No distributor has historically had a stronger presence at the Telluride Film Festival than Sony Pictures Classics. Fest hondos usually tell people that they program between 24 and 30 feature films each year. For the last ten years, SPC has averaged 4.6 films per festival...or somewhere in the neighborhood of 18% of the T-ride slate each year comes from the SPC stable.
Here's what SPC has shown in Telluride in the last decade:
2012:The Gatekeepers, At Any Price, Rust and Bone, No, Wadjda, Amour
2011: A Dangerous Method, In Darkness, Footnote, A Separation
2010: Incendies, Of Gods and Men, Tamara Drewe, Another Year, The Illusionist, Inside Job
2009: The Last Station, The White Ribbon, Coco Before Chanel, A Prophet, An Education
2008: Waltz with Bashir, I've Loved You So Long, O'Horten
2007: Brick Lane, When Did You Last See Your Father, Persepolis, The Band's Visit, The Counterfeiters
2006: Jindabyne, The Lives of Others, Volver, The Italian
2005: Breakfast on Pluto, Capote, Cache, The Child
2004: Being Julia, House of Flying Daggers, Bad Education, Merchant of Venice, Up and Down, Yes
2003: The Fog of War, My Life Without Me, The Triplets of Belleville, Young Adam
So we can look at this as a template and know that unless something has drastically changed, SPC will be at TFF #40 and likely in a big way. So what is in the SPC house right now?
According to IMDb, this is the 2013 (and slightly beyond) list of SPC films:
The Invisible Woman
The Raid 2
For No Good Reason
Only Lovers Left Alive
I'm So Excited
Kill Your Darlings
The Patience Stone
First, eliminate the films already in release: "Before Midnight",
Next, films that have played U.S. fests already or have a set release date prior to Telluride: "The Patience Stone", "Kill Your Darlings", "Austenland", "I'm So Excited",and "Blue Jasmine".
That leaves 7 films. Mike Leigh's "Turner" is reportedly still filming and I don't think "The Raid 2" is likely Telluride fare.
Curiously, I had thought that Ralph Fiennes "The Invisible Women" was a possibility but I note that they've pushed their release date to Feb. 2014 for the UK...so that seems like a long way after Labor Day. Still, I don't completely rule it out.
That leaves us with 4 films:
Asghar Farhadi's Cannes competition Best Actress winning (Berenice Bejo) "The Past".
Jim Jarmusch's Tilda Swinton starring "Only Lovers Left Alive"...also a Cannes film.
The Ralph Steadman documentary "For No Good Reason" and
Recent SPC acquisition "The Lunchbox".
I think they could all four play at Telluride. At this point, I'd be surprised if "The Past" WASN'T there. "The Past" will certainly be on this year's first "Ten Bets" list...coming on Friday.
I have some reservations about "Only Lovers" and "For No Good Reason". I actually feel pretty confident about "The Lunchbox".
"Only Lovers" has some other things going for it to suggest that it's a potential Telluride selection...it was a Cannes film, Tilda Swinton stars and is said to have really enjoyed her tribute year in 2011. Reportedly she'd like to come back. Director/writer Jim Jarmusch has been a T-ride player before...albeit a long time ago ("Stranger Than Paradise" in 1984 and "Mystery Train" in 1989). All of that suggests that I should be putting it on the "Ten Bets" list Friday...but it's about vampires...which I find a little strange for Telluride #40. Still, it has a lot going for it.
My reluctance concerning "For No Good Reason" stems from no other Telluride connection.
"The Lunchbox" seems right in a T-ride sweet spot. Indian, Cannes (Critic's week section) and its description of a lunchbox delivery gone awry and the consequences that spring from that sound Telluride-friendly as well.
T-ride chances for these four?
"The Past" 90%
"The Lunchbox" 80%
"For No Good Reason" 50%
"Only Lovers Left Alive" 50%
Tomorrow I'll look at Sundance Selects.
A LOOK AT ZERO
No sooner had I started a tiny bit of speculation that Terry Gilliam's "The Zero Theorem" had an outside shot at making it to Telluride than some footage shows up on the interweb.
Rope of Silicon, The Playlist and Hit Fix all have stories but you won't be surprised to learn that the "trailer" has been taken down at all three websites.
I looked at it last night and it is very interesting, fun and Gilliam-esque. Many have already commented that it seems to be thematically in the "Brazil" mode.
Gilliam has been a past Telluride participant...so, if it's ready...maybe this could be in the San Juan's in 9 weeks or so.
Here are the links to the previously referenced stories:
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