Monday, July 25, 2011

Big Film Fest Week/10 Bets/Driving Away/Prohibition

Hope everyone had a good weekend...


This is a very big week in film festival world.  Both the Toronto International Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival announce the bulk of their lineups this week.  Toronto reportedly announcing tomorrow (7/26) and Venice on Thursday (7/28).  The two festival's announcements should give us some clues about what to expect in Telluride in 6 weeks. The announcements should also give us a little insight about which films are going to likely get awards push as the film fest triumvirate of Telluride/Toronto/Venice has become the unofficial starting line for the real Oscar race.

Each festival performs a different function in terms of divining the Telluride slate.   Venice tends to be an "excluder".  By which I mean that the overlap between Venice and Telluride is regularly very small.  Whereas Toronto tends to be an "includer".  It's not uncommon for 20-25% of the Telluride lineup to also be presented at Toronto.  To wit:

Venice /Telluride overlap:
2009: The Road, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, Life During Wartime
2010: Black Swan, A Letter to Elia

See... a small overlap.  But Toronto...

Toronto/Telluride overlap:
2009: Vincere, White Ribbon, Bad Lieutenant, Bright Star, An Education, Life During Wartime, My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?, A Prophet, The Road, Up in the Air

2010: Black Swan, The King's Speech, Another Year, Biutiful, The Illusionist, Never Let Me Go, Tamara Drewe.

So, what happens this week is of very high interest to anyone trying to read the tea leaves about the Telluride Film Festival.  Stay tuned...


Last week's Ten Bets:

1) The Descendants
2) A Trip to The Moon
3) Gazing Into the Abyss
4) Young Adult
5) The Artist
6) Dark Horse
7) Shame
8) The Kid with a Bike
9) Coriolanus
10) Le Havre

This week's Ten Bets:
1) The Descendants
2) A Trip to the Moon
3) Gazing into the Abyss
4) Young Adult
5) Dark Horse
6) The Artist
7) Prohibition
8) The Kid with a Bike
9) Shame
10) Coriolanus

New to the Ten Bets this week..."Prohibition"  a documentary from Telluride fixture Ken Burns.  More about it below.
Dropping off the list this week: "Le Havre".  After an initial rumor that this film, which was a critical and popular success at Cannes, was going to be picked up by The Weinstein Company...not a peep.  So I'm dropping it off my Ten Bets list for now.


I was contemplating adding Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive" to the Ten Bets list this week...but as if to illustrate my limitations in this I was getting warmed up to the possibility that it could play at Telluride this year, I discovered that it has screened in June at the Los Angeles Film Festival. 

That's not an absolute knife in the back for its chances to play at The SHOW...but it comes really close.  It is very rare for a film to be presented in the U.S. someplace and then also be a part of Telluride's lineup.  "An Education" was an exception in 2009 when it played Sundance first and then was also on the TFF #36 lineup.

So, in all likelihood, no "Drive" in T-ride...

Drive's IMDb page:


You can always expect to see pre-eminent documentarian Ken Burns at the Telluride Film Festival.  He's on the festival's Board of Governors and a member of the Show Ring.  He's often a presenter and moderator for tributes.  And he has a new documentary to highlight: "Prohibition" .  "Prohibition" is a three part examination of that portion of U.S. history where the country tried to ban alcohol.  The doc is set to run on PBS stations in October.  I expect we'll have a chance to see some of it...maybe all of it in the San Juans over Labor Day.

You can find a story about it from a presentation at Dartmouth arranged by TFF founder Bill Pence here:

Prohibition's IMDb page:

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