Monday, September 28, 2020

Oscar 2020 First Attempt-Best Actor / Looks at The Way I See It and The Truffle Hunters /The Bee Gees Go to HBO


MTFB continues its first pass at predicting Oscar nominees for 2020-21 in various major categories.  Today we're looking at Best Actor with, as always, a focus on those performances that were a part of the list of 29 films that TFF released that would have been screened as a part of TFF #47.  Performers designated with *** are in films that may not be released prior to the Feb, 28, 2021 Oscar eligibility deadline.   TFF#47 performers are in Bold:

1) Anthony Hopkins/The Father
2) Gary Oldman/Mank
3) Tom Hanks/News of the World***
4) Delroy Lindo/Da 5 Bloods
5) Bill Murray/On the Rocks
6) Daniel Kaluuya/Judas and the Black Messiah***
7) Joaquin Phoenix/C'mon C'mon***
8) Ben Affleck/The Way Back
9) Matt Damon/Stillwater***
10) Michael Fassbender/Next Goal Wins***


This week we got new footage from two TFF #47 documentaries.  Initially, we were treated to the a first clip from Dawn Porter's The Way I See It which focuses on Pete Souza who spent time as the Chief Official White House photographer for Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama.

Here's that clip from YouTube:

If you have trouble viewing this video, here is the link:

Also, ahead of its play at the Zurich film festival, we have a new clip from Greg Kersahe and Michael Dweck's The Truffle Hunters.  Also from YouTube:

As with the above clip, if you have trouble viewing here's the link to the video:


We got word this week that Frank Marshall's documentary focusing on The Brothers Gibb has been acquired by HBO.  The Bees Gees: How Do You Mend a Broken Heart was announced as an official TFF #47 selection back at the end of July and now reports that HBO Documentary Films now has plans to screen the doc on this fall on HBO Max and their flagship platform.



MTFB is published on Mondays and Thursdays

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Oscar 2020 First Attempt-Best Actress / TIFF Critics' Survey and TFF #47 / Talking Truffles / And Finally...The Chicago 7? / Late Breaking


MTFB continues its first pass at predicting Oscar nominees for 2020-21 in various major categories.  Today we're looking at Best Actress with, as always, a focus on those performances that were a part of the list of 29 films that TFF released that would have been screened as a part of TFF #47.  Performers designated with *** are in films that may not be released prior to the Feb, 28, 2021 Oscar eligibility deadline.   TFF#47 performers are in Bold:

1) Frances McDormand/Nomadland
2) Viola Davis/Ma Rainey's Black Bottom***
3) Kate Winslet/Ammonite
4) Vanessa Kirby/Pieces of a Woman
5) Michelle Pfeiffer/French Exit
6) Amy Adams/Hillbilly Elegy***
7) Jennifer Hudson/Respect***
8) Carrie Mulligan/Promising Young Woman
9) Renee Zegler/West Side Story***
10) Angela Day/The U.S. vs. Billie Holiday
11) Jessica Chastain/The Eyes of Tammy Faye***
12) Rashida Jones/On the Rocks


As has been the habit of Indiewire for many year, that organization polled critics that "attended" the just concluded  Toronto International Film Festival and those results reflect some very nice notice of films that are a part of the TFF 2020 announced lineup.

Chloe Zhao's Nomadland...coming off of winning Toronto's People's Choice Award and the Golden Lion at Venice was named the best film by the poll.

The Best Documentary category saw plaudits for two TFF #47 selections as Michael Dweck and Greg Kershaw's The Truffle Hunters (see linked interview below) was named second best doc and Sam Pollard's MLK/FBI  was named third best doc.  76 Days, the on-the-ground report from Wuhan, China that focuses on the emergence of Covid-19.

Zhao was named Best Director by the survey and Nimadland also was chosen as third best screenplay.  FRances McDormand was runner-up in the Best Performance category.

All in all, a very good representation of TFF #47 films among the Indiewire accolades.


One of the most talked about festival docs this season is undoubtedly The Truffle Hunters from directors Michael Dweck and Greg Kershaw.  The pair were recently (Sept. 19) highlighted by Point of View Magazine (POV).

One other quick note (and humblebrag), through the kindness of an anonymous reader of the blog, I was fortunate enough to get a screener link to see The Truffle Hunters last weekend.  It's delightful, joyous, funny, poignant and beautiful to behold.  


Honestly, I wouldn't normally be writing about Aaron Sorkin's The Trail of the Chicago 7 much except in the context of the Oscar race since all Netflix films eschewed all of the festival circuit this time around.  But...

1) Early reactions from those who have seen an advanced screening seem to be over the moon and suggest that the film WILL BE a significant Oscar player.

2) World of Reel's Jordan Ruimy reports that the film is getting a theatrical release of some sort THIS's the link to Jordan's story.  And...

3) I have a good, reliable source telling me that had Telluride proceeded normally, that the film would have been a part of the The SHOW's lineup.

Cool, cool, cool.


As I have been thinking for quite some time, Steven Spielberg's West Side Story will no longer be a  part of this year's Oscar conversation.   As The Hollywood Reporter published yesterday evening,  Warners has moved West Side Story all the way to Dec. 21, 2021.  Disney has also decided to move Black Widow to May of 2021.

The move means that WSS will not be eligible for this year's Oscars and could open the way for other remaining big films to move their release strategies as well.  

Other films that could follow West Side Story include:  News of the World, Stillwater, The French Dispatch, Dune, Hillbilly Elegy and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom among others.



MTFB is published on Mondays and Thursdays

Monday, September 21, 2020

Nomadland Tops TIFF / Oscar 2020-First Attempt-Best Director / At the Drive-In


TFF #47 selection Nomadland won the Toronto International Film Festival's People's Choice Award as that festival came to a conclusion over the weekend.  The film, directed and written by Chloe Zhao and starring two time Oscar winner Frances McDormand, has been a significant critical success as it was also this year's Golden Lion winner for the Venice Film Festival.

Past TIFF People's Choice Award winners have gone on to be serious players during Oscar season and often times have included films from The SHOW,  Here's a rundown of the past few years of TIFF People's winners and runners-up with TFF films in BOLD:

2007: Winner: Eastern Promises, RU: JUNO 

2008: Winner: SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, RU: More Than a Game

2009: Winner: Precious, RU: Mao's Last Dancer


2011: Winner: Where Do We Go now, RU: Starbuck

2012: Winner: Silver Linings Playbook, RU: ARGO

2013: Winner: 12 YEARS A SLAVE, RU: Philomena

2014: Winner: THE IMITATION GAME, RU: Learning to Drive

2015: Winner: ROOM, RU: Angry Indian Goddesses

2016: Winner: LA LA LAND, RU: Lion

2017: Winner: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, RU: I. Tonya

2018: Winner: Green Book, RU: If Beale Street Could Talk

2019: Winner: Jojo Rabbit, RU: MARRIAGE STORY

2020: Winner: NOMADLAND, RU: One Night in Miami

I have linked coverage of the TIFF awards here from Next Best Picture as well as The Hollywood News.


Last week, I started aiming this boat toward Oscar season with my first take on predicting films for Best Picture nominations.  Today we move to the Best Direction category with a reminder that it's a weird year and no one is entirely certain which films will actually screen before the deadline that The Academy moved to-Feb, 28, 2021.  Consequently, this first list will have some film's marked with an * meaning that, at least for the moment, I'm thinking that that film could have its release after Feb, 28th. TFF #47 films are in Bold

1) Chloe Zhao/Nomadland
2) David Fincher/Mank
3) Steven Spielberg/West Side Story*
4) Denis Villenueve/Dune*
5) Paul Greengrass/News of the World*
6) Spike Lee/Da 5 Bloods
7) Regina King/One Night in Miami
8) Christopher Nolan/Tenet
9) Aaron Sorkin/The Trial of the Chicago 7
10) Ron Howard/Hillbilly Elegy*

Other possibles: Francis Lee/Ammonite, Elizabeth Hittman/Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Florian Zeller/The Father, Wes ANderson/The French Dispatch*, Tom McCarthy/Stillwater*.


As you almost certainly know, Telluride #47 appeared, much like Brigadoon, seemingly from out of nowhere to provide drive-in screening s recently of two of its 29 TFF #47 selections.

On Sept. 2nd, partnering with the Mill Valley Film Festival, Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortes' voting rights documentary: All In: The Fight for Democracy screened at the West Wind Solano Twin Drive-In in Concord, CA.  One of the patrons who attended is a friend of the blog and shared a photo or two of the evening:

Then on Sept. 11th, TFF screened Chloe Zhao's Nomadland turning the venerable Rose Bowl into a drive-in theater.  Director Zhao and star Frances McDormand were on hand.  Eagle-eyed friend of the blog, Jim Brooks forwarded a YouTube video that was posted by the film's distributor, Searchlight, on Sept. 14.  I have linked that here for your perusal:



MTFB is published on Mondays and Thursdays

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Oscar 2020-First Attempt at Best Picture / Trailer for The Father / Rosi Talks Notturno / McDormand's Side Hustle?

OSCAR 2020-FIRST ATTEMPT AT BEST PICTURE we are.  Normally (and I am really tired of writing the word "normally") I'd be collating rating data from TFF attendees and industry professionals as we rated the films that had been screened at the 47th Telluride Film Festival.

Also, normally, I'd be gathering thoughts about making the turn into Oscar season for this space.  Traditionally, after TFF is done this space becomes a tracker, of sorts, for TFF films that become part of the Oscar conversation-and that's still going to be true.  It's just going to be different for a variety of reasons.

1) We have a list of TFF #47 films that none of us saw in Telluride.  That list, however, is going to count for my approach this year.  They are the TFF #47 films I'll be paying attention to.

2) It's a significantly longer Oscar season this time around.  The Academy added two months to the eligibility period as a response to the effects of Covid-19 on the film industry meaning that the window to screen a film so that it would be Oscar eligible went from Dec. 31 to Feb. 28.  It also moved the ceremony to the end of April.  There has been a bit of scuttlebutt that The Academy might further adjust their calendar but at the moment my expectation is that they'll stick with the current dates irrespective of any other considerations such as...

3) The release schedule  Frankly, I doubt that the "moveable feast" of what gets released when is over.  The big test case of releasing Christopher Nolan's Tenet to underwhelming box office in its first week and Warners decision to keep the box office numbers under wrap for its second week will probably mean more release date shuffling.  That makes Oscar eligibility for some big films a moving target.

So, I'm going to do the best I can's a challenge.

That's my first stab at predicting the Best Picture Oscar for 2020 (and part of 21) with a couple of caveats and comments about the unique circumstances.  TFF #47 films are listed in Bold.


1) Nomadland (Zhao)
2) Mank (Fincher)
3) The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Sorkin)
4) West Side Story (Spielberg)
5) Da Five Bloods (S. Lee)
6) News of the World (Greengrass)
7) Ammonite (F. Lee)
8) The French Dispatch (Anderson)
9) Dune (Villeneuve)
10) Hillbilly Elegy (Howard)

That said...I believe fully 4-5 of these films may end up being moved out of the screening eligibility window: West Side Story, News of the World, The French Dispatch, Dune and maybe Hillbilly Elegy.

I can easily envision that any or all of these might hold off for a Cannes premiere or a summer 2021 release or even being held as long as November-December 2021.

So, I'm going list five more films that either have already fit into the new Oscar eligibility window or probably will:

11) The Father (Zeller)
12) Tenet (Nolan)
13) One Night in Miami (King)
14) Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (Wolfe)
15) Minari (Chung)


From Sony Pictures Classics we have this new trailer for The Father starring Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman.  Both are getting serious Oscar buzz for their performances.  Here's the new trailer from YouTube:


Alex Ritman, writing for The Hollywood Reporter has a new interview with the director of the documentary Notturno.  Gianfranco Rosi's doc about the Middle East has been a choice of a number of film fests in addition to Telluride with inclusions by Toronto, Venice and New York as well.

Here's that interview from The Hollywood Reporter.


Marta Balaga reports that Frances McDormand was so successful in creating her character for the upcoming Nomadland that a Target store in one of the Nebraska communities in which the film was shooting offered McDormand a job.

McDormand plays a character that becomes a "nomad" in America during the Great Recession.

Balaga's story was in Variety and is linked here.


Deadline reports that IFC Films has acquired Sam Pollard's MLK/FBI for U.S. distribution.  That story appeared on Tuesday.  Deadline additionally reported that IFC will release the film on Jan. 15, 2021.

The film focuses on the FBI's surveillance and harassment of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 1960's as the civil rights icon's influence grew.



MTFB is published on Mondays and Thursdays

Monday, September 14, 2020

Nomadland Wins a Lion and Plays at the TFF Drive-In / First Clip from MLK/FBI / Truffles Gets a Gala and a Trailer / Focus on All In


It was a big weekend for Chloe Zhao's Nomadland.  The film won the Golden Lion as Best Film to screen as a part of this year's Venice Film Festival.  Coverage of the film's win and other Venice awards are linked here in this report from The Hollywood Reporter.

Meanwhile, the second of two special presentations linked to the 47th edition of the Telluride Film Festival occurred on Friday night in Los Angeles as Nomadland was screened at the Rose Bowl.  The venerable sports institution was converted into a drive-in theater for the evening.  Director Zhao and star- two time Oscar winner and one of the film's producers-Frances McDormand both appeared in person at the event.

Nomadland was also screened in Toronto on Friday.  The film has received rapturous reviews and its brewing Oscar narrative seems to be morphing into reality.

The Playlist provided coverage of the L.A. drive in experience on Saturday and that article is linked here.


We've been treated to s first clip from Sam Pollard's documentary MLK/FBI that was selected as one of the 29 features that would have played at a TFF #47.  Here that clip is from YouTube:

MLK/FBI is described on IMDb as follows:

Based on newly declassified files, Sam Pollard's resonant film explores the US government's surveillance and harassment of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The film will be bowing at both the Toronto and New York Fests in the next two weeks.


The Zurich Film Fest has announced its first ten galas and that includes TFF #47 selection Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw's The Truffle Hunters.

Variety covered the announcement.  That's linked here.

The very well received documentary also had a trailer release this past weekend.


Stacey Abrams in All In

Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortes' All In: The Fight for Democracy  is about the fight to make casting a ballot easier in this country and fighting those that would disenfranchise potential voters.  Just this week the filmmakers were highlighted by The Southern Poverty Law Center.

That interview is linked here.



MTFB is published on Mondays and Thursdays

Thursday, September 10, 2020

BFI-London Announces / Teaser Trailers for Nomadland and Mandibles / New Photos of Mainstream and Mandibles/ Interviews: Zhao, Coppola and More / Ronstadt Short Doc Acquired


The BFI-London Film Festival announced its 2020 slate on Tuesday morning.  Five of the feature films selected for its main slate were also among the 29 films officially selected by the Telluride Film Festival for its 47th edition that had to be canceled.

Three of the titles have become common place additions to a number of film fests:

Francis Lee's Ammonite
Chloe Zhao's Nomadland
Gianfranco Rosi's Notturno

In addition to those three LFF also selected After Love and Never Gonna Snow Again.

The BFI-London Film Festival will take place Oct. 7-18 and will largely be presented virtually but will have a live cinema presentation of some films as a part of its programming.


Teaser for Nomadland:

Mandibles Trailer from YouTube:


From Mandibles:

From Mainstream:


***Chloe Zhao/Nomadland from The Hollywood Reporter

***Gia Coppola/Mainstream from The Hollywood Reporter

***Roger Michell/The Duke from Variety

***Malgorzata Szumowska and Michal Englert/Never Gonna Snow Again from Variety


photo via Variety and The Shout! Factory

Last year at TFF #46 programmers selected to screen the fantastic documentary Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice.  Now comes news that a second Ronstadt doc that was chosen for inclusion on the TFF #47 list has been acquired for release by Shout! Studios.

The short doc (runtime about 40 min.) is titled: Linda Ronstadt and the Mockingbirds focuses on a trip to Mexico as Ronstadt explores her musical roots.

The story was reported by Variety and says that the new work is a follow on to last year's film.

Variety reports that the new film is expected to have a 2020 release on various platforms.

The complete Variety story is linked here.



MTFB is published on Mondays and Thursdays

Monday, September 7, 2020

SPECIAL REPORT: Telluride at Home- Day Four


Sunday was another big day for the Patterson's Telluride at Home program.  We got all three planned films in with The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (which was originally scheduled for Saturday but we flipped it with The Artist), Shame and Wild Tales.  I also got in another "Sneak Re-View' of the Coen Brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis from TFF #40 in 2013.

Today is planned as a soft landing with only two films scheduled and a good deal of flexibility to do other, less-TFF oriented things.  After all, we're back to school tomorrow and tackling a switch from face to face learning to a blended model including both face to face and remote learning.  It will be a challenging week.

Today's scheduled films are Asghar Farhadi's brilliant A Separation and Alejandro Inarittu's also brilliant Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance.

I'll be back on Thursday with a regularly scheduled MTFB.

Hope all have had a great Labor Day weekend and that many of you have been able to experience some little bit of Telluride.

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Poster      

A Separation Poster



MTFB is published on Mondays and Thursdays

Sunday, September 6, 2020

SPECIAL REPORT: Telluride at Home-Day Three


As I have been anticipating and predicting, yesterday did no go exactly to plan and that's okay.  As I have also said, that's how it works during the days of the real life festival.  It's a condition that I am used to and extremely comfortable with.

A couple of things altered the Saturday viewing schedule off of the original plan.  We had to finish the second half of First Man that we did not get to on Friday night.  Then, after 12 Years a Slave we called a switcheroo and traded The Artist which I had scheduled for today for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.  We'll probably get Diving Bell in today sometime.  The other wrinkle yesterday: the wife took a nap...and for whatever reason...I wasn't in the napping mood so I spontaneously schedule a "Sneak Re-View" of Jason Reitman's Up in the Air.  The film itself was a sneak preview back in 2009 at TFF #36.  Was good in 2009 and it's still good in 2020.  Has a different resonance now than it did then but it still resonates.

Otherwise, the rest of Saturday went well with viewings of the pre-planned: 12 Years a Slave and Lady Bird.

Today's fare: Steve McQueen's Shame with Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan, Wild Tales, the comedy from Argentinian director Damian Szifron that wasa from TFF #41 and the re-programmed Diving Bell.

We'll see if Sunday has wrinkles too.

Enjoy your own Telluride at Home!



MTFB is published on Mondays and Thursdays

Saturday, September 5, 2020

SPECIAL REPORT: Telluride at Home-Day Two


Hello all...

Got Frances Ha re-watched.  It's quite good.  I laughed even more last night than I did when I saw the film originally at TFF #39 in 2012.  It is now confirmed, I'm a big Greta Gerwig fan.

First Man full disclosure... didn't get through it all.  STarted late due a late dinner and both the wife and I were struggling.  We'll try to finish it today (On Day Three of Telluride at Home) but that could be a challenge as we already have three films on the "schedule" for the day.

12 Years a Slave (TFF #40-2013)
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (TFF #34-2007)
Lady Bird (TFF #44-2017)

Plus there are "life things" to deal with since we're at home not in Telluride.  It's funny that we've swapped standing in lines for chores (watering the lawn and some laundry on tap today).

Friday, September 4, 2020

SPECIAL POST: Telluride at Home-Day One


We "opened" the first ever Telluride Film Festival at Home last night with the first film we ever saw at the The SHOW, Alejandro Inarittu's Babel.

I've mentioned the story before, but briefly we got to attend the 2006 festival due to the kindness of a couple of my former students.  We didn't have a clue what we were about to experience.  We actually didn't get to Telluride until Saturday afternoon (I had obligations on Friday night).  I had seen a little bit about Babel before we got on the road that weekend, and on Saturday evening we thought that seemed like the most attractive prospect.  Lined up at the Chuck...which meant we also had to figure out its specific W2 process.  We got in after some interesting conversation with people online and got settled.

Then the ringmaster brought out Inarittu to introduce the film.  I had no idea that that would happen.  That was the moment I was hooked.  The notion that I was going to be able to see this film with the director in attendance (and answering questions afterwards).  Yes please.

We had been provided about half a dozen individual passes for the weekend and used them to see:

Directed by John Ford
The Lives of Others

After the fest was over we also sought out:

Little Children

We've been in Telluride each Labor Day since.

Babel Poster

Babel's IMDb:

Friday's planned films: First Man (TFF #45-2018) and Frances Ha (TFF #39-2012)



MTFB is published on Mondays and Thursdays

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Telluride at Home- My List / What I Would Have Seen / Lists from Others / McCarthy Reminisces / Venice Begins: Hot Films per The Playlist


Here it is.  My planned viewing over the next few days as the Mrs. and I celebrate the Telluride Film Festival that could not be by re-visiting some of our favorite films that we've seen from TFFs since we began attending in 2006.

I estimate that between the two of us, my wife and I have seen something more than 150 films that have been screened at Telluride over the past 14 years.  From that list, I whittled down to 35+ films and then we both selected 10ish films each.  About half a dozen made both of our lists and then we added two each plus a special addition of Alejandro Inarritu's Babel-the first film we saw in 2006 at TFF #33

Included is my "programming" for the next few days with the caveat that the following is what we intend to do but just like the real Telluride Film never know how circumstances will alter your plans.

Drumroll please...

9/3 THURS. BABEL (‘06 #33)
9/4 FRI.         FIRST MAN (‘18  #45), FRANCES HA (‘12 #39)
9/5 SAT.         12 YEARS A SLAVE (‘13 #40), THE DIVING BELL AND THE                                                          BUTTERFLY(‘07 #34), LADY BIRD (‘17 #44)
9/6 SUN. THE ARTIST (‘11 #38), SHAME (‘11 #38), WILD TALES (‘14 #41)
9/7 MON. A SEPARATION (‘11 #38), BIRDMAN (‘14 #41)



And while we're on the subject of Telluride's my list of the 10 films from TFF #47's announced list that I would have likely sought out had the fest actually happened and I had been in The Ride (in alpha order):

All In: The Fight for Democracy
The Bee Gees: How Do You Mend a Broken Heart
The Duke
The Father
The Truffle Hunters

How about you?  What would you have tried to get in?


As promised, I am including "Telluride at Home" lists from friends who have responded to me over the last ten days or so.

From MTFB friend Jack Wertzberger:

So here, on an equal level are my top ten since 2006:

4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days
Slumdog Millionaire
California Typewriter
The Lives of Others
La La Land

Films I wish I had seen:

He Named Me Malala
Mr Turner
First Cow
Peggy Guggenheim
Love, Cecil
Biggest Little Farm
Eyes of Orson Welles
Uncut Gems
Carmichael & Shane

Jack's list and mine don't overlap but I can say a ton of his were nearly on mine including near misses: La La Land, Moonlight, Slumdog and Nebraska.

MTFB friend and "tiffgraffer" Rich Young:

As I mourn for many things this year, including TIFF and TFF, I hope you’re well.  Here’s my list of Telluride faves from my years of attendance:
Anomalisa 15
The Artist 11 (with my 9 and 13 year old kids, transfixed in the open air screening)
Best of Youth 03 (fun banter in line with multiple directors over 2 successive midnight screenings)
Blue Is the Warmest Colour 13
The Descendants 11
Dogville 03
Inside Llewyn Davis 13
LadyBird 17
Lost In Translation 03
Son of Saul 15
Under The Skin 13

Rich and I both included Lady Bird and The Artist.

The very kind and thoughtful friend of the blog Chris Schneider:

So here is my list. Some I want to revisit and some I just haven't seen yet. I'm going to settle in this weekend and make my way through the list. 

Frances Ha 2012
Inside Llewyn Davis 2013
Tim's Vermeer 2013
Wild Tales 2014
Foxcatcher 2014
Carol 2015
Hitchcock/Truffaut 2015
Toni Erdmann 2016
Moonlight 2016
The Cotton Club Encore 2017
The Rider 2017
First Man 2018
Portrait of a Lady on Fire 2018
First Cow 2019
Bonus flick in case I'm needing a late night bust of energy: Uncut Gems 2019

Chris and I double up on Frances Ha, Wild Tales and First Man.

And from longtime MTFB reader and friend Patrick Pringle:

Here is the combined list from Patricia and I. It’s a bit weird. In no particular order...

Stories We Tell
The Insult
A Separation
Biggest Little Farm
The Descendants
The Lyrebird
Marriage Story

So Patrick and I would be in the same theater for A Separation and Lady Bird.


Todd McCarthy, formerly of The Hollywood Reporter and currently of penned a wonderful look back at his time at the Telluride Film Festival on Wednesday.  McCarthy first attended TFF in 1976-that was TFF #3. 

You can find McCarthy's personal walk down The SHOW's memory lane from Deadline linked here.


The Venice Film Festival is underway in Italy.  As many MTFB readers know, there has been, especially in the past few years, a significant overlap of films that screen both at Venice and Telluride and that remained true for this Covid-impacted year.

Nearly a quarter of the feature films on TFF's announced list for what would have been TFF #47 are going to screen in some form as a part of the Venetian fest over the next several days.  

The Playlist published a list and descriptions this week (on Monday) of  what they termed "Must see" films.  I culled that article to determine what films the two fests would have shred that made that list and they were:

and from their Honorable Mentions list: Notturno.



MTFB is published on Mondays and Thursdays

Monday, August 31, 2020

New Trailers for TFF #47 Films / Telluride at Home-Part Two / Kate Winslet Talks Ammonite / Truffles for Christmas


A couple of international films that would have played as a part of the lineup that was announced list for TFF #47 dropped trailers this week.

Christos Nikou's Apples, which will screen as a part of the Venice Film Festival, released the following trailer on Friday (from You Tube):

And from director Malgorzata Szumowska' Never Gonna Snow Again (also a Venice title) had a teaser release on Tuesday:

And also ahead of its debut at bothe Venice and Toronto,  Gianfranco Rosi's documentary, Notturno, also has an international trailer.  Thanks to my buddy Alex Billington at who posted this news yesterday.


I'm passing along a couple more lists that I've gotten for folks that have accepted my challenge to curate their own replacement TFF #47 film fest in their own homes over the upcoming Labor Day weekend.

What I've suggested is for folks to pick 10-12 films from past Telluride Film Fests that are either films they'd like to re-visit or films that screened at Telluride but were missed.

I've completed my list of 11 (actually, a cooperative effort with the wife) and I'll be revealing mine in Thursday's post.  The Mrs. and I have chosen 11 films that we first saw at Telluride and will be seeing again...many being repeated for the first time since seeing them at TFF.

So, if you'd like to play and share your choices, feel free to drop me a line about what films you've curated for your very own TFF #47 at Home.  The deadline to get me your list is Wednesday at 6:00pm EDT.

Here are a couple of more lists that have been sent to me.  First is from my brother Jim who categorized two lists, one for narrative features and another for documentaries:

Top 10 Virtual TFF 48 list – Combining Documentaries & Movies

 Films (Alphabetic)

Black Mass
Darkest Hour
La La Land
Motherless Brooklyn
The Aeronauts
The Last Vermeer
Toni Erdmann

Documentaries (Alphabetic)

California Typewriter
Chasing Train
Eagle Huntress
Free Solo
Inside Bill’s Brain
Jerry Lewis: The Man Behind the Clown
Reversing Row
Spheres VR Experience

 And from friend of the blog Jim Brooks...his list of ten films for his Telluride at Home:

1 La La Land
2 Hostiles
3 Parasite (my wife saved a seat, and when I sat down, on the other side of the seat saved was none other than Mr. Telluride predictor, Michael Patterson, in the back row of the balcony of the Palm!)
4 Free Solo (Incredible!!!!! thanks to Telluride I revisited that in Imax when it was released in the fall.)
5 The Two Popes
6 Moonlight
7 First Man
8 Cold War
9 Toni Erdmann (last film of 2016, took a chance at the Chuck, and really enjoyed it!)
10 Frantz

Jim has also done some serious work as he is tracking down where some TFF films can be streamed:

Dogman (Hulu)
Roma (Netflix)
Angels Are Made of Light (iTunes)
Peterloo (Amazon Prime)
Nonfiction (Amazon Prime)
Graves Without a Name (iTunes)
The Other Side of the Wind  (Netflix)
Border  (Hulu)
Dovlatov (Netflix)
Biggest Little Farm (Amazon)
Girl (Netflix)
Free Solo  (hulu, Amazon)
Ghost Fleet (Amazon)
Shoplifters (Hulu)
The Great Buster (Amazon, YouTube)
Birds of Passage (Amazon)
Neruda (Amazon)
Things to Come (Amazon)
Lost in Paris (Amazon)
Una (Netflix)
Frantz (Amazon)
Chasing Trane (Netflix)
Into the Inferno (Netflix)
The Ivory game (Netflix)
Finding Oscar (Amazon, YouTube, AppleTV)
California Typewriter (Hulu)
Bright Lights (Amazon, HBO)
The Assistant (Amazon)


Oscar winner Kate Winslet's latest film, the much buzzed about Ammonite, is about to screen as a part of the Toronto International Film Festival (Sept. 11).  The film was one of the 29 that was announced as a film that would have played Telluride had the festival happened.  It was also a Cannes choice.

Prior to the film's debut, Winslet talked to Tatiana Siegel writing for The Hollywood Reporter about AMmonite and her career.

That interview/story is linked here.


Sony Pictures Classics has announced that TFF #47 documentary selection The Truffle Hunters will open on Dec. 25th in the U.S.

Deadline reported the announcement on Friday.



MTFB is published on Mondays and Thursdays

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Telluride at Home-Take One / Ammonite Has a Trailer / The Truffles Hunt Up More Festing / TFF Will Present All In


Last Monday I suggested that those of us that will be missing being at the 47th Telluride Film Festival might curate our own TFF's right at home.  

That's what the Mrs. and I will be doing in about a week.  We'll be choosing 10 or so films that we've either seen at TFF in our 14 years of attending or films that played at TFFs during those fests but that we missed and have never caught up with.  I'll be posting our list a week from today.  We're even going so far as to trying to replicate meals from some of our favorite places to eat in Telluride and Mountain Village.

I also invited you readers to join the party and program your own TFF #47 using the same guidelines I listed above and then drop me a note about what films you included.  My plan is to post and maybe even tweet the TFF #47 lists I get.  So send those to me in any of the variety of contact methods listed at the bottom of this post.

I also reached out specifically to some acquaintances to see what they might program.  I already have some responses from that quarter.

Eric Kohn from Indiewire was the first to respond with this list:

The Act of Killing
12 Years a Slave
Uncut Gems
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Lady Bird
Starred Up
Stories We Tell
Heart of a Dog

Scott Feinberg from The Hollywood Reporter says:

Here are my 10 most memorable Telluride screenings — not necessarily the greatest movies that played at Telluride, but the ones that I most enjoyed seeing for the first time at that fest, which I began attending in 2011

1.Gravity (2013) 
2.45 Years (2015)
3.The Artist (2011)
4.Argo (2012)
5.12 Years a Slave (2013)
6.Spotlight (2015)
7.Moonlight (2016)
http://8.Free Solo (2018)
http://9.Red Army (2014)
10.Toni Erdmann (2016)

Kris Tapley, formerly of InContention and Variety was very enthusiastic:

My first year was 2009. Keeping it to 30:

AMOUR (Michael Haneke, 2012)
ANOMALISA (Duke Johnson and Charlie Kaufman, 2015)
ANOTHER YEAR (Mike Leigh, 2010)
ARGO (Ben Affleck, 2012)
BIRDMAN (Alejandro G. Iñárritu, 2014)
BLACK SWAN (Darren Aronofsky, 2010)
FIRST MAN (Damien Chazelle, 2018)
FOXCATCHER (Bennett Miller, 2014)
GRAVITY (Alfonso Cuarón, 2013)
HOSTILES (Scott Cooper, 2017)
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2013)
LADY BIRD (Greta Gerwig, 2017)
LA LA LAND (Damien Chazelle, 2016)
MARRIAGE STORY (Noah Baumbach, 2019)
MOONLIGHT (Barry Jenkins, 2016)
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND (Orson Welles, 2018)
PARASITE (Bong Joon-ho, 2019)
A PROPHET (Jacques Audiard, 2009)
ROMA (Alfonso Cuarón, 2018)
A SEPARATION (Asghar Farhadi, 2011)
'71 (Yann Demange, 2014)
SHAME (Steve McQueen, 2011)
SON OF SAUL (László Nemes, 2015)*
SPOTLIGHT (Tom McCarthy, 2015)
STEVE JOBS (Danny Boyle, 2015)
UNCUT GEMS (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2019)
UP IN THE AIR (Jason Reitman, 2009)
WAVES (Trey Edward Shults, 2019)
THE WAY BACK (Peter Weir, 2010)
WILD TALES (Damián Szifron, 2014)

And some special screenings I adored:

AGUIRRE, THE WRATH OF GOD (Herzog Theater Christening)
APOCALYPSE NOW (40th Anniversary)
BARAKA (Guest Director Selection)
A TRIP TO THE MOON AND BEYOND (Serge Bromberg Restoration)

More to come as we get closer to what would have been TFF #47 weekend.  SEND ME your "Telluride at Home" list of 10 films!


One of the buzziest of titles on Telluride's list of films that would have played had the fest been able to occur is Francis Lee's Ammonite starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan.  Neon (who distributed last year's Best Picture Oscar winner-Parasite) released a trailer for the film earlier this week.  Here that is from YouTube:

The Hollywood Reporter, among others, provided coverage of the release of the trailer.  That is linked here.

Ammonite is set to be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival.


TFF #47 selected documentary The Truffle Hunters is on a roll as we found out this week that the film had been added to the Toronto lineup and had also been selected for the San Sebastian Film Festival.

Indiewire's Kate Erbland reported the TIFF addition on Tuesday.  Also added were a number of "conversations" including one between Claie Denis and Telluride favorite Barry Jenkins.


There had been hints that Telluride might schedule another "special event" after originally announcing that the fest would screen Chloe Zhao's Nomadland at a drive-in location in Los Angeles on Sept. 11.

That seems to be a special screening of the voting rights documentary All In: The Fight for Democracy.    The film will be screened in conjunction withe the Mill Valley Film Festival on Sept. 2/next Wednesday.

According to the press release:

Mill Valley Film Festival (MVFF) Director/Founder Mark Fishkin and Telluride Film Festival (TFF) Executive Director Julie Huntsinger announced the World Premiere of the Amazon Original All In: The Fight for Democracy, to be screened Wednesday, September 2 in the SF Bay Area at the West Wind Solano Twin Drive-In located in Concord. 

 “We are delighted to be presenting the World Premiere of All In: The Fight for Democracy, and partnering with our long-time friends at the Telluride Film Festival,” said Mark Fishkin. “All In: The Fight for Democracy is a film for our times and also timeless; the subject matter could not be more important as we enter this election season. The ability of a great film to not only create empathy, but to activate a cause can never be underestimated. It’s also the personal story of Stacey Abrams, who has devoted her life to equity and a democratic society. All In, the Fight for Democracy, is all that, and so much more.”

Julie Huntsinger adds, “How incredible it is to be able to share the important message of a singular woman - the one and only Stacey Abrams! Lisa Cortes and Liz Garbus have created an exhilarating portrait of Stacey and the fight against voter suppression.  This is a film for everyone and we hope our spotlight leads to many others.”

Directed by Oscar® and Emmy®-Award nominated filmmaker Lisa Cortés and Oscar®-nominated and Emmy®-winning filmmaker Liz Garbus, All In: The Fight for Democracy examines the enduring legacy of voter suppression in the US and features Stacey Abrams, the first Black woman to become the gubernatorial nominee for a major party in the United States.

 Fishkin also announced that the 43rd Mill Valley Film Festival (MVFF) will take place Thursday, October 8– Sunday, October 18, 2020 online and in drive-in locations.

 The All In: The Fight for Democracy screening kicks off the Mill Valley Film Festival’s 2020 Contenders Season. MVFF will celebrate this exceptional and timely work from directors Cortés and Garbus with the first ever Active Cinema Spotlight program, presenting them with the MVFF Award virtually just prior to the screening. 

Staying connected has rarely been more important than now, during this crucial time of social distancing and social turmoil. The Mill Valley Film Festival will continue to provide a beacon of connection, information, and inspiration through the power of visual storytelling. Utilizing digital platforms, virtual cinema, and nightly drive-in events, MVFF43 will offer a selection of film screenings, online conversations, workshops, and panels to our loyal audience here in the Bay Area, as well as new audiences around the nation.

 About All In: The Fight for Democracy

In anticipation of the 2020 presidential election, ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY examines the often overlooked, yet insidious issue of voter suppression in the United States The film interweaves personal experiences with current activism and historical insight to expose a problem that has corrupted our democracy from the very beginning. With the perspective and expertise of Stacey Abrams, the former Minority Leader of the Georgia House of Representatives, the documentary offers an insider’s look into laws and barriers to voting that most people don’t even know are threats to their basic rights as citizens of the United States.

The film will launch globally on Prime Video September 18, 2020. 

About Stacey Abrams

Stacey Abrams is a New York Times bestselling author, serial entrepreneur, nonprofit CEO and political leader. After serving for eleven years in the Georgia House of Representatives, seven as Minority Leader, in 2018, Abrams became the Democratic nominee for Governor of Georgia, when she won more votes than any other Democrat in the state’s history. Abrams was the first black woman to become the gubernatorial nominee for a major party in the United States. After witnessing the gross mismanagement of the 2018 election by the Secretary of State’s office, Abrams launched Fair Fight Action to ensure every Georgian has a voice in our election system. Over the course of her career, Abrams has founded multiple organizations devoted to voting rights, training and hiring young people of color, and tackling social issues at both the state and national levels. In 2019, she launched Fair Count to ensure accuracy in the 2020 Census and greater participation in civic engagement, and the Southern Economic Advancement Project, a public policy initiative to broaden economic power and build equity in the South. 

She is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the 2012 recipient of the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award, and a current member of the Board of Directors for the Center for American Progress. Abrams has also written eight romantic suspense novels under the pen name Selena Montgomery, in addition to Lead from the Outside, formerly Minority Leader, a guidebook on making real change.

About Filmmakers

Lisa Cortés is an award-winning film producer and director. The film Precious (2009), which she executive produced, received Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize for best drama. Marking the acting debut of Gabourey Sidibe, the film was nominated for six Academy Awards® and won two. 2019’s The Apollo, an HBO documentary, explores African American cultural and political history through the story of the legendary Apollo Theater. Her directorial debut, The Remix: Hip Hop X Fashion (2020), traces the impact of street fashion and African American creativity on global cultural trends. Her early career as a music executive was launched at the iconic Def Jam label and Rush Artist Management; she also was VP of A&R at Mercury Records, and founded the Loose Cannon label. Her film productions have received over 70 international awards and nominations.

 Two-time Academy Award®-Nominee, two-time Emmy Winner, Peabody Winner, Grammy Nominee, DGA Nominee, and BAFTA-nominated director Liz Garbus is renowned for creating electrifying archival-driven historical documentaries that retain all the narrative velocity, artistic craft, and conceptual depth of propulsive vérité films, as well as vérité films which take deep dives into today's most hotly debated topics. Garbus’ latest series I'll Be Gone in the Dark premiered on HBO in June 2020.  Her narrative feature debut, Lost Girls, premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2020 and was released on Netflix and in theatres in March 2020.  The Fourth Estate, for Showtime, was nominated for a 2018 Emmy for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series. Her 2015 feature, Sundance opener, What Happened, Miss Simone?, a Netflix original, was nominated for a 2016 Oscar for Best Documentary Feature and took home the Emmy Award for Best Documentary or Nonfiction Special.  Other credits include:  The Innocence Films (Netflix, 2020), Who Killed Garrett Phillips (HBO 2019), There's Something Wrong with Aunt Diane (HBO), The Farm: Angola, USA (AA nominee 1998) and many others.



MTFB is published on Mondays and Thursdays