Monday, April 29, 2013

Cannes Adds/Nebraska in November/Rudderless Rolls/Depp Into the Woods?

Good Monday morning to everyone!


As is often the case, The Cannes Film Festival added some titles to various components of their slate as the week ended.  The original lineup was announced on Apr. 18.  The day after, Cannes crew added Ari Folman's "The Congress".  Then this week, they added 5 more titles.  IndieWire has the rundown of the new selections including Jim Jarmusch's vampire tale"Only Lovers Left Alive" starring 2011 Telluride tributee Tilda Swinton.  Here's the post from IndieWire:


Alexander Payne sporting an Oscar

Paramount has announced that Alexander Payne's next project, "Nebraska", starring Bruce Dern and Will Forte will be released on Nov. 22.  The film will get its world premiere next month at Cannes and I fully expect its North American premiere will happen in the San Juan Mountains over Labor Day weekend.  The Hollywood Reporter has details here:

The Playlist also dropped a story:


William H. Macy's directing debut is through its first week of filming here in Oklahoma.  Executive Producer and co-writer Casey Twenter posted a couple of interesting pics this weekend:

Casey Twenter and writing/producing partner Jeff Robison with "Rudderless" star Laurence Fishburne

Fishburne autographed this copy of the script

And the piece de resistance...karaoke in OKC this weekend...

Casey, Jeff and some guy they call Bill...


Not that it has any real connection to Telluride...but the interweb was full of reports this weekend that Johnny Depp was close to signing onto a Disney production of the Stephen Sondheim (There's your Telluride connection...Sondheim guest directed the festival in 2003)  musical "Into the Woods".  Purportedly Depp would re-team with his "Pirates/Stranger Tides" director Rob Marshall.  Also, reportedly, Meryl Streep's name is being bandied about as playing the central character of The Witch.

I'm of two minds here...I love the stage musical and the original production starring Bernadette Peters and the notion of a film version is both enticing and frightening...

But I'll show up to see it, should it come to pass, just to satisfy my curiosity.

Here's a story about the possibility from The Playlist:

More on Thursday!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Baumbach & Gerwig Redux/Forte and Nebraska/Cannes and Telluride

Good Thursday to all...


One of my favorite films from TFF #39 was the collaboration between Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach that flew into T-ride under the radar..."Frances Ha".  It was a delight.

This past week we discovered that the pair have teamed on another "under-the radar" project.  It's untitled for the moment.  If it has the same spirit as "Frances", the duo could have another shot at Telluride.

Check out the details from the two posts below from The Playlist and The New Yorker:


I have to tell you that from the minute I heard about it I have been both intrigued and skeptical about SNL alum Will Forte (he's MacGruber after) all being cast in Alexander Payne's father-son road picture "Nebraska".  The film is set for competition next month in Cannes.

Forte is starting to get some ink related to the release of "Run and Jump" and naturally his attachment to "Nebraska" has come up.

IndieWire posted this profile of the comedian who is reportedly playing drama in the Payne film (which is almost a dead certainty to be in Telluride).


I spend a lot of time focused on the Cannes Festival because there is a close connection between it and Telluride.  A cursory look at the past few years shows that they commonly will share 6-9 films:

Cannes/Telluride films
2012: Rust and Bone, Amour, Paradise:Love, The Hunt, The Sapphires, Central Park Five
2011: Footnote, The Kid with a Bike, Le Have, We Need to Talk About Kevin, The Artist
2010: Of Gods and Men, Biutiful, Poetry, Another Year, The Princess of Montpensier, Tamara Drewe, Inside Job

So puzzling through the Cannes selections and the reaction to them when they unspool in France in three weeks can provide some clues about Telluride's possible lineup.

I have linked a rundown of the competiton films from IndieWire here and an interview with Cannes top dog Thierry Fremaux from Screen Daily:

Finally from Cannes, the jury was announced this week.  We already knew that Steven Spielberg was heading the competition jury.  Now we know he will be aided by the likes of Nicole Kidman and Christoph Waltz among others.  Check the story from The Playlist:

More on Monday...have a good weekend.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Rudderless Journey Begins/Burning for The Furnace/The Nugget Re-opens/Folman's Congress at Cannes/The Immigrant (Can someone please title this film?)/Is "The Past" in Our Future?

Good Monday morning!


William H. Macy and crew scouting locations in Guthrie, OK. this week.

William H. Macy's "Rudderless" is underway.  Friend of MTFB and script co-author Casey Twenter posted photos from the shoot yesterday here in Oklahoma.

First scene on the first day of shooting for "Rudderless"

William H. Macy with a thumbs as he wraps the first day of the "Rudderless" shoot yesterday.

And I have linked to this story that ran, in part, in the Daily Oklahoman:


Friend of MTFB Kristopher Tapley of InContention/Hit Fix tweeted earlier this week an exciting prospect of a really intriguing film making the program at T-ride:

"Out of the Furnace" was also listed as a Telluride possibility in the HitFix "Oscar Contenders 2014: 25 Films to Watch For" post on Feb. 28th.  It's #19 in the photo gallery.

Director and co-writer Scott Cooper's debut film was "Crazy Heart" which led to Jeff Bridges winning a Best Actor Oscar.  It also won the Oscar for Best Original Song and earned Maggie Gyllenhall a Supporting Actress nomination.

"Furnace" boasts an impressive list of names in the cast: Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Willem Dafoe, Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Forest Whitaker and Sam Shepherd.  It's IMDB entry is here:


News from Telluride that The Nugget, the actual movie theater in town, has re-opened and is ready for business.   The Telluride Daily Planet reports that the theater will be run by the Telluride Film Festival directly including programming.  The complete story is linked here:


It was something of a surprise Thursday that the announcement of the Cannes lineups did not include Ari Folman's "The Congress".  I passed on word that it was likely to be announced for some part of the program later and sure enough, on Friday, it was announced as the opening film for the Director's Fortnight part of the Cannes program.  See the linked tweet below from Film Festival News:


Here's a new image and a few words about James Gray's "The Immigrant" which has been previously titled "Lowlife" and "The Nightingale".  This film was teased at TFF #39 as a part of the Marion Cotillard tribute I attended with a screening of a few minutes of the film and the presence of Mr. Gray himself.  I'm hoping that signaled a possibility that the entire film shows this year...and maybe a return visit from Ms. Cotillard.


I have a lot of anticipation for Asghar Farhadi's follow up to "A Separation".  It's playing in competition next month at Cannes.  Previously we had seen a trailer in French.  Now comes an English subtitled trailer linked here from both Rope of Silicon and The Playlist.

More on Thursday...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Cannes 66 Lineup Revealed/Blood Ties Images/Enter Your Film/Screenplay Advice from a Real Attorney

Good Thursday everyone.


The lineup (or the majority of it) of the 66th Cannes Film Festival was announced early this morning.  Here it is via Eugene Hernandez and The Film Society of Lincoln Center:

Behind The Candelabra, directed by Steven Soderbergh
Borgman, directed by Alex Van Warmerdam
Un Château En Italie, directed by Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi
La Grande Belleza (The Great Beauty), directed by Paolo Sorrentino
Grisgris, directed by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun
Heli, directed by Amat Escalante
The Immigrant, directed by James Gray
Inside Llewyn Davis, directed by Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Jeune Et Jolie, directed by Francois Ozon
Jimmy P. (Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian), directed by Arnaud Desplechin
Michael Kohlhass, directed by Arnaud Despallieres
Nebraska, directed by Alexander Payne
Only God Forgives, directed by Nicolas Winding Refn
Le Passe (The Past), directed by Asghar Farhadi
Soshite Chichi Ni Naru (Like Father, Like Son), directed by Kore-eda Hirokazu
Tian Zhu Ding (A Touch of Sin), directed by Jia Zhangke
La Venus a La Fourrure, directed by Roman Polanski
La Vie D'Adele, directed by Abdellatif Kechiche
Wara No Tate (Shield of Straw), directed by Takashi Miike
Out of Competition
All Is Lost, directed by J.C. Chandor
Blood Ties, directed by Guillaume Canet
The Great Gatsby, directed by Baz Luhrmann (opening night)
Zulu, directed by Jérôme Salle (closing night)
Special Screenings
Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight, directed by Stephen Frears
Otdat Konci, directed by Taisia Igumentseva
Seduced and Abandoned, directed by James Toback
Stop the Pounding Heart, directed by Roberto Minervini
Week End of a Champion, directed by Roman Polanski
Un Certain Regard:
Anonymous, directed by Mohammad Rasoulof
As I Lay Dying, directed by James Franco
Bends, directed by Flora Lau
The Bling Ring, directed by Sofia Coppola (opening film)
Death March, directed by Adolfo Alix Jr.
Fruitvale Station, directed by Ryan Coogler
Grand Central, directed by Rebecca Zlotowski
L'Image Manquante, directed by Rithy Panh
L'Inconnu du Lac, directed by Alain Guiraudie
La Jaula de Oro, directed by Diego Quemada-Diez
Miele, directed by Valeria Golino
Norte, Hangganan Ng Kasaysayan, directed by Lav Diaz
Omar, directed by Hany Abu-Assad
Les Salauds, directed by Claire Denis
Sarah Prefere La Course, directed by Chloé Robichaud
Midnight Movies
Monsoon Shootout, directed by Amit Kumar
Blind Detective, directed by Johnnie To

Quick notes: I'm assuming "The Immigrant" is now the title for what we have been referring to as "Lowlife" and occasionally as "The Nightingale".

Further word this morning is that Ari Folman's "The Congress" will be added to the lineup.

Films that seem to draw immediate Telluride attention include both "The Immigrant" and "The Congress" as well as Alexander Payne's "Nebraska" and Asghar Farhadi's "The Past".  I also get a vibe for, as I mentioned Monday, that "Blood Ties" and "Arnuad Desplechin's "Jimmy P."

I have included one final Cannes spec piece this morning from The Movie City News' (and friend of MTFB) Jake Howell.  Jake had some interesting insights.  Check the post here and see how close he was:


Marion Cotiilard on the "Blood Ties" set (Just Jared)

Included as an out of competition film this morning is "Blood Ties".  French actor Guillaume Canet has stepped behind the camera to remake an English language version of a French thriller that he originally starred in.

I've been thinking recently that it might have a Telluride ride on Labor Day.  I don't have any tangible production company ties to past U.S. distributor yet...just a vibe.

Here's a look at first images from the film posted via The Playlist:


Monday I posted a link to a story about Telluride opening the process for film submissions for this year's fest.  Here's the actual lowdown from TFF's actual website:


Friend of the blog and Telluride regular Christopher Schiller is up with an article/post at focusing on the ins and outs of intellectual property ownership in the screenwriting biz.  Check out his article here:

Monday, April 15, 2013

Call for Film/Cannes is Near/CP5 on PBS/Rudderless Shoot

Good Monday to all!


The 40th Telluride Film Festival is calling for entry submissions now.  July 1 and July 15 are the key dates.  Dear posted the information this weekend:


More Cannes news this past weekend as it was announced that "Zuluz' will close the fest.  Additionally, we have confirmation that April 18th is the date for the announcement of the majority of the lineup.  Cannes traditionally has unveiled a number of films that then are a part of the Telluride lineup 3 1/2 months later.

Here's The Hollywood Reporter story on the closing film "Zulu":


And we learned over the weekend that TFF #39 documentary "The Central Park Five" will appear on PBS nation.  The film was directed by Ken Burns, his daughter Sarah and her husband David McMahon.  PBS linked the YouTube trailer via Twitter this weekend:


And finally, the Oklahoma set film "Rudderless", directorial debut of William H. Macy, is reported to begin shooting in late April with the 20th rumored to be the start date.  An extras casting call was held last Saturday at a mall in OKC.

Reportedly, there is still one fairly major role to be cast.

More on Thursday...

Thursday, April 11, 2013

More Rudderless/Images from Rush/Jane Gets Another Gun

Good Thursday afternnon...late again today because, you know, State Speech...but finally posting...


William H. Macy has indicated that he still has a couple of weeks of pre-production work to do before filming begins here in Oklahoma on his directorial debut "Rudderless".   Filming (he has said) is expected to begin at the end of April.

Here's a link to Macy being interviewed by local television station KFOR:

Additionally, Just Jared was all over a meeting between Macy and his co-star Selena Gomez in California

Here's the link to that Just Jared post with about 20 pics.

Gomez talks about the film with MTV:


Not long ago I posted an Oscar 2014 spec story from HitFix that that suggested that there was at least some possibility that Ron Howard's "Rush" might be a Telluride possibility.

Personally I'm dubious, but you never know.  In that light, here's a link and story about the first trailer for the film from The Guardian:

And here's the trailer via YouTube:


Another actor has signed on to the troubled production of "Jane Got a Gun".  Noah Emmerich has joined the film according to this post from The Playlist:

More on Monday...

Monday, April 8, 2013

Goodbye Roger/The Nugget/Pass Sales/Jane Gets Another Gun/Farhadi's Past

Good Monday afternoon to all...

Normally I have published this morning but it's State Tournament week.  If you know mw, you know what that means.  Anyway, here's today's installment:


Screenwriter of "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" Roger Ebert died this week.  He was also a film critic.  Won a Pulitzer Prize for that, in fact.

I don't have a degree from a film school.  I didn't major in film studies so a lot of my view of cinema has been pieced together in a haphazard fashion.  I'd like to think that I have a better-than-average knowledge and appreciation for the medium and I'd be less than honest if I didn't admit that a bunch of my film "education" came from watching and reading Mr. Ebert.

If you paid attention, you could learn a lot from Mr. Ebert about almost every aspect of film making.  I think I paid attention.  He never knew it, but in many ways he was my inadvertent teacher about film.   I suspect that there are a good number of people that feel that he was their teacher too.

You could argue (and I would) that Mr. Ebert had more positive influence on real people's real lives than most politicians/clergy/business leaders and moguls.  What he did; what he said and what he wrote allowed people to understand the movies they were about to watch or whether to watch them at all or to appreciate them after they had watched them.  Think about that for a minute...

Almost from the beginning of my Telluride experience, which for me started in 2006, I was aware that Mr. Ebert had been a big part of the festival in past.  I had always hoped that he would recover enough good health that he might make one more trip to TFF and that I'd finally get a chance to meet him and maybe say thanks for being my inadvertent teacher. My anticipation was that 2013/TFF #40 might be the last best shot for that to happen as it is clearly going to a special fest to celebrate the 40 years of TFF's existence.  Add to that the expected presentation of the film version of his autobiography "Life Itself" (exec. produced by Martin Scorsese) and I thought the increased the possibility even more.

As you'll see below, the film is still likely to be a part of the Telluride lineup or this year and almost assuredly the TFF honchos will tribute him in some fashion and that is fitting.  But I rue the fact that my chance to meet the man in front of The New Sheridan or in the lobby at The River Club is never going to happen.

So, small and humble as it is,  here's my thank you, Mr. Ebert.  You made a difference in millions of people lives.  You made us all smarter about the movies and, after all, for a medium that is the most ubiquitous form of art on the planet...that is no small thing.  Immense as a matter of fact.

I often tell friends and acquaintances that aren't going to be able to make it to Telluride for Film Festival that I'll be sure to raise a glass to them the first night I'm back in town.  This year, I'll raise one for you Roger.

Here is the story of Mr. Ebert's passing from The Hollywood Reporter:


And while we're dealing with difficult news, this also happened the last few days.  The Nugget-Telluride's full time movie theater and very cool venue for TFF will be undergoing some changes.  Operators Luci Reeve and Jim Bedford are bowing out and The Nugget will close its doors for at least some period of time.  TFF Managing Director Julie Huntsinger does say that the show will go on though.

Check out these reports from local sources:

The Telluride Daily Planet:

The Watch:


Meanwhile, the Festival has announced that Acme level passes are already sold out for this year.  Here's the update from TFF about pass sales which opened March 1:


The convoluted story about "Jane Got a Gun" the film that was originally to be directed by Lynne Ramsay and as such was on my watch list as a potential future Telluride film took another turn late this week with the announcement that Bradley Cooper had signed on to replace the departed Jude Law.

As you may remember, I was in Santa Fe, NM a few weeks back and confirmed that despite the turmoil, filming was going on in the Santa Fe area.

Cooper's addition is a little amazing to me as he would appear to be a red hot commodity in light of the success of "Silver Linings Playbook" and his Oscar nomination for it.  That Copper was available stuns me a bit.  I have linked a number of posts about the Cooper signing:


We have a poster and a french.  Asghar Farhadi's "A Separation" was a sensation 2 years ago and deservedly so.  It stands as one of the most beautifully written and structured films of the past decade.  I've had his follow up project on the Telluride radar as long as we've known he was working on it.  "The Past" seems likely to be a part of the Cannes lineup which should be announced in the next two weeks.  If it's remotely close to the quality of "A Separation" then I think it's a very real possibility for this year's TFF.

This week saw the release of a poster and a trailer linked below:

More on Thursday.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

"Rudderless" About to Sail/Sapphires' O'Dowd/Cannes Hopes/70,000

Good Monday everyone.


I've been writing about William H. Macy's directing debut "Rudderless" in this space for a long time.  It's co-writer and co-producer, Casey Twenter is a friend of this blog and we've kept up a correspondence over the past several years.  I think that he'd agree that the process of trying to get the film before cameras has been twisty-turny and has had its share of ups and downs.  But, it looks like it's all really happening as there were a flurry of stories about the film in terms of casting and shooting news.

First, the casting news.  We have known for awhile that Macy was going to direct and star and that his real life wife, Felicity Huffman was going to appear in the film as well.  Multiple stories (linked below) confirmed additional casting this week: Laurence Fishburne, Anton Yelchin, Billy Crudup and Selena Gomez.

Further, reports have it that filming will begin in and around Oklahoma City later this month.  This has been confirmed by Mr. Twenter.

I'm particularly struck by the casting of Fishburne and Crudup...who I joked with Casey, ought to be revealed at some point in the film as being Russell Hammond, the character that he played in Cameron Crowe's indelible "Almost Famous"

And, though it kind of pains me to admit this, the Selena Gomez casting virtually guarantees a high visibility factor for this film as regards the Hollywood press and gossip machine.  Gomez has so much heat currently because of her appearance in "Spring Breakers".

Check the numerous reports:


Yet another look at Chris O'Dowd and the TFF #39 crowd-pleaser "The Sapphires" :


Guy Lodge posts the 10 films he'd like to see at the Cannes Film you might expect, the list includes some films that could be in the Telluride mix:


The blog rolled past its 70,000 view last night sometime...which is small beans to the people who make a living online...but still amazes me.

More on Monday.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Sapphires/Frances Ha/Pilgrim Hill/Mood Indigo

Good Monday morning...the blog is running a little late today...


Interviews, articles and posts continue to pop up about Wayne Blair's "The Sapphires" to coincide with its release in the United States.  On this post I have included an interview with star Chris O'Dowd from The Huffington Post:

and also an interview with director Wayne Blair from The Chicago Sun Times:


And we know this thanks to this report put up by Cinema Blend:

Here's the trailer via YouTube


Featured in the Great Expectations portion of the TFF #39 program this year, "Pilgrim Hill's" Gerard Barrett talked to The Irish Times this past week about his film:


A film that has an outside shot at being a part of the Telluride #40 extravaganza is Michel Gondry's "Mood Indigo" which The Playlist has featured in a post that highlights numerous images from the film.  Take a look here:

More on Thursday!