Saturday, July 30, 2011

Carnage Slipping Away/Cannes Titles Reconsidered/The SPC Film List/What About?/Hammond Dittoed?

Good Morning from Colorado Springs!  Heading home today after a great show from Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers last night.


Word from multiple sources yesterday afternoon that Roman Polanski"s "Carnage" will open the New York Film Festival.  That puts a dagger into its heart for all practical purposes in as far as Telluride is concerned.  NYFF will have required exclusivity for booking it as the opener.  So, Goodbye Jodie!  Goodbye Kate!  Goodbye Christoph and John. 

Can't say that I'm really surprised though.


With the announcement earlier this week that the Toronto International Film Festival Special Presentation list included "Habemus Papum" (We Have a Pope), it seems we might have to reconsider some of the other titles of films that played at Cannes and that could conceivably be in Telluride in September. 

In addition to "Habemus Papum," ( IMDb: I think we might give a slight chance to three other Cannes films:

Polisse (a Police procedural written and directed by one time actress Maiwenn Le Bosco..she was The Diva in "The Fifth Element")  IMDb:

Footnote (dueling father/son Jewish scholars dir. Joseph Cedar) IMDb:

and, of course, Gus Van Sant's "Restless" featuring Mia Wasikowska.  IMDb:


Sony Pictures Classics most commonly has a significant presence at Telluride.  Last year for example:

Inside Job
The Illusionist
Of Gods and Men
Tamara Drewe
Another Year

But this year...maybe not as much.  To wit: Venice and it would be a surprise to show up anywhere else, much less Telluride.
A Dangerous Toronto and Venice and I'll bet that's it.
The Skin I Live In...after Cannes, I was dubious.  Now I think it has a 60/40 shot at T-ride
Footnote...lukewarm reception at Cannes, but a thin SPC slate makes it more likely.
Restless...the same note here as for Footnote above.
In Darkness...we know almost nothing...WWII rescue film.
Damsels in Distress...closing film for it's off the table.

And I think that's it as far as what SPC has available in its stable right now.  Kind of hard to believe.


Three really interesting sounding films that aren't on the Toronto list;

Angelina Jolie's directing (and writing) debut "In the Land of Blood and Honey"
John (Shakespeare in Love) Madden's "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel"
and John Hillcoat's (The Road/The Proposition) "The Wettest County"

Where are these?  Done?  Undone?  Headed to Telluride?  Somewhere else?  New York's Film Fest perhaps.

I don't know, but I am interested.


I reported earlier this week that Pete Hammond is adamant that Jason Reitman's "Young Adult" starring Charlize Theron will NOT play ANY of the festival circuit, including what I thought was a virtually certain stop in Telluride.

Jeff Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere picked up on that report late in the week and repeated it.  But I have to say, Wells seems kind of dubious...a sliver of doubt?

Check the Wells story and see what you think:

Friday, July 29, 2011

Venice Announces Officially/Kevin Has a Date/Pictures of Shame/Intriguing TIFF titles

In Colorado today to see Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers...Jubilation Day!


Via The Playlist at IndieWire: (* indicate films that I have thought might have a place on Telluride's roster)

Venice 2011 Competition

The Ides Of March, George Clooney (US) [opening film]*
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Tomas Alfredson (UK, Germany)*
Wuthering Heights, Andrea Arnold (UK)*
Texas Killing Fields, Ami Canaan Maan (US) (second work)
Quando La Notte, Cristina Comencini (Italy)
Terraferma, Emanuele Crialese (Italy/France)
A Dangerous Method, David Cronenberg (Germany/Canada)*
4:44 Last Day On Earth, Abel Ferrara (US)
Killer Joe, William Friedkin (US)
Un Ete Brulant, Philippe Garrel (France/Italy/Switzerland)
A Simple Life (Taojie), Ann Hui (China/Hong Kong)
The Exchange (Hahithalfut), Eran Kolirin (Israel) (second work)*
Alps (Alpeis), Yorgos Lanthimos (Greece)
Shame, Steve McQueen (UK) (second work)*
L’ultimo Terrestre, Gian Alfonso Pacinotti (GIPI) (Italy) (first work)
Carnage, Roman Polanski (France/Germany/Spain/Poland)*
Chicken With Plums, Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud (France/Belgium/Germany)*
Faust, Aleksander Sokurov (Russia)*
Dark Horse, Todd Solondz (US)*
Himizu, Sion Sono (Japan)
Seediq Bale, Wei Te-Sheng (Taiwan) (second work)
Surprise film

Out Of Competition

Vivan las Antipodas! (documentary), Victor Kossakovsky (Germany/Argentina/Holland/Chile/Russia) [opening film]
Damsels In Distress, Whit Stillman (US) [closing film]
La Folie Almayer, Chantal Akerman (Belgium/France)
The Sorcerer And The White Snake (Baish Echuanshuo), Tony Ching Siu-Tung (China/Hong Kong)
Giochi D’estate, Rolando Colla (Switzerland/Italy)
La Desintegration, Philippe Fauchon (Belgium)
The Moth Diaries, Mary Harron (Canada/Ireland)
Alois Nebel, Tomas Lunak (first work) (Czech Republic/Germany)
W.E., Madonna (UK) (second work)*
Eva, Kike Maillo (UK) (first work)
Scossa, Francesco Maselli, Carlo Lizzani, Ugo Gregoretti, Nino Russo (Italy)
La Cle Des Champs, Claude Nuridsany, Marie Perennou (France)
Il Villaggio Di Cartone, Ermanno Olmi (Italy)
Wilde Salome, Al Pacino (US)
Tormented, Takashi Shimizu (Japan)
Contagion, Steven Soderbergh (US)*
Marco Bellocchio, Venezia 2011, Pietro Marcello (Italy) (documentary, short)
La Meditazione Di Hayez, Mario Martone (Italy) (short)
Tahrir 2011, Tamer Ezzat, Ahmad Abdalla, Ayten Amin, Amr Salama (Egypt) (documentary)
The End, Collectif Abounaddara (Syria)
Vanguard, Colleftif Abounaddara (Syria)
Evolution (Megaplex) (3D), Marco Brambilla (US) (experimental film)
Questa Storia Qua , Alessandro Paris, Sibylle Righetti (Italy) (documentary)
Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel, Lisa Immordino Vreeland (US) (documentary)
Golden Career Lion - Nel Nome Del Padre, Marcho Bellocchio (Italy)


Cut, Amir Nadri (opening film)
L’Oiseau, Yves Cuamon
Wilson Hail, Amiel Courtin
Nocturnos, Edgardo Cozarinsky
Amore Carne, Pippo Delbono
I’m Carolyn Parker: The Good, The Mad And The Beautiful, Jonathan Demme
Sal, James Franco
Whores’ Glory, MIchael Glawogger
Die Herde Des Herrn, Romuald Karmakar,
Stateless Things (Jultak dongshi), Kim Kyungmook,
Clarissa Campolina. Helvécio Marins Jr.,
Photographic Memory, Ross McElwee,
The Invader, Nicolas Provost
Shock Head Soul, Simon Pummell,
Two Years at Sea, Ben Rivers,
Aims Of The Blind Horse (Anhey ghorhey da daan), Gurvinder Singh,
The Orator (O le tulafale), Tusi Tamasese
Lung Neaw Visits His Neighbours, Rirkrit Tiravanija,
Verano, José Luis Torres Leiva,
Kotoko, Shinya Tsukamoto,
Le Petit Poucet, Marina de Van,
Swan (Cisne), Teresa Villaverde,
The Sword Identity (Wokou de zongji), Xu Haofen,
Would You Have Sex with an Arab?, Yolande Zauberman,


MTFB reported earlier this week that Ioncinema has tipped the Tilda Swinton/John C. Reilly starrer and Cannes entry "We Need to Talk About Kevin" as being on this year's Telluride lineup.  I can also pass along that the film fro helmer Lynne Ramsey now has an awards friendly release date.  Dec. 2.

Word about 'Kevin's' date came from a couple of sources.  Initially I saw it from The Playlist at Indiewire.  You can find that story here:

Kevin's IMDb page is here:


First Showing/Alex Billington has pictures (that we can actually show you) from Steve McQueen's "Shame" starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan.

Billington says that he thinks it "likely" that "Shame" will make the field of films at Telluride.  It's been on our watch list for a long, long time and has been persistently on the "Ten Bets" list this summer.  McQueen's "hunger" also starring Fassbender was at T-ride in 2008 and Ms. Mulligan has been in town the last two festivals.  And since we already think "Drive" is going to be in the fest, Carey could kill two films with one stone.

Here's the link to First's story:

And some pix:

Shame's IMDb page is here:


With Toronto's announcement this week came a bunch of interesting titles that I thought I'd highlight as they might pop up in the Telluride program.

"Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" with Ewan MacGregor and Emily Blunt.  dir. Lasse Hallstrom (Cider House Rules). Also penned by Simon Beaufoy (127 Hours, Slumdog Millionaire)

"50/50" with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen.  dir. Jonathan Levine (The Wackness)

"The Deep Blue Sea" with Rachel Weisz.  dir. Terence Davies (The House of Mirth)

The Oranges with Leighton Meester and Hugh Laurie.  dir. Julian Farino (Entourage/Big Love )

Butter with Olivia Wilde and High Jackman.  dir. Jim Field Smith (She's Out of My League)

The Lady with Michelle Yeoh and David Thewlis.  dir. Luc Beeson (Le Femme Nikita/The Fifth Element )
Parenthetical note here:  I really think this could be a Telluride possibility!

360 with Rachel Weisz (again!) and Jude Law (also very busy these days).  dir. Fernando Meirelles (City of God/Blindness/The Constant Gardener) Also script by Peter Morgan (The Queen/Frost/Nixon)
IMDb page:

Peace, Love and Understanding with Catherine Keener and Jane Fonda.  dir. Bruce Beresford (Tender Mercies/Driving Miss Daisy)

Take this Waltz with Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen.  dir. (and written by) Sarah Polley (Away From Her)

More from Colorado tomorrow!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Descendants Hopscotch/More Toronto Musings/Venice Becomes Official/Le Havre is BACK!/Herzog at Comic Con

A shout out to Dan Peek, original member of America, gone at 60.  "This is for all the Lonely People..."


Jeff Wells of Hollywood Elsewhere reports last night that Alexander Payne's "The Descendants" has a NEW release date (11/23) and FLAT OUT SAYS IT WILL BE IN TELLURIDE.  Check his story:


The Toronto International Film Festival announced the bulk of its gala/special presentation lineup yesterday.  As we have noted, there is almost always a significant overlap between Telluride and Toronto and you can bet that it's very likely that 7-12 films will share the two venues. 

We think after posts yesterday from Ioncinema that you can start lining up at The Palm or The Chuck for "The Artist," "Drive" and "We Need to Talk About Kevin."  That leaves us trying to divine 4-9 films that share Telluride/Toronto presentations.

So among the 50+ films listed by TIFF yesterday, what are the ones that are the most likely to play in Telluride as well?

Add to your calculation that you can expect an average of 2 films to play both Telluride and Venice and that sometimes those films will actually be in all three places (Ex: "Black Swan," "Life During Wartime," and "The Road" were at all 3 festivals). 

So with that set of best guesses are: Todd Solondz's "Dark Horse," Steve McQueen's "Shame" and Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud's "Chicken with Plums" may try to do the hat trick of all three festivals.

Michael Fassbender shooting "Shame"

Now we're looking at trying to puzzle out the half dozen or so pictures that will share Telluride/Toronto presentations.  My guesses (I'm listing 7): "Albert Nobbs," "Moneyball," "Coriolanus," "The Descendants," "Habemus Papum (We Have a Pope), "Machine Gun Preacher, " and "The Skin I Live In" (or Inhabit).  And as I have said here repeatedly, I think "The Descendants" is a lead pipe cinch...but remember, I also thought that the Jason Reitman/Diablo Cody collaboration "Young Adult" was a 90% likelihood too.  Until yesterday when Pete Hammond at Deadline Hollywood categorically claimed that it would not be at Telluride.

I am bummed.


The Venice Film Festival has had film titles oozing onto the Internet all week.  They're official announcement comes today.  We're expecting, in addition to the films that I listed in Monday's post that Stephen Soderbergh's "Contagion" will be on the Venetian list someplace.

More thoughts about Venice and the intersection of it with Toronto and Telluride after they make it official.


Cannes fave "Le Havre" has distribution

"Le Havre" from director/writer Aki Kaurismaki was a critical and crowd favorite in May at the Cannes Film Festival.  I immediately starred it as a possible Telluride prospect.  In fact, it has appeared on my "Ten Bets" list this summer frequently, but I had pulled it lately as it hadn't found a distributor.  I had thought that The Weinstein Company or Sony Pictures Classics would jump on it and that would set the table for its screening in the San Juans in September.

So far...not so much...Until today.

Janus Films...the specialty film house that has focused on classic films has picked up the rights for "Le Havre" and I think that means you can also put it back in the mix as a probable film come Labor Day.  Janus has had a long time relationship with TFF and it has played in distribution in terms of contemporary film including TFF #35 (2008) offering "Revanche." 

Eric Lavallee at Ioncinema broke the story and even speculates that "Le Havre" is likely to be at Telluride.  That story is here:


Numerous sightings this past weekend that Telluride mainstay Werner Herzog showed up unannounced and unexpectedly at Comic Con in San Diego.  That blows my mind.  It would have been interesting to hear Herr Herzog as he made his way through the hall.

The first time I was anywhere near Herzog in Telluride was in 2007 waiting on line for the bus to take us to the patron's brunch.  I was mind-boggled then.  And I can tell you, the people in that line looked very different than the one above.

Awards Daily had the pictures and the story.  You can find it here:

More Tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Things We Know (maybe?)/Toronto First Pass

Howdy, Sports Fans...


Toronto's International Film Festival announced a large portion of their lineup yesterday.  Not all of it.  There are likely still more films to be named to the TIFF play list over the next few weeks.  But the Canadians did name 10 Galas and 40+ Special Presentations and that churned up the waters the last 24 hours.

In that churning we found confirmation (via Ioncinema) that we can pretty confidently say that we know three films that WILL BE IN THE SHOW.

Ioncinema reports that "The Artist" written and directed by Michael Hazanavicius and starring Cannes Best Actor winner Jean Dujardin will play in Telluride (as I have been predicting since it bowed in Cannes in May).

Also reported for Telluride: Tilda Swinton's Oscar-buzzy performance in "We Need to Talk About Kevin" from Brit Lynne Ramsey (director and co-writer) and ...I'm very excited about this...Ioncinema insists that Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive" ( Hossein Amini scripted)  starring Ryan Gosling, Cary Mulligan (Carey, come back to Telluride!) and possible Oscar nominee Albert Brooks will roll into Telluride as well.

Both "The Artist" and "Kevin" have been on my "Ten Bets" list this summer.  "The Artist" has been consistently in the top five...

Validation?  Vindication?  Some other word that starts with a V?

Initially I had discounted "Drive's" chances of playing at Telluride despite glowing reviews out of Cannes, the knock on it was that it was too much a genre piece.  But after seeing the trailer last week, I began to think it had a real shot at The SHOW.  Then I tumbled across a Kris Tapley reference to a screening and a note that it had played at the LA Film Fest and my expectations crumbled.

Now, I'm jacked up all over again.

Also, an all but certain death blow to any chances that Lars Von Trier's "Melancholia" would make the TFF #38 list.  A tweet earlier today that it would screen in LA and a friendly message from Film Blather's Eugene Novikov telling me that "Melancholia" was screening in L.A. this afternoon to qualify for Oscar consideration means that our earlier thought that it would not among the films in the San Juans this Labor Day was the correct assessment.

So..."The Artist," "Drive" and "We Need to Talk About Kevin" IN...Melancholia OUT.


TIFF announced it's first wave of films today.  I have a lot of links below.  You can gorge yourself on Torornto lists and analysis.  I'll have some as well over the next three days or so.

Here is the lineup as announced today (via Rope of Silicon)...10 Galas and 40+ Special Presentations:

Opening Film:
From the Sky Down [dir. Davis Guggenheim]


Albert Nobbs

Albert Nobbs [dir. Rodrigo Garcia]
Butter [dir. Jim Field Smith]
A Dangerous Method [dir. David Cronenberg]
A Happy Event [dir. Remi Bezancon]
The Ides of March [dir. George Clooney]
The Lady [dir. Luc Besson]
Moneyball [dir. Bennett Miller]
Peace, Love and Misunderstanding [dir. Bruce Beresford]
Take this Waltz [dir. Sarah Polley]
W.E. [dir. Madonna]

Special Presentations:

11 Flowers [dir. Wang Xiaoshuai]
50/50 [dir. Jonathan Levine]
360 [dir. Fernando Meirelles]
The Artist [dir. Michel Hazanavicius]
Americano [dir. Mathieu Demy]
Anonymous [dir. Roland Emmerich]
A Better Life [dir. Cedric Khan]
Burning Man [dir. Jonathan Teplitzky]
Chicken with Plums [dir. Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud]
Coriolanus [dir. Ralph Fiennes]
Countdown [dir. Huh Jong-ho]
Dark Horse [dir. Todd Solondz]
The Deep Blue Sea [dir. Terence Davies]
The Descendants [dir. Alexander Payne]
Drive [dir. Nicolas Winding Refn]
Elles [dir. Malgoska Szumowska]
The Eye of the Storm [dir. Fred Schepisi]
Friends With Kids [dir. Jennifer Westfeldt]
Habemus Papam [dir. Nanni Moretti]
Headhunters [dir. Morten Tyldum]
Hick [dir. Derick Martini]
The Hunter [dir. Daniel Nettheim]
Jeff, Who Lives at Home [dir. Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass]
Killer Joe [dir. William Friedkin]
Like Crazy [dir. Drake Doremus]
Machine Gun Preacher [dir. Marc Forster]
Martha Marcy May Marlene [dir. Sean Durkin]
Melancholia [dir. Lars von Trier]
The Oranges [dir. Julian Farino]
Pearl Jam Twenty [dir. Cameron Crowe]
Rampart [dir. Oren Moverman]
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen [dir. Lasse Hallstrom]
Shame [dir. Steve McQueen]
A Simple Life [dir. Ann Hui]
The Skin I Live In [dir. Pedro Almodovar]
Take Shelter [dir. Jeff Nichols]
Ten Year [dir. Jamie Linden]
Trishna [dir. Michael Winterbottom]
Twixt [dir. Francis Ford Coppola]
Tyrannosaur [dir. Paddy Considine]
We Need to Talk About Kevin [dir. Lynne Ramsay]
Where Do We Go Now? [dir. Nadine Labaki]
Woman in the Fifth [dir. Pawel Pawlikowski]

With the leaks of the probable films expected at Venice (Venice's official announcement comes Thursday) we can say some things with an element of certainty.

Past experience indicates that in addition to "The Artist," "Drive" and "Kevin"we can expect 5-8 of the above Toronto films to also play Telluride and maybe 2 Venice titles as well (and those can I expect will happen with Todd Solondz's "Dark Horse")

Dark Horse

I still think Alexander Payne's "The Descendants" is a virtual certainty for Telluride. However, I have been equally certain that Jason Reitman's "Young Adult" would follow the same path he trekked with "Juno" and "Up in the Air" including its spot at # 4 on this week's Ten Bets list.  Late last night I got Pete Hammond's post at Deadline Hollywood about Toronto and the whole fall fest scene and he FLAT SAYS NO "YOUNG ADULT" at Telluride.  Quoting from his story now:

"I would have bet this film (which Paramount just dated for Dec. 9) would show up in Toronto, but I have confirmed it definitely won't be riding the fest circuit -- a first for Reitman. Don't look for it in Telluride either despite being Reitman's "good luck" festival where future Best Picture nominees Juno and Up In The Air had wildly successful unofficial premieres."

Pete's going to know more than I do.  But I have to say, it makes me sad.  I was really looking forward to seeing "YA" at T-ride and passing words with Mr. Reitman and Ms. Cody.  I did in 2007 with both (Reitman introduced me to Cody) and again with Reitman in 2009.  I also got in a really good question about the music used for the credit sequence during the Q & A which made the room laugh including Alexander Payne and former AMPAS Pres. Sid Ganis...but, alas, it would seem, not this year.

The body of Hammond's post is here (and it's pretty informative):

Toronto Galas also playing at Venice:
A Dangerous Method, W.E. and The Ides of March

Toronto Special Presentations also playing Venice:
Dark Horse, Chicken with Plums, Killer Joe, and Shame  and maybe Coriolanus (that's unclear and may have to wait for the official announcement on Thursday).

And then there are the films that weren't on either Toronto's list today or the sneaked Venice lists of the past two days:
Cameron Crowe's "We Bought a Zoo"
Paolo Sorrentino's "This Must Be the Place"
Jason Reitman's "Young Adult"
Phyllida Lloyd's "The Iron Lady"
Simon Curtis' "My Week with Marilyn"
John Hillcoat's "The Wettest County"
John Madden's "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel"
Gus Van Sant's "Restless"
and Bruce Robinson's "The Rum Diary"

What about these films?  Telluride-bound?  NY Film Fest?  TBA later for Venice or Toronto?  Not ready?  All of these are possible answers.

And word from a couple of sources today the "On the Road" and "The Grandmasters" would not be ready for the fall festival threesome of Telluride/Toronto/Venice.

Also missing from either Venice or Toronto...the Big 5: "Hugo," "War Horse," "J. Edgar," "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close."

Links to Toronto stories and analysis:

Rope of Silicon:

The Playlist:

The Hollywood Reporter:

Awards Daily:

Movie City News:

Thompson on Hollywood:

Hollywood Elsewhere:

Hit Fix:

 More Toronto/Venice impact analysis coming tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Venice Sneak Peek/Machine Gun Preacher/Young Adult Date

Good Morning from Middle America!


The interwebs were lousy yesterday with leaked lists of the majority of the expected Venetian film lineup.  Ioncinema was first with "predictions" of the lineup.  Moments later Variety had the story with the actual films.  Several other outlets then relayed the information.  I have included links to IndieWire's and Rope of Silicon's versions of the story below. 

The bottom line is that the following films are expected to play at Venice (their official announcement will come Thursday and will likely include a few other films not on the list reported today):

The Ides of March directed by George Clooney (opener)

In Competition:

“Alps,” directed by Yorgos Lanthimos
“A Burning Hot Summer,” directed by Philippe Garrel
“Carnage,” directed by Roman Polanski
“A Dangerous Method,” directed by David Cronenberg
“Dark Horse,” directed by Todd Solondz
“The Exchange,” directed by Eran Kolirin
“Faust,” directed by Alexander Sokurov
“Himizu,” directed by Sion Sono
“Killer Joe,” directed by William Friedkin
“Last Day on Earth,” directed by Abel Ferrara
“The Moth Diaries,” directed by Mary Harron
“Poulet aux prunes,” directed by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud
“Quando la notte,” directed by Cristina Comencini
“Seediq Bale,” directed by Wei Te-sheng
“Shame,” directed by Steve McQueen
“Terraferma,” directed by Emanuele Crialese
“Texas Killing Fields” directed by Ami Canaan Mann
“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” directed by Tomas Alfredson
“L’ultimo terrestre,” directed by Gipi
“W.E.,” directed by Madonna
“Wuthering Heights,” directed by Andrea Arnold

Apparently there are strong indications that Stephen Soderbergh's "Contagion" will also play in some portion of the Venice Festival.

That, in all likelihood dramatically reduces the chances we'll see these films in Telluride.  Expect to see one or two of them.  If I were guessing (and I am) I would rate these films as the most likely to play both places (in order of likelihood): 1) Dark Horse, 2) Shame, 3) Wuthering Heights, 4) Chicken with Plums, 5) The Exchange, 6) Faust , 7) Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, 8) W.E., 9) A Dangerous Method, 10) Carnage.

Films that may have seen an increase in the chances that we'll see them at Telluride include:
Le Havre, The Wettest County, We Bought a Zoo, This Must Be the Place, Melancholia, The Artist, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Coriolanus, Moneyball, The Rum Diary, Albert Nobbs, Young Adult, The Iron Lady, The Descendants, My Week with Marilyn, The Kid with a Bike, The Skin I Inhabit (or Live In) and The Deep Blue Sea.

Big Films that are likely off the Telluride scope: Hugo, War Horse, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and J. Edgar...(though I could make some kind of case for any of them).

Walter Salles "On the Road" apparently won't be "ready" for Venice.  if that's true, it's also unlikely to be ready 3 days later for Telluride.

We'll have more insight when Toronto begins to announce its lineup (which appears to be just moments away) and Thursday when the official Venice lineup is announced.

Here are links to the Venice story from Rope of Silicon:

and IndieWire:


Word  from The Playlist at IndieWire yesterday that "Machine Gun Preacher"  will open in limited release in NYC and LA on Sept. 23.  Director Marc Forster reportedly wants some awards season push for the film which stars Gerard Butler.  What makes me think it might show up at The SHOW?  It's a true life redemption tale and Forster was at Telluride in 2004 with "Finding Neverland" before he started to do a couple of big budget films (Quantum of Solace, World War Z).  Maybe he comes back this year.

Read the story form The Playlist here:

Machine Gun Preacher's IMDb page is here:


Jason Reitman's "Young Adult" starring Oscar winner Charlize Theron will open in limited release on Dec. 9 according to The Hollywood Reporter.  That keeps it on track as a likely candidate for being a part of this year's Telluride Film Festival.  THR reports that Paramount opened "The Fighter" the same weekend last year leading one to conclude (not surprisingly) that "Young Adult" is expected to be included in this year's awards conversation.  "Young Adult" was written by Oscar winner Diablo Cody.  She and Reitman collaborated in 2007 on "Juno".

The Hollywood Reporter story is here:

The Playlist also has the story here:

Young Adult's IMDb page is here:

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:

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Posters!!!/Drive Trailer/Odds and Ends

Back home this morning from debate camp...great week, but glad to be at the homestead...


Two quick poster notes this morning.  One about a poster that is just out for a possible Telluride film...the other a story about a poster for a TFF #37 film that didn't happen.

First, the poster that you CAN see..."Moneyball" directed by Bennet Miller and starring Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill and Philip Seymour Hoffman.  Thanks to Rope of Silicon we have a look...


The link to the ROS story is here:

Moneyball's IMDb page:

The other poster tidbit comes from Roger Ebert who has an interesting story about the poster work for Errol Morris' documentary from last year's festival, "Tabloid."  This is the poster they DID NOT use:

Ebert has the explanation for it's exclusion here:

Tabloid's IMDB page:


Several outlets yesterday with the release of a red band trailer for Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive" that features Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan and, as a really bad guy, comedian Albert Brooks.  Brooks is already getting some significant Oscar buzz for a Supporting Actor nomination.  Check out the trailer by taking a look at this story from The Playlist at Indiewire.

The trailer looks great.  "Drive" has some Telluride "markers."  It was at Cannes (Refn won Best Direction) and Carey Mulligan has made Telluride a second home for the past two Labor Days.   My excitement for it's possible inclusion at the Telluride Film Festival has steadily increased through this summer.

Drive's IMDb page:

Drive is being distributed by Film District which is also distributing two other possible Telluride films: "The Rum Diary" and "In the Land of Blood and Honey."


---The Venice Film Festival is reportedly going to announce their lineup on July 28.  Clues?
---I'll be glad when Comic Con closes up has sucked the air out of reporting much of anything else film wise.
---This week I have added links to a number of the sites I reference frequently so you can get to them easily and peruse them yourself.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, July 22, 2011

More Morris/More Banner/TFF#38 and Comic Con?

Hello from "Area 51"...Cameron Debate Camp concludes later today. 


Joyce McKinney of Errol Morris' "Tabloid"

Errol Morris' quirky, funny, idiosyncratic and thoroughly entertaining documentary "Tabloid" has been rolling out the last week into theaters for public consumption.  I'd encourage everyone to see it.  It was a highlight of TFF#37 as far as I was concerned. 

Morris, as you might expect, has been a ubiquitous presence the last 10 days or so as he promotes the release of the film.  One of the lengthiest and best interviews he has given was captured by Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood at IndieWire. 

I have included the link to that interview here:

"Tabloid's" IMDb page is here:


News this week about 2002 Oscar winning director Ron Howard lining up to direct an adaptation of Jon Krakauer's "Under the Banner of Heaven."  The screenplay is set to be penned by "Milk" 2009 Oscar winning scribe Dustin Lance Black.  The book details the true story of murder and mayhem in a Mormon community.

I have included links to two more stories about that announcement.  Interestingly, one of the links is to the Salt Lake Tribune's story that appeared earlier this week.

The Salt Lake Trib story is here:

Also, here's a link to another story about the announcement from The Hollywood News:


Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan on the set of "Drive"

You don't often think about films being highlighted at Comic Con and the Telluride Film Festival in the same year but after yesterday that could happen.  Nicolas Winding Refn was on hand in San Diego to talk about "Drive."  "Drive" played at the Cannes Film Festival to generally good reviews which can be a precursor to an appearance at Telluride's festival. 

Admittedly, I think "Drive's" chances of being on the Telluride list are fairly low.  But the odds aren't absolutely non-existent.  So, as unusual as it would be for a film to be highlighted in both places it could happen.  "Drive" stars Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan (and she's another good indicator of a possible Telluride bow as she has been there the past two festivals with "An Education" in 2009 and "Never Let Me Go" in 2010).

The Playlist has the story of Refn's appearance at Comic Con.  Here's the link to that:

"Drive's" IMDb page is here:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Meyer Makes a Move/Conatgion Breaks Out/Pix from TTSS

Good Morning from "Area 51"...


Gary Meyer, co-director of the Telluride Film Festival, is making a big change in his life.  The San Francisco Gate/Chronicle reports this morning that Meyer is leaving his post as operator of the specialty and independent Balboa Theater in San Fran.

According to the story the anticipated cost for a potential switch over to digital projection has played a part in Meyer's decision.

You can read the entire story here:


Stephen Soderbergh's "Contagion" is set to be released on Sept. 9 and could conceivably have a presence at this year's festival.  I had a copy of the teaser poster up not long ago.  Now comes a new poster making its way across the internet today.

We have it from Brad Brevet at Rope of Silicon and have included it here as well as the link to the accompanying story.  Here's the link:

Poster looks cool.


The buzz on Tomas Alfredson's "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" (adapted from the John LeCarre novel and featuring a very, very buzzed about performance from Gary Oldman as Geroge Smiley) has me hoping that the rumor that it could be included at Telluride is accurate. 

The Playlist has a post with a number of stills from the set.  One of those, featuring Colin Firth, John Hurt, and Toby Jones is above.  Very intriguing.

Here is the link to The Playlist story and a bunch more pix:

Heading home tomorrow...woo...hoo!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Under the Banner/TTSS Poster Part Deux/Moneyball Spot/The Master and Moby

Live from Lawton, Oklahoma...It's Wednesday!


Multiple sources all over the place yesterday with the news that Ron Howard will direct and Dustin Lance Black (Milk) will write the film adaptation of "Under the Banner of Heaven."  The Telluride connection comes from the book's author Jon Krakauer whose "Into the Wild" (directed by Sean Penn and featuring Emile Hirsch who would also appear in "Milk") was a well received feature at the 2007 Telluride Film Festival.

The book delineates the real life tale of murder and mayhem in a Mormon family in Utah.  Think of it as the antithesis to the Broadway hit show "The Book of Mormon" currently running in NYC.

The flood of posts/stories came yesterday after the collapse of plans for Howard to shepherd the development of an adaptation of Stephen King's "The Dark Tower" series.  despite the fact that Howard reportedly is on record as saying that "The Dark Tower" project still has a pulse...he seems to have lined up a number of other projects to keep himself occupied over the next few years in addition to the announcement of this project.

You can find various versions of the "Under the Banner" story at The Wrap here:

At The Hollywood Reporter here:

and at The Playlist at Indiewire here:


Yesterday we posted this one sheet for the upcoming Tomas Alfredson production of "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy."  Looks good.  The article mentions that it could be on the Telluride lineup.  Cool.

Then we stumble across this Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood/Indiewire) post yesterday that says that the poster is coded.  WHAT???

Maybe so.  After debate camp (yes, I'm at debate camp this week) I'm going to have to take a run at the thing and see if I can decipher anything.

The Anne Thompson story is here:


The Playlist (at Indiewire) has a story up that introduces us to a 30 second TV spot for "Moneyball."  "Moneyball" stars Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill and Philip Seymour Hoffman in the story of the real life transition that was undertaken by the Oakland A's major league baseball team.

You can find the story and the spot here:


And finally, Jeff Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere had this blurb yesterday about Paul Thomas Anderson's new film "The Master" starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix.  The comparison is stunning and, not surprisingly, teases that Anderson is painting on a very, very big canvas.  Very exciting.

The Wells blurb is here:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

TTSS One Sheet/Pix of Ides/Mirren into Spector/Twixt...

Good Morning Starshine...the Earth says, "Hello"


Tomas Alfredson's adaptation of the John LeCarre spy novel "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" has a one sheet out and you can see above.  Thanks to The Playlist at Indiewire for the story and link to the picture. 
Interestingly, for the second time we have a story that mentions Telluride as a possible destination for this film this fall (in the context of the Telluride, Venice, Toronto triumvirate).
You can find that post here:


Also up yesterday, via Brad Brevet at Rope of Silicon, a picture of Ryan Gosling at work on the set of the George Clooney political thriller "The Ides of March."  "Ides" has been tapped to open the Venice Festival.  I'm hoping that it follows the same path that "Black Swan" did last year and opens Venice and then is included as a sneak (or a tribute) on Telluride's schedule.  It would also get Clooney in town to support the anticipated presence of his star turn in Alexander Payne's "The Descendants."

The link to that story at ROS is here:


Helen Mirren who won the 2006 Best Actress Oscar  for "The Queen" and who was in  Telluride in 2009 with "The Last Station" ad Oscar nominated for that, has been a busy woman since.  Now comes the news from The Wrap that she has been tapped to replace Bette Middler in the David Mamet directed Phil Spector biopic starring Al Pacino as the creator of "The Wall of Sound."

Mirren will play a defense attorney for Spector in the film.  As we look ahead to TFFs 39 or 40, this project will probably be on our Telluride film watch list.

The Wrap's story is here:


Also news last night that SlashFilm had the first look at Francis Ford Coppola's "Twixt" (the title of which has been "Twixt Now and Sunrise").  The post features a really interesting picture from the set of Coppola and Elle Fanning.  See...

"Twixt" is described as a "sort of" gothic thriller.  Coppola has been a part of Telluride's film fest in the past so I have thought that there has been a possibility that we could see this film in the San Juans over Labor Day weekend...but I wouldn't hold my breath for very the Slashfilm story reports "Twixt" will be previewed at Comic Con this coming that almost certainly nukes it for Telluride.

SlashFilm's story is here:

Monday, July 18, 2011

More Ralph/More Busy Peeps/Ten Bets/The Perfect Storm

The weekend has come and gone...Carmageddon, we hardly knew ye...


Ralph Fiennes directs himself in Coriolanus

One of the films that I have been tracking sporadically and that has appeared on my "Ten Bets" list for Telluride is Ralph Fiennes film directing debut as he translates one of the Bard's lesser known works to the screen. 

"Coriolanus" is schedule to roll out this fall and has already been glimpsed at the Berlin Film Festival to good reviews especially for Vanessa Redgrave.  Already some Supporting Actress Oscar buzz swirling around her performance in the film.

Now comes word that Fiennes has picked up his second directing assignment.  The Playlist at Indiewire reports this morning that Fiennes will direct a Charles Dickens biopic entitled "The Invisible Woman."  It's based on the book by Claire Tomalin and scripted by Abi Morgan (The Iron Lady, Shame...both on this year's Telluride watch list). 

Past Telluride attendee Carey Mulligan (An Education, Never Let Me Go) is said to be on Fiennes list of possible actresses for the title role.  Also said to be on his list is Abbie Cornish (Bright Star). 

Two names mentioned as possibles for Dickens: Ben Whishaw (Bright Star) and Daniel Day-Lewis (2007 Tributee/There Will Be Blood).

Fiennes has a number of obligations to attend to before he will be able to get to this job, so put down "The Invisible Woman" as a potential film for Telluride in 2013.

The Playlist story is here:


We started a list a couple of weeks ago of actors that were potentially going to be very busy this fall between the festival circuit and awards season.  Add three more names to the earlier list:

Philip Seymour Hoffman; The Ides of March, Moneyball

Jude Law: Contagion, Hugo

Matt Damon: Contagion, We Bought a Zoo


Last week's "Ten Bets" list for this year's Telluride Film Festival looked like this:

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

This week's list is as follows:

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


I started last week to put together a list of the "dream Team" of people that I think it would be fun to have a conversation with that at least have some minuscule chance of being at this year's festival.  The list wasn't completed last week, but as I have been mulling it over, I was reminded this weekend that I had contemplated a "Perfect Storm" of possibilities back in the spring.  And "Perfect Storm" is a pretty good filmic place to begin the discussion because George Clooney is one of the possibles that helps to connect a lot of this.  Clooney with Alexander Payne's "The Descendants" is a possible attendee. 
His "Ides of March" opens the Venice Festival  on Aug. he could make an appearance on Colorado Ave.  And, if he does, that opens the door to some of that Philip Seymour Hoffman. 
And maybe it becomes an "Oceans 11-12-13"  reunion and Clooney's buddy and Hoffman's Moneyball co-star Brad Pitt comes to town with "Moneyball." 
Since Brad's decided to make the trip, maybe his significant other, Angelina Jolie comes to town as well with her directorial debut "In the Land of Blood and Honey." 
Since we've decided the Ocean's gang is meeting up for Labor Day hi-jinks in the San Juans...why not Matt Damon in support of "Contagion."  It makes some sense since "Contagion" is directed by Stephen Soderbergh who is often a producing partner with Clooney. 
And if "Contagion's" playing...why not bring co-star Kate Winslet along...she can double dip as she can also be there in support of "Carnage" with Jodie Foster in tow as well.

And since Matt's about double dipping as well with Cameron Crowe's "We Bought a Zoo"?

So lets' see, that means we see the following films: The Descendants, The Ides of March, Moneyball, In the Land of Blood and Honey, Contagion, Carnage and We Bought a Zoo.

And in person: Clooney, Hoffman, Pitt, Jolie, Damon, Winslet, Foster.

Yes, please.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Pictures of Carnage/Melancholia Happens/Companies/More Marlon

Hope everyone has started off the weekend well.  To my friends in LA...hope you are surviving "CARMAGEDDON!!!!"


Still via The Playlist

The Playlist put up some stills from Roman Polanski's "Carnage" this week and I thought I'd pass them along.  "Carnage" is based on Yasmina Reza's stage play "God of Carnage" and features Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly.

I think that the chances of "Carnage" being at Telluride are about 1 in 3.  And the reason the odds are even that good are because it's on Sony Pictures Classic's slate of fall films.  So I have to at least consider it.

As I have said here before, you know Polanski won't accompany the film here because of his on-going legal problems.  I could see Jodie Foster there to represent the film as she was a tributee in 1991.  That would be cool.

The "Carnage" pix and accompanying story at The Playlist are here:

"Carnage" IMDb page:


I have been really pouring cold water on the notion that we'd see Lars Von Trier's "Melancholia" at The SHOW this year since his infamous press blunder at Cannes and his subsequent banishment as persona non grata from that festival in May.  but I'd be less than honest if I didn't admit that there is still a small chance that the film could play in Telluride.

Clearly there wasn't a massive backlash against Von Trier or the film as Kirsten Dunst won Best Actress at Cannes.  Additionally, as I have reported before, Von Trier has often had films in Telluride's lineup. So let's not dismiss it out of hand.

Well, now the film has a release date.  The Playlist at Indiewire reporting that it will open on Nov. 11.

I have a reader who confidently tells me that Von Trier doesn't, much like "Carnage" you have to wonder who'd accompany the film.  My guess would be Charlotte Gainsbourg.

The Playlist story is here:

The "Melancholia" IMDb page is here:


Icon Film Distribution has had  a couple of films that have played as part of the Telluride Film Festival in recent years. 
"Hunger" in 2008 and "The Road" in 2009.

They have a hand this year in the Jack Kerouac inspired "On the Road" maybe it gets a little bump in the "it's possible" department.
Could we see Angelina Jolie at the Labor Day Picnic?

GK Films hasn"t really been a player at Telluride but has connections to 2-3 properties that might see their bow at in the San Juans on Labor Day weekend. 
From most likely to least likely they are:
Angelina Jolie's directing and writing debut "In the Land of Blood and Honey," (IMDb )
Bruce Robinson's "The Rum Diary" featuring Johnny Depp in the Hunter Thompson-esque role (IMDb )
and Martin Scorsese's "Hugo." (IMDb )


Last week I posted my picture with screen legend Marlon Brando and recounted the story of how I met him in 1978 in my last year of college.  I mentioned that I had a couple of other pictures of the two time Oscar winner.  Well, I found them and since there seemed to be a good deal of curiosity, here they are.  Now, I'm not in these.  These were a couple of pics that are sort of hard to believe on their own.  They show Brando exiting the rear of the camper that he and the couple he had with him were travelling in.  You read it right...camper...ON THE BACK OF A PICKUP...look for yourself:

Marlon Brando Goes Camping?

Have a great rest of your weekend everyone!