Thursday, July 4, 2013

80,000/New Theory/The Usual Suspects Part One/Payne Talks/The Attack Interview

Happy Independence Day America!


The 80,000th view of Michael's Telluride Film Blog happened sometime yesterday.  75,000 happened on May 30.  It crossed the 40,000 threshold last summer on July 16.  I know that these are really "small potato" numbers in the grand scheme of the internet but I am continually amazed and grateful that the viewership seems to get a little bigger as time goes on.  Thanks to all of you who drop in from time to time to see what rambling discourse might be here.


So I emailed the TFF Press staff this week to ask them why we haven't heard about a guest director yet.  I pointed out that normally we have an announcement about that by the end of June.  The response I got was essentially...hold on, it's coming...don't know when.

It got me to thinking, which is often a dangerous thing.  As I was thinking, I remembered back to the story from three weeks ago about the Fests L.A. party and its guests.  One attendee's name that seemed unusual was "Mad Man" head honcho Matthew Weiner.  Now, Weiner has a film that is set to roll out this fall, "You Are Here".  It's his first feature film.  He wrote and directed.  It stars Melissa Rauch, Owen Wilson and Zach Galifinakis.

My assumption was that his presence at the party meant one of two things...either "You Are Here" is playing at the fest or Weiner's likes parties.

But yesterday the third possibility hit me...could Weiner BE this year's guest director???

I think that makes some sense.  I'd go a step further and suggest that his participation as a Guest Director wouldn't preclude him programming his own film.

Check The Hollywood Reporter story about the TFF L.A. soiree again:


Today I begin a three part series about "The Usual Suspects".  Not the film, though it IS fantastic.  No.  What I'm referring to are the company of film makers and film biz pros, actors, directors and others that seem to appear as a part of the Telluride Film Festival with some frequency.  The reason: paying attention to these "Usual Suspects" can often provide solid clues as to films that may show at The SHOW.

Just yesterday I posted the Mark Cousins story that suggests that his most recent work "A Story of Children and Film" is a likely title for TFF #40.  That's largely because Cousins has been on the T-ride slate for 3 of the last 4 years and has this new project ready...and it was also well received at Cannes.  Cousins has made it onto the list of "The Usual Suspects".  It's a surprisingly lengthy list, currently 35 names.

Some people don't stay on the its early days, Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese would have probably been on a "usual suspects" list.  They haven't been a part of a Telluride fest in they're no longer on the list.

Some people go on and off...Buck Henry and Peter Bogdanovich are good examples.

Certainly not every one of the 35 currently on my list have projects every year but with that many people, there are usually plenty of "Usual Suspects" to contemplate.

In addition to Cousins, two of the most "usual" are Werner Herzog and Ken Burns.  They're festival fixtures and almost always have some project that is possible for inclusion.  In addition, Herzog will have the new 650 seat venue in Town Park christened in his honor.  So you have to believe Herzog will be represented by film or films.  My bet is the recently restored "Aguirre: Wrath of God" that is currently being screened in England.

Burns is said to be involved with the restored silent film "Daughter of the Dawn" which I expect to be a part of the TFF #40 lineup.

Another of the most recent "Usuals" is Alexander Payne who has Guest Directed, shown his own work and has scouted and aided in programming.  All this coming in the last few years.  I'm very confident his new film, "Nebraska" will make this year's program.

There are another 8 "Usual Suspects" that I think have a shot at being involved with a film at this year's SHOW and I'll be looking at them in "The Usual Suspects Parts Two and Three" over the next two days.


Speaking of Alexander Payne, he recently sat down to an interview at the Il Cinema Ritrovato in Bologna, Italy.  Meredith Brody reports for Thompson on Hollywood:


Dave Poland of Movie City News  has posted an interview with "The Attack" (TFF #39) director Ziad Doueiri.  You can find that here:

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More tomorrow...

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