My review of the history of Telluride Film Festival's continues today with a glance at the 7th TFF.  It ran from Aug. 29-Sept. 1, 1980.

Tributes: Robert Altman, Maurice Pialat, Karl Struss

SHOWS:

Afternoon of War
All Quiet on the Western Front
The Big Combo
Brewster McCloud
Bye Bye Brazil
The Cheat
Contempt
Courage of the West
Death of a Guide
Devil to Pay
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Every Man for Himself
Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill
Final Accord
The First Teacher
Gun Crazy
Health
Here's Lookin' at You Kid
It Always Rains on Sunday
Journey into Fear
L'enfance Nue
LouLou
McCabe and Mrs. Miller
The Mirror
The Mouth Agape
Mudhoney
My Life to Live
Night World
The Perfumed Nightmare
Plan of a 19 Year Old
A Slave of Love
The Story of Temple Drake
Sunrise
Thieves Like Us
Thunder Trail
Vertigo
We Will Not Grow Old Together
Which Way to the Front


Guests:

Lew Ayres
Ronee Blakley
Keith Carradine
Shelley Duvall
Jean-Luc Goddard
Joan Hackett
Werner Herzog
Russ Meyer
Volker Schlondorff
Paul Schrader
Barbet Schroeder


UPDATED CRITICAL RESPONSES FROM FRANCE



Since Monday, the critical winds in Cannes have shifted as new films have been screening.  Very few are left to premiere before we get to Saturday and the close of the festival.

At this point, here are your critical leaders in the Palme d'Or competition from several different compilations (with at least two dozen critics reporting).

Reini Urban (the largest database of Cannes critics out there):

1) Burning (d: Lee Chang-dong) 7.90/10
2) Shoplifters (d. Hirekazu Kore-eda)7.67
3) Happy as Lazzaro (d. Alice Rohrwacher) 7.47

Todas Criticas:

1) The Image Book (d. Jean-Luc Goddard) 8.35
2) Happy as Lazzaro 8.20
3) Burning 8.09

Ioncinema:

1) Burning 3.9/5
2) Cold War (d. Pawel Pawlikowski) 3.7
3) Shoplifters 3.6

International Cinephile Society:

1) Burning 4.83/5
2) The Image Book 4.43
3) Shoplifters 4.12


Complete looks at each sources ratings are linked:

Reini Urban

Todas Criticas

Ioncinema

ICS


INDIEWIRE HANDICAPS THE PALME CONTENDERS



Eric Kohn at Indiewire has been updating their estimation of which films have the best shot at winning the Palme d'Or this weekend in France.

The most recent update has the top three as:

1) Happy as Lazzaro
2) Shoplifters
3) Cold War

The complete updated post is here.


As of my post this morning, however, Kohn has not yet included Burning and the critical response suggests that it could easily move into Kohn's top three with his next update.


That's your update for this Thursday...more on Monday (with probable Cannes updates over the weekend).



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Monday, May 14, 2018

82 Women of Film Take a Stand in Cannes / First Critical Look at Cannes Films / The La Mancha Saga Gets Another Documentary Look / Panahi's Latest Has a Trailer

Good Monday to all...


82 WOMEN OF FILM TAKE A STAND IN CANNES




In an extraordinary moment Saturday, 82 women from all walks of the film world stood in solidarity to express their concern about female representation in the industry at large and Cannes in particular.  The group was led by Cate Blanchett, who is presiding over the Palme d'Or jury this year and film legend Agnes Varda who shred a microphone to deliver a statement in both English and French.  

The number of women was no accident as 82 is the number of females that have directed films that have screened at Cannes in its 71 year history.  Male directed films in that time-1,688.

Among the women in the group of 82-

Telluride Film Festival Executive Director Julie Huntsinger and:
Lea Seydoux
Ava DuVernay
Jane Fonda
Kristen Stewart
Claudia Cardinale
Marion Cotillard
Nandita Das
Patty Jenkins
Salma Hayek


Here's video of the moment from The News Channel and YouTube:



Additionally, here's Vanity Fair's coverage which includes the complete list of 82 women that were on the red carpet on Saturday (for the presentation of Eva Husson's Girls of the Sun):
  

Other coverage is linked here from:




FIRST CRITICAL LOOK AT CANNES FILMS




As I have done for the past several years, I am linking to several sites that are collecting samplings of critical reaction to the films that are screening at Cannes.

The most comprehensive is from Reini Urban who combines seven different critical collections.

As of this morning the top rated film (with at least a dozen responses recorded) among those in the Palme d'Or competition is Alice Rohrwacher's Happy as Lazzaro with 45 combined critic ratings and a 7.53 average.  Pawel Pawlikowski Cold War sits at second with a 7.41 average.


Also from Todas Criticas. Jean Luc Godard's The Image Book leads with an 8.32 with Happy as Lazzaro next at 8.13.

Ioncinema has Cold War out front with a 3.7 (on a five point scale) followed by Jia Zhangke's Ash Is the Purest White with a 3.2.  Jafar Panahi's Three Faces has a 4.3 but that comes from only three critics thus far.

Screen International's compilation is lead by both Cold War and Ash Is the Purest White with a tied 2.9 (on a four point scale).

And the ICS collection of critics has The Image Book on top with a 4.71 (of five) followed by Ash Is the Purest White at 3.92.

The links to the various critical takes are here:









THE LA MANCHA SAGA GETS ANOTHER DOCUMENTARY LOOK




As I have been dutifully reporting, it looks like Terry Gilliam's long-gestating The Man Who Killed Don Quixote will finally screen on Saturday as the closing night film for the 71st Cannes Film Festival.  The 20+ year ordeal is about to get to the next chapter...

In 2002, the efforts of Gilliam to make the film were chronicled in the doc Lost in La Mancha.  That film played TFF.

Now, as Gilliam is on the cusp of realizing the film's completion, word comes that the same crew that produce Lost in La Mancha has been collecting material for a follow on documentary that will cover the latest trials and tribulations that have led to the film's imminent presentation.

The film is currently titled He Dreams of Giants.



PANAHI'S LATEST HAS A TRAILER


Iranian film maker has managed to get another film out of that nation despite his status under house arrest.  Three Faces premiered at Cannes this week and the early critical response seems good.  

Three years ago Panahi's Taxi played Berlin, winning the Golden Bear,  and ultimately Telluride.

Could we see another Panahi film in the San Juans at the end of the summer?  I wouldn't count it out.

Here's the official trailer for the film prepped for Cannes and with English subtitles via YouTube:






That's your MTFB for a Monday.  More to come on Thursday...


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Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Don Quixote Saga Continued / Everybody Knows Goes Is in Focus / Cannes Will Honor Rissient

Good Thursday to everyone...


THE DON QUIXOTE SAGA CONTINUED



On our previous episode of "What Else Could Happen to The Man Who Killed Don Quixote" we were wondering how a French court would rule and if that would allow or prevent the film's screening as the closing night entertainment in Cannes...well...

Since Monday...Terry Gilliam had a "health episode" that was described as a possible stroke but was apparently not that...

Distributor Amazon Studios dropped plans to distribute the film and

The Court ruled and said, essentially, roll that film on May 19th.

It's been an eventful few days for the Don Quixote crew.

All of the sound and fury led one Twitter account to suggest that attending the screening on the 19th might be risky as it is likely to end in a disaster of biblical proportion.  Such has been the beleaguered history of the film.

Here's what I want to know:  Why did Amazon pull out?  And...what the hell else could happen to this production in the next 10 days?


Here's a sampling of the coverage for this past three days worth of developments:

The Court decision:



Amazon's Decision:





Gilliam's Health Scare:





EVERYBODY KNOWS IS IN FOCUS



Asghar Farhadi's Everybody Knows opened the 71st Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday to mixed reviews (I'll start passing along links to various critics' compilation sites beginning with next Monday's blog post).

Despite the so-so nature of the critical reception, a reportedly significant battle ensued for U.S. distribution rights for the film among a number of players.  Netflix had been reported earlier in the week as a likely bidder and reportedly they were but in the end were bested by Focus Features.

Focus was said to gain an advantage die its traditional theatrical release structure meaning that the film could be aimed at awards season.

Additionally, the win by Focus probably still keeps the film in the convo for Telluride although, as astute friend of MTFB Patrick Pringle noted via Twitter, the recent decision by the Trump administration to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal could create problems for screenings of the film.

Here's coverage of the Focus deal from:





CANNES WILL HONOR RISSIENT



As you might expect, the Cannes Film Fest will honoring the late Pierre Rissient, who died last weekend.  The film "warrior" was an incredible part of the fabric of both Cannes and Telluride.  I ran across this comment from former TFF co-director Gary Meyer in the comment section of the Eric Kohn/Indiewire story reporting Rissient's passing: 

Thank you for this wonderful and personal look at Pierre Rissient who was truly unique. His passion for the films and talent he loved was infectious. He was demanding in a way that a first timer might not embrace until they realized that he was usually right and listening to him would reveal things we didn’t know about cinema of the past and turn us on to filmmaking on the horizon. The two films about him are a great start to understanding Pierre. I am honored to have been among the lucky ones to have spent time learning and being inspired by one of the art’s true believers.


Additionally, I have linked reportage of Cannes decision to honor Rissient here from:



And that;s a wrap for this Thursday.  Please come back for more on Monday including the first collective looks of the films that will premiere at Cannes over the weekend.


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Monday, May 7, 2018

RIP Pierre Rissient 1936-2018 / Views from Long Days Journey Into Night / Trailer for Portman's Eating Animals

Good Monday


RIP PIERRE RISSIENT 1936-2108


Photo via Institut Lumiere and Variety



News from France yesterday that film friend and Telluride staple Pierre Rissient has died.  He was 81.  Rissient has been described as a "warrior of cinema" as tributes and remembrances have poured in over the past 24 hours.

Rissient's presence has been such in Telluride's film history that the La Pierre Theater (adjoining the Palm) was named in his honor.   Rissient received Telluride's Silver Medallion in 1992.  The earliest reference I can find to Rissient and Telluride is his participation in 1983 with a presentation called "Lino Brocka: Cinema's Robin Hood".  Rissient, as of last year's fest, was still named a "resident curator".

IMDb lists Rissient as the director of two films Alibis in 1977 ans Five and the Skin in 1982.  Rissient was to have presented a restored version of Five and the Skin at Cannes this year.

The death of Rissient was noted throughout the film community.  I have linked stories from:

Variety

The Hollywood Reporter

Indiewire

[Correction: An earlier version of this post had Rissient's birth year as 1926-my apologies]

VIEWS FROM LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT



The film Stage posted a story this week about Bi Gans' Cannes competition film Long Day's Journey Into Night which The Film Stage calls its most anticipated film of the Canes Palme competition.  The article which went up on Saturday includes multiple stills from the film.

As it is on my Telluride/Cannes list of potential crossover films, I have included a few of those here:





Long Days Journey is scheduled to premiere at Cannes on May 16.

The complete article from The Film Stage is here.



TRAILER FOR PORTMAN'S EATING ANIMALS


Making a splash at TFF #44 last Labor Day was the Natalie Portman produced documentary Eating Animals.  The doc is scheduled for release on June 15th and focuses on the effects globally of the reliance on animal flesh as a food source.

The film is being distributed by IFC Films and Sundance Selects and a trailer for it appeared this last week:



Trailer via YouTube




That's a wrap for this Monday.  More to come on Thursday.

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Thursday, May 3, 2018

New Trailer for Don Q / Cannes Supports The Don and Gilliam / Awards Watch Previews Foreign Language Oscar Hopefuls / The Wind Is Closer to Completion

Good first Thursday in May my friends...

NEW TRAILER FOR DON Q

Amidst all the legal brouhaha over Terry Gilliam's The Man Who Killed Don Quixote and whether it will actually screen to close Cannes on May 19th, we have a second trailer for the film, which, for my money is better and more enticing than the first.

Here it is from YouTube:






CANNES SUPPORTS THE DON AND GILLIAM



The top brass at the Cannes International Film Festival released a statement of support this week for Terry Gilliam and his beleaguered film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.  The film has taken two decades to complete and continues to be mired in legal woes.

A hearing is set to take place in Paris on May 7th concerning the claims of one of the past producers of the film.  The decision in that proceeding could determine whether Quixote actually screens as Cannes closing night feature on May 19th.  It's also entirely possible that the ruling could bar the film's screening.

Original reporting on this particular legal claim suggested that the ultimate court finding might not occur until June.

All of that means that the film's Cannes future is uncertain and certainly that would continue to be true in the context of a potential play at Telluride.

Here is coverage from Indiewire on Cannes' statement of support for Gilliam and the film.



AWARDS WATCH PREVIEWS FOREIGN LANGUAGE OSCAR HOPEFULS



Erik Anderson at Awards Watch posted a piece this week examining 16 films that will be playing the Cannes Fest that he thinks could be players in the Foreign Language Oscar race.

Among those 16 are several that I have my eye on as possible TFF #45 candidates:

Cold War
Everybody Knows
Dogman
Ash Is the Purest White
Burning
Three Faces
Ayka


The complete rundown of the 16 films is here from Awards Watch.


 THE WIND IS CLOSER TO COMPLETION



Producer Frank Marshall tweeted a photo on Monday with the caption explaining that the sound mix for Orson Welles' final film The Other Side of the Wind was "a wrap".  That moves the film one step closer to completion and potential screening.

Increasingly I am convinced that we're going to have the opportunity to catch a screening of the film over Labor Day weekend.

Additionally, I also think a screening of Mark Cousins' new Welles documentary, The Eyes of Orson Welles could show as a companion piece.

Here's the photo:


and the text of Marshall's tweet:

That's a wrap! An historic moment as we finish the sound mix for THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND, almost 50 years after Orson Welles began shooting his final picture.



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Monday, April 30, 2018

CinemaCon Reveals Some TFF Potential / Leigh's Peterloo Will Be on the Trail / No Cannes Screening But New Stills: Quixote / Payne Talks Downsizing Challenges

Good Monday Film Fans...


CINEMACON REVEALS SOME TFF POTENTIAL



The annual Las Vegas Show and Tell known as CinemaCon has opened and closed.  The event ran from Apr. 23-26 at Caesar's Palace in Sin City.  The event which traditionally focused on showcasing films that are expected or hoped to be big summer releases has also edged into offering glimpses of fall prestige releases.

That was certainly the case this year as a number of films that are already being buzzed about as potential awards contenders were featured.  That means we TFF fans probably ought to pay some attention to what was teased and the reactions that those teases evoked.

Variety posted a handy-dandy and comprehensive listing of films that showed up last week ands rated their assessment of the reactions from CinemaCon attendees.

The "hottest" film according to Variety that has been on my Telluride-radar is Damian Chazelle's First Man starring Ryan Gosling as American hero Neil Armstrong.  Variety has it as its third "hottest" title of the films teased in Vegas.  I have a comment about the films that Variety had as the two hottest below.

Other TFF possibles and their relative "hotness" position according to Variety:

Boy Erased at #7
Mary Queen of Scots at #9
Beautiful Boy at #20


The Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody was listed at #2 and I still doubt that it's a likely Telluride fit but Bradley Cooper's A Star Is Born re-make with Lady Gaga  was listed at #1 and I think I am going to have to start seriously thinking about it as a possible TFF inclusion.  I've resisted that up until now largely because I was reluctant to believe that there would be much excitement about a film on its fourth time around.  The buzz was already strong, however,  leading up to the CinemaCon presentation and with the strong reaction there...I'm beginning to think that I can't just reject the possibility of a San Juan play out of hand.

Warners has the distribution rights and over the last few years with Argo (12), Prisoners and Gravity (13), Black Mass (15) and Sully (16) their presence has been felt.   SO...maybe A Star Is Born (#4)...

Here is a smattering of coverage from CinemaCon focused on possible TFF films:

Indiewire on Beautiful Boy

Indiewire on Widows

Indiewire on First Man



LEIGH'S PETERLOO WILL BE ON THE TRAIL



Many (including myself) thought Mike Leigh's Peterloo would be on the list of Palme d'Or competition films.  It was a bit of a surprise when that didn't happen.

Deadline reports this week, though, that the film "will be making a play at the fall film festivals".  Past that there are no specific details but considering Leigh's lengthy history with Telluride, you still have to think that a play at The SHOW is likely one of the"fall festivals: where the film could land.

The complete Deadline post is here.


 NO CANNES SCREENING BUT NEW STILLS: QUIXOTE



SlashFilm (/Film) posted a story this week that, again , lays out the latest legal bump in the road of a Cannes screening of Terry Gilliam's The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.  The story itself doesn't truly break any new ground or provide new legal details or nuance but it does include ten new photos from the film.

I've posted a couple of them here and you can take a look at all of them linked at /Film's story.





PAYNE TALKS DOWNSIZING CHALLENGES


Photo from Indiewire


It's no secret that Alexander Payne's Downsizing had a rocky release both commercially (IMDb says it was a $68 million budget and a $39 million global gross) and critically...his lowest Metacritic score of all of the seven feature films he has directed at a 63).

Payne, who has become a staple figure at Telluride since his inclusion as Guest Director in 2009, spoke recently to Dick Cavett at a presentation during the just concluded Tribeca Film Festival.  Michael Nordine of Indiewire covered the conversation.


Payne was recently announced to direct The Burial.  The film is based on a true story about corporate corruption in the funeral industry from a script from Golden Globe and  nominated and Tony Award winning writer Doug Wright (Quills, I Am My Own Wife).


That's a wrap for this last Monday in April.  More to come on Thursday.

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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Not So Fast Don / Welles Doc to Play Cannes / Chloe Zhao Talks The Rider / Late Breaking: Ed Lachman Honored by Cannes

Welcome my friends, to Thursday and MTFB...


NOT SO FAST DON



There is yet another snag in the ongoing drama concerning Terry Gilliam's The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.  The film had been announced last week as the closing night presentation for the Cannes Film Festival on May 19th but is now again in Limbo.

I had thought with last week's announcement that the last legal hurdle had been cleared or at least that accommodations had been reached that would allow the film to play in France.  That doesn't seem to be the case at this point as Screen Daily reported that one time producer Paulo Branco has sought a "writ" to prohibit the screening from a court in Paris.

It appears from the Melanie Goodfellow reporting that there will be a hearing about the matter on May 7th which could result with the film being barred from screening.

Gilliam's saga continues and it seems that we will have to wait for the court proceeding to find out if the film will, in fact, close Cannes.


WELLES DOC TO PLAY CANNES



Orson Welles may not be represented at Cannes with The Other Side of the Wind due to the feud between the fest and Netflix but that doesn't mean that you won't have the opportunity to get your Orson fix.  The fest has announced that the documentary The Eyes of Orson Welles will play in the Cannes Classics section.  The film is directed by Mark Cousins who historically has had quite a connection to Telluride, though not recently.

Cousins has played TFF with films such as The Story of Film, What Is This Film Called Love and The Story of Children and Film which was his last Telluride visit in 2013.

Also of potential interest in the Cannes Classics selections is Magarethe Von Trotta's documentary Searching for Ingmar Bergman which I could see making the grade for TFF #45.

Coverage of the Cannes announcement of additional films is linked here:





CHLOE ZHAO TALKS THE RIDER



With the release a few days back of Chloe Zhao's The Rider came a flurry of P.R. materials including this interview with the writer/director with Gregory Ellwood at The Playlist.  

The film played very well at TFF last year ending up tied for the #2 spot on my collection of film ratings from film Pros.



LATE BREAKING: ED LACHMAN HONORED BY CANNES



Ed Lachman and Todd Haynes in Telluride last year (pic from Scott Foundas)


As I am getting ready to post this morning word is coming form France that TFF #44 tribute recipient Ed Lachman will be honored next month by the Cannes Film Fest for his contributions as a cinematographer.  Lachman will receive the Pierre Angenieux ExcelLens award.  The award began in 2013 and past winners include Vilmos Zsigmond and Roger Deakins.

Lachman was honored last September in Telluride for his career.  That tribute included screenings of Todd Haynes' Wonderstruck.

Lachman's credits also include Far From Heaven, Carol and The Virgin Suicides.

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

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Monday, April 23, 2018

Pics from Cannes Films / Posters for Welles and Garrone / First Stills from Old Man and the Gun

Good Monday morning to everyone...a visually dominated post today...


PICS FROM CANNES FILMS

Indiewire put up 36 stills from a bunch of the films that are playing Cannes next month last Tuesday and I thought I'd re-post the photos of the films among that group that seem, at least to me and at this time, to be the most likely Telluride crossovers:

Asghar Farhadi's Everybody Knows:


Matteo Garrone's Dogman:



Debra Granik's Leave No Trace:



Bi Gan's Long Day's Journey Into Night:







POSTERS FOR WELLES AND GARRONE

We have our first this week at posters for potential Telluride films The Other Side of the Wind and Dogman.

The look at the poster for Orson Welles' final film comes to us from WorldofReel:



 And the Dogman poster comes from the Twitter account of Richard Lorman:



AND THE FIRST STILLS FROM OLD MAN AND THE GUN

From Indiewire comes a look at couple of photos from David Lowery's Old Man and the Gun starring Robert Redford (TFF Tribute 2013) which is reportedly his last acting role.

Here are the peeks at Redford (and co-star Sissy Spacek):





Fox Searchlight has announced that the film will be released October 5th.


That's a wrap for this Monday.  I'll be back on Thursday with more...

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Late Breaking: Don Quixote Will Ride at Cannes / TFF Time Tunnel: The Eighth Telluride Film Festival / Filmworker Trailer / First Man Details

Good Thursday yo you...


LATE BREAKING: DON QUIXOTE WILL RIDE AT CANNES



Overnight the Cannes Film Festival announced the addition of several films to their lineup including that Terry Gilliam's The Man Who Killed Don Quixote will close the fest on May 19.

The Gilliam film had not been previously named due to legal complications but these appear to have been solved or waived so that the film can play next month in France.

Quixote was among a number of films announced as additions overnight included adds to the Palme d'Or competition section and Un Certain Regard.

Notably "Persona Non Grata" Lars Von Trier has been invited back to Cannes out of competition with The House That Jack Built.  That ends  his banishment that had been in effect since 2011.

Screen Daily has details of the newly announced films here.

Here's a thought...a Terry Gilliam tribute in Telluride.


TFF TIME TUNNEL: THE EIGHTH TELLURIDE FILM FESTIVAL



The ongoing history of the Telluride Film Festival project continues here today with a review of the Eighth TFF which transpired from Sept. 4-7, 1981.

Tributes:

The Character Actor: Margaret Hamilton, Elisha Cook, John Carradine, Woody Strode
Carlos Diegues
Dusan Makavejev

Special Medallions : Stan Brakhage and Kevin Brownlow


SHOWS:

Age of the Earth
The Big City
Catherine
Charm of Dynamite
The Circus
Daddy Long Legs
Dark Water
Eight Minutes to Midnight
False Witness
Fear Not Jacob
Fruits of Passion
Ganga Zumba
Hollywood
Love Affair or The Case of the Missing Switchboard Operator
Montenegro
My Dinner With Andre
Mysteries of the Organism
The Paper Chase
Paradise Not Yet Lost
Pearl Row
Pickup on South STreet
Prisoner of Shark Island
Sergeant Rutledge
Sherlock Holmes
Silver Dollar
Soldier Girls
Stages: John Houseman Directs Lear
The Sudden Wealth of the Poor People of Kombach
Three Brothers
Ticket to Heaven
Trapped
The Trouble with Harry
The Triumph of Sherlock Holmes
Vernon Florida
A Very Curious Girl
The Wizard of Oz
Xica Da Silva

Guests:

Susan Anspach
Keith Carradine
Robert Carradine
Shelley Duvall
Sam Fuller
Andre Gregory
John Houseman
Leonard Maltin
Errol Morris
Volker Schlondorff
Wallace Shawn



FILMWORKER TRAILER



One of the documentaries that made something of a splash at last year's fest was Tony Zierra's Filmworker which centered on the story of one time actor Leon Vitali who became Stanley Kubrick's right hand man.

Filmworker now has this trailer (vie YouTube):





Filmworker is set to open early next month in Los Angeles and New York.


FIRST MAN DETAILS


First Man set pics via The Daily Mail


One of the domestic non-Cannes films I'm watching for a possible slot at TFF #45 is Damien Chazelle's First Man.  It's Chazelle's much anticipated followup to La La Land.

First Man will follow the true story of American hero Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon.  The film is scheduled for commercial release on Oct. 12th.

I have it on my radar because of its high profile and because of Chazelle.  The distribution is with Universal Pictures which has a thin Telluride profile over the past decade or so playing Steve Jobs at T-ride in 2015 and Flash of Genius back in 2008.

It's also worth noting that the film is scripted by Josh Singer who co-wrote and won an Oscar for Spotlight in 2015.  Singer also penned The Post last year which was a Golden Globe nominee for Best Screenplay.

Indiewire's Michael Nordine reported on some emerging details about the film (which has been described in an earlier Indiewire story as "Whiplash in space". (The 25 Actor-Director Pairings to Get Excited About in 2018).


That's your MTFB for this Thursday.  Tune in again Monday for more.

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Monday, April 16, 2018

Cannes and the Rest of the Lineup? / Milos Forman 1932-2018

Welcome back from the weekend on this Monday...


CANNES AND THE REST OF THE LINEUP



Followers of the Cannes Film Fest know that the Palme d'Or lineup is probably not complete.  It has been common in recent years that films have been added to the competition and other sections of the fest after the main announcement and I expect that to be the case again this year.

That said, it appears that the door has not completely closed on three films of particular interest to this writer that I've been eyeing as potential Cannes/Telluride crossovers for months.

First, the Netflix/Cannes stand off...which includes Alfonso Cuaron's Roma and Orson Welles' now completed The Other Side of the Wind.

Those doors where thought to be closed with last Thursday's announcement as Netflix withdrew any films from consideration for any section of the festival.  The conflict centers on the Netflix distribution model and Cannes' insistence that competition films must have a French theatrical release.

Despite what happened Thursday, there are reports that there still may efforts to open the door for both of those films.  Indiewire reported that Fremaux is still lobbying for Roma to play Cannes and that Welles' daughter is imploring Netflix and the fest to find some way that The Other Side of the Wind could still play.

Honestly, I don't have a good sense of how this will eventually shake out.  My best guess is that the standoff remains in place and both Roma and Wind don't get added and may, instead screen at Venice and/or Telluride but I wouldn't wager any money on that.

The other film to mention is Terry Gilliam's The Man Killed Don Quixote.  Its chance of playing Cannes seemed to be dashed by ongoing legal proceedings involving one of the film's past producers.  However, there were hints this weekend that even that door might not be totally closed.

Again, if I were forced to guess, I wouldn't count on Gilliam's film making it to the Croisette.  Its past history suggests that.  Actually, it's past history suggests that it's chances at T-ride, Venice, New York and/or Toronto are all dicey at best.


MILOS FORMAN 1932-2018



Milos Forman has died at 86.  His body of work as a director was smallish.  IMDb lists 20 features with Forman directing but the list of 20 is formidable and includes two Best Direction Oscar wins for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Amadeus (both of which also won Best Picture).  In addition to those two classics Forman also directed Man in the Moon, Ragtime, The People vs. Larry Flynt and Hair.

Forman was in Telluride for the festival in 2001 with the re-release of Amadeus that screened that year.

Several of you probably know that I have occasionally said that Cuckoo's Nest is my favorite film (though that claim shifts from time to time).

Forman was notable for directing all manner never getting stuck in a particular genre or format.  His versatility was remarkable.

Here's Indiewire's report on his passing.



More on Thursday...

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

And Now...From the 71st Cannes Film Festival / San Fran Film Fest Ongoing

Good Thursday friends...  It's Cannes time...


AND NOW...FROM THE 71ST CANNES FILM FESTIVAL




Now we know the Cannes lineup.  Main Competition, Un Certain Regard, Special Screenings...

And of the films that have been announced, historically five to ten are probably headed to Telluride in four and a half months.

Of course it's all guess work of the most speculative at this point.  I'll wait to see and hear what happens when these films screen in a month in France.  I'll be looking at critical reaction and the apportionment of prizes as well as pedigree and distribution.  All of that, and also some good old fashioned intuition to try to formulate a list of films that will make an appearance both on the Croisette and on Colorado Ave.

At first glance, the Cannes lineup offers a smaller list of obvious Telluride candidates than most years.

That said, here are what start out as the best chances for films that we now know are playing Cannes that might also play TFF #44:

In competition:

Dogman
Ash Is the Purest White
Burning
Three Faces
Cold War

From Un Certain Regard:

Long Day's Journey Into Night
Manto

And among Special Screenings: Pope Francis: A Man of His Word

Still a possibility is the opening night film: Asghar Farhadi's Everybody Knows.

Perhaps the most surprising omission, at least to me, is Mike Leigh's Peterloo.

As is often the case, Cannes Fest head Thierry Fremaux said other films could still be added to the lineup.

Fremaux also suggested that both The Other Side of the Wind and The Man Who Killed Don Quixote where serious contenders for selection but that the Netflix/Cannes feud had nixed the Welles film and another legal issue blocked the selection of Gilliam's film.

Both American films named in the Palme d'Or competition will open in the U.S. prior to Labor Day weekend meaning that they are off the table for Telluride: Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman (opens Aug. 10) and David Robert Mitchell's Under the Silver Lake (opens June 22).

Coverage of this morning's announcement is here from:

Indiewire

Variety

The Hollywood Reporter




SAN FRAN FILM FEST ONGOING



Gary Meyer's Eat, Drink, Film website reports that the San Francisco Film Fest or SFFILM is off to a roaring start.  Meyer's first report is here.

Looking at Gary's story makes me yearn to be both in San Fran and at a film festival...what a great pairing of place and purpose.

Gary says he has a couple of other posts from SFFILM in the pipeline so stay tuned.


That's your MTFB this Thursday.  More on Monday.

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Monday, April 9, 2018

Everybody Knows Opens Cannes / On the Other Cannes / No Roma in Cannes Competition?

Well, I'm back.  Didn't plan to take last week off from the blog but that's what happened.  As i posted on Thursday...my apologies.

EVERYBODY KNOWS OPENS CANNES

While I was away this week it was announced that Asghar Farhadi's Everybody Knows will open the Cannes Film Festival next month.

Farhadi's Spanish language film stars Penelope Cruz (TFF Tributee in 2006) and Javier Bardem.

I've had Everybody Knows on the Cannes/Telluride watch list for months now due to Farhadi's past screenings of A Separation and The Past at TFF.

Two things I would note, however, are that Farhadi's last film (The Salesman) did not play TFF and  it's relatively rare that a Cannes opener makes the crossover to lay Telluride as well.  The last time I can find that happening was in 2004 with Pedro Almodovar's Bad Education so...it's been a long time.


Further details of the selection of the film for Cannes is here from:

Variety

Indiewire




The Pre-Cannes trailer for Everybody Knows from YouTube



ON THE OTHER CANNES



The release this week of a trailer and poster for Terry Gilliam's The Man Who Killed Don Quixote all but assures that the film's title will be announced for some spot in Cannes on Thursday.  The multi-decade-in-the-making film has also been on my Cannes/TFF crossover possibility list for a long while.

Here's the trailer from YouTube:







And coverage of the trailer from:





AND...NO ROMA IN COMPETITION AT CANNES?



The news this week that Alfonso Cuaron is now under the Netflix banner means that, as of now, Cuaron's film will not be playing in competition in France next month.

Cannes director Thierry Fremaux has made it clear that under the current Netflix release strategies, Netflix films will not be in the main competition.

For its part, Netflix, according to Vanity Fair and Indiewire is now threatening to exclude Roma and four other films from the festival including the highly anticipated Orson Welles "last film" The Other Side of the Wind.

And, of course, I have no good idea what this set of circumstances might do regarding TFF #44.


That's the bounceback MTFB for this Monday.


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Thursday, April 5, 2018

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Ninth Telluride Film Festival / Reminder: Telluride and Best Picture / The Continuation of Cannes Guesses

Hell o to everyone on this Thursday...


THE NINTH TELLURIDE FILM FESTIVAL



Here's another installment in the months long sporadic project to document the history of the Telluride Film Festival.  The focus today is on the 9th fest that occurred from Sept. 3-6, 1982.

TRIBUTES:

Joel McCrea
Pierre Braunberger
Athol Fugard


SHOWS:

Arruza
Boseman and Lena
Bona
Broken Blossoms
Burden of Dreams
City of Lovers
Coaster
Country Lovers
Endangered Species
Fire on the Water
Fitzcarraldo
Foreign Correspondent
The Great Moment
The Grey Fox
The Guest
Koyaanisqatsi
La Chienne
Longshot
Marigolds in August
Mules of Smiles, Years of Struggles
Money and the Woman
Mr. Dynamite
My Life to Live
Night of the Shooting Stars
Padre Padrone
Painted Boats
The Palm Beach Story
Paris
Parsifal
Ride Lonesome
The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond
Rope
Say Amen, Somebody
Smithereens
The Thirteenth Chair
Veronika Voss
Victor Sjostrom: A Film Portrait
We of the Never Never
The Wind
Yol

GUESTS:

Joe Dante
Richard Farnsworth
Lillian Gish
Philip Glass
Werner Herzog
Chuck Jones
JoBeth Williams
Robert Wise

YOUR REMINDER ABOUT TELLURIDE AND THE OSCAR FOR BEST PICTURE



I couldn't help but notice a tweet from Peter Howell, film critic for The Toronto Star and President of the Toronto Film Critics Association, this week.


Peter and I have exchanged messages over the past few years regarding both Telluride and Toronto's film fests.  He's been very kind to me as I have worked on this blog.  Anyway...

He tweeted a chart from Vanity Fair that graphically underscores fall film fest premiere relationships and Best Picture Oscar winners.

Here's a screen grab of that tweet:


Sorry about the size here, but it gives you a better look at the graph which really does highlight what has happened in terms of Telluride and the Best Picture Oscar.

Of course, I would add that although The Artist (2011), Birdman (2014) and Spotlight (2015) didn't "premiere" as T-ride...they did screen there.  In the case of both Birdman and Spotlight, they screened within hours of dropping at Venice.  This year The Shape of Water joined their company.


THE CONTINUATION OF CANNES GUESSES



Ioncinema opened up its Cannes speculation this week with a post that focused on films from North and South America that could make the grade when Thierry Fremaux announces the lineup on April 12th.  Ioncinema says they'll continue next week with looks at other films from around the planet that they think might get in.

Among the North and South American possibilities are these that have the pedigree to suggest a Telluride crossover:

Terrence Malick's Radegund
Barry Jenkins' If Beale Street Could Talk
Tony Zierra's SK13
Orson Welles' The Other Side of the Wind
Alfonso Cuaron's Roma
Sebastian Lelio's English language version of Gloria




That's the MTFB for Thursday.  I'll have more on Monday.  Have a great weekend.

EMAIL:  mpgort@gmail.com OR michael_speech@hotmail.com

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