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:
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:
JANE GETS ANOTHER GUN
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 trailer...in 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.