Saturday, June 8, 2013

deadCENTER/Best of the Week

Good Saturday to everyone...


Oklahoma's own film festival:  Check out the last half of OKC's deadCENTER film Fest.  Their website:  The Jogger, Yellow, Spectacular Now, Kings of Summer and more.


Here's a look back at the best posts/stories from this week on MTFB.

Like the other journalists on the Telluride Film Festival mailing list, I got word late last week that a poster artist had been selected and the poster for TFF #40 had been unveiled.  I have included the poster image and the accompanying news release from TFF P.R. head Shannon Goodwin Mitchell:


May 30, 2013

BERKELEY, CA – 40th Telluride Film Festival (August 29 – September 2, 2013), presented by National Film Preserve LTD., proudly announces Oscar-winning production designer Dean Tavoularis as its 2013 poster artist. Tavoularis will attend the 40th Telluride Film Festival over Labor Day weekend to present his poster design to the public and hold a poster signing for festival guests.

As a student, Dean Tavoularis studied painting and architecture at different art schools and went on to work at Disney Studios as an in-betweener in the animation department where he worked on the 1955 film “Lady and the Tramp.” He then transitioned to the live-action department where he worked on the 1954 film “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea.” His career as a production designer began in 1967 when filmmaker Arthur Penn asked him to lead the artistic direction for “Bonny And Clyde.” Three years later, he and Penn teamed up again on “Little Big Man.” He began working with Francis Ford Coppola in 1972 on “The Godfather”, which was the beginning of much collaboration including the latter two films in “The Godfather” trilogy and “Apocalypse Now.”

Tavoularis has spent the last ten years focusing on his work as a painter. His return to film came in 2012 when he was the production designer on Roman Polanski’s “Carnage.” He has worked on over thirty films spanning four decades, landing five Academy-Award nominations and one win for “The Godfather Part II.” Tavoularis lives in Paris and Los Angeles with his wife, actress Aurore Clément.

“We are thrilled Dean agreed to do the poster art for the 40th anniversary,” said Executive Director Julie Huntsinger. “The 40th edition will be a remarkable celebration of TFF’s past and present, and Dean’s work with Telluride is a wonderful parallel. He was a part of Telluride in its very early years when he designed a poster for a TFF celebration called the ‘Spirit of Zoetrope.’ We are excited to have him back and to present his vision for this special year. ”

Tavoularis remarks, “When I was asked by Tom Luddy and Julie Huntsinger if I would design the poster for the 40th Telluride Film Festival, I was first flattered and then thoughtful of being part of the Telluride film history. In my own way I pondered Telluride’s past and in fact all film festivals. Like the word implies, a festival is a fair; people gathering to show their films. It just as well could be their tomatoes. It’s an exchange. I wanted a poster that was simple and joyful, that looked homemade with pure colors in shapes that symbolize a 1:85 screen and an audience. One cannot exist without the other. I am very happy to be a small part of Telluride’s history.”

Dean Tavoularis joins a prestigious list of artists who have shared their talents with Telluride Film Festival. Past poster artists include Ed Ruscha, John Mansfield, Julian Schnabel, Dottie Attie, Doug and Mike Starn, David Lance Goines, Chuck Jones, David Salle, Alexis Smith, Jim Dine, Seymour Chwast, Frederic Amat, Francesco Clemente, Dave McKean, Gary Larson, Chip Kidd, John Canemaker, Mark Stock, Laurie Anderson, William Wegman, Ralph Eggleston, Maira Kalman and Dave Eggers.

To view and download the 40th Telluride Film Festival poster art, visit:

40th Telluride Film Festival posters will be available for purchase throughout the five-day Festival or by visiting the TFF website

40th Telluride Film Festival passes are now available at

40th Anniversary of the Telluride Film Festival
Telluride Film Festival is celebrating its 40th Anniversary August 29 – September 2, 2013.  To commemorate this special occasion an additional day has been added to the usual four-day Festival, making room for a five-day bounty of special programming and festivities. Passes are now available for purchase
About Telluride Film Festival
The prestigious Telluride Film Festival ranks among the world’s best film festivals and is an annual gathering for film industry insiders, cinema enthusiasts, filmmakers and critics. TFF is considered a major launching ground for the fall season’s most talked-about films. Founded in 1974, Telluride Film Festival, presented in the beautiful mountain town of Telluride, Colorado, is a four-day international educational event celebrating the art of film. Telluride Film Festival’s long-standing commitment is to join filmmakers and film connoisseurs together to experience great cinema. The exciting schedule, kept secret until Opening Day, consists of over two dozen filmmakers presenting their newest works, special Guest Director programs, three major Tributes to guest artists, special events and remarkable treasures from the past. Telluride Film Festival is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit educational program. Festival headquarters are in Berkeley, CA.

About Our Sponsors
Telluride Film Festival is supported by Land Rover North America, Turner Classic Movies, Ernst & Young, Film Finances,, Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association, Universal Studios, Meyer Sound, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Bombardier Business Aircraft, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Américas Film Conservancy, Telluride Foundation, Pine Ridge Vineyards, The London Hotel Group, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, Dolby, Telluride Alpine Lodging, Crumpler, ShopKeep POS, The Hollywood Reporter, Boston Light and Sound, among others.


If you've been reading this blog for the past 9 months, you know that there is a plan to add a new, large venue for TFF #40.  The new facility will be in Town Park and, for the festival, will be named the Werner Herzog Theater (or "The Zog"...well, that's what I'm calling it.  We'll see if that nickname catches on).  The Watch newspaper in Telluride reported this week that the process is humming right along:


Last February 28th the fine folks at HitFix/InContention gave us their rundown of 25 films that they thought would have Oscar potential for this year.  Included within each film's capsule description was a guess at its fall film festival potential.  I have referenced this article a couple of times since its initial post and thought of it again as I get ready for a summer of Telluride #40 speculation so it seemed like a good place to return to as a way of kicking off the summer.  You can access the entire post here:

For those that would prefer a truncated you go.

Listed alphabetically, here are the 13 films they mentioned as Telluride possibles on the list of 25 (with a comment or two along the way):

"August: Osage County"...I'm dubious that this will actually play Telluride.  This seems more like a New York Film Fest opener or closer to me.  That said, it's not impossible.  Distribution is by The Weinstein Company...past tributee George Clooney is a producer.  Past tributee Meryl Streep plays the lead (or co-lead).

"Captain Phillips"...Again, I'd be surprised.

"Diana"...Third straight film that HitFix lists that I think probably won't play.

"The Fifth Estate"...The Julian Assange film starring Benedict Cumberbatch.  Finally, a film that I think has a fighting shot to make the T-ride playlist.  Bill Condon directs and has been repped at Telluride previously with "Kinsey" which also provides the second bit of Telluride connectivity.  Laura Linney (of "Kinsey" and frequent Telluride appearances) is a in "Fifth Estate".  This might even make the first "Ten Bets" list that'll go up at the end of the month.

"Foxcatcher"...Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum in a true story of murder and Olympic wrestling directed by Bennett Miller.  This is a soft maybe from me at this point, though I'd be pretty psyched if it actually does show at The SHOW.

"Labor Day"...Jason Reitman directs ("Juno", "Up in the Air") after having not been in Telluride with "Young Adult" in 2011.  I think he'll be back.  And I am looking forward to that potential return.  Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin...yes please.  And just to toss a thought out there...A Kate Winslet tribute?

"Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom"...Again, I'm dubious.  Although it has a Telluride pedigree in that its distribution is via TWC and director Justin Chadwick was repped at TFF #37 with "The First Grader".

"A Most Wanted Man"...The TFF connection is pretty thin here but I'd love for it to make the grade.  It's a John LeCarre story and has Philip Seymour Hoffman in it.  Film4 is listed as a producer and that's the only real connection to past TFFs.  Film4 helped produce "Shame", "Never Let Me Go" and "Slumdog Millionaire" and looking at what the have produced for the rest of 2013, I believe they will have some presence at TFF #40.

"Nebraska"...If Alexander Payne's new film isn't on the TFF #40 list I would be shocked.

"Oldboy"...If Spike Lee's new film IS ON the TFF #40 list I would be shocked.

"Out of the Furnace"...Director Scott Cooper's follow-up to "Crazy Heart", the little film that earned Jeff Bridges the Oscar for Best Actor.  The film stars Christian Bale and Casey Affleck.  "Furnace" film doesn't have any particular Telluride pedigree so it wouldn't seem likely.

"Rush"...the Ron Howard directed film about big time auto racing wouldn't seem like the most likely of Telluride films, but T-ride is the only festival that the HitFix article even suggests for the highly anticipated film.

"Serena"...I don't know a lot about this film beyond the fact that it re-unites "Silver Linings Playbook" stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence and it's directed  by Susanne Bier. What makes me think it's really possible is that U.S. distributor Magnolia also had "The Hunt" and "A Royal Affair" in its stable last year and they played Telluride.

There are 5 films on the Hit Fix list that I would love to see at Telluride that aren't speculated as T-ride films:
"The Counselor", "Inside Llewyn Davis", "Monuments Men", "Wolf of Wall Street" and "Twelve Years a Slave".  Although I think I could make a good case for "Twelve Years" and a so-so case for "Monuments Men".  The other three...yeah, I'd be surprised too.


As I did last year, I have combined the critics panels totals from the Ioncinema group and the Screen Daily and produced the following chart which shows surprising agreement between the critics and Steven Spielberg's jury.

Ioncinema compiled 16 critics and Screen Daily had 10 evaluating the competition films at Cannes last week.  I’ve compiled them together to create a master review of the 26 critics.  Here’s what that revealed:

Position/Film/Combined Average Rating (9 would be perfect)/Ion rank/SD Rank/Award

1) Blue is the Warmest Color/La Vie d’Adele               7.7       (1)       (1)        Palme d’Or
2) Inside Llewyn Davis                                                 7.0       (2t)      (2)        Grand Prix
3) The Past                                                                  6.5       (2t)      (3)        Best Actress
4) A Touch of Sin                                                        6.4       (4)        (4)       Screenplay
5/tie) Nebraska                                                           5.9       (na)      (3)        Best Actor
5/tie) Only Lovers Left Alive                                        5.9       (5)        (na)
7/tie) The Great Beauty                                                5.8       (6t)      (7)
7/tie) Venus in Fur                                                       5.8       (8t)      (5t)
9) Behind the Candelabra                                            5.6       (6t)      (8t)
10/tie) Like Father, Like Son                                       5.5       (8t)      (8t)
10/tie) Young and Beautiful                                          5.5       (6t)      (10t)

Close, but no cigar: The Immigrant (5.3)

The Bottom Three:
Only God Forgives (3.7), A Castle in Italy (3.6) and Shield of Straw (3.3)

The two sets of critics were wildly divergent on Nebraska and Only Lovers Left Alive.

As far as Telluride goes, almost everything that finished in the top ten has a shot to play with the probable exceptions of “Inside Llewyn Davis” and “Venus in Fur”.  Of course “Behind the Candelabra” won’t play as it has premiered on HBO already.

DEALS AT CANNES (and what they mean...maybe)

Among other things, the Cannes Film Festival serves as a market place for film.  Distribution deals and the distributors that make them can point us to some films that could end up at the Telluride Film Festival.  Consequently I have included a series of links to a variety of stories/posts about acquisitions that occurred at Cannes or in its immediate aftermath:  Beginning with a big swath of multiple posts from IndieWire

More individual stories are as follows:

Sundance Selects grabs "Blue is the Warmest Color" (Palme d'Or winner) and "Like Father, Like Son":

And "The Selfish Giant":

And "Young and Beautiful"

 AND...Sony Pictures Classics has "The Lunchbox"

Sundance was represented at Telluride last year with "The Central Park Five" and in 2011 by several films.  All four listed above should be considered potential films for the TFF #40 program.

Meanwhile SPC's grab of "The Lunchbox" also means that it has some very definite Telluride potential.  SPC has been very well represented at Telluride for a good long time.

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More on Monday...

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