Friday, August 30, 2013

Telluride Day One/Friday's TBA and Sneaks

Telluride 2013 Day One:

Busy day today occasionally interrupted by waiting.

The day got off to an amazing start at the annual Patron’s Brunch.  The Brunch affords Patrons and Sponsors pass as well as the Fest organizers and a number of the filmmakers a chance to meet and schmooze before any of the actual films have been screened.  The food is fantastic and it’s always fun seeing who shows up.  This year’s version did not disappoint.  Highlighting the morning (for me) was the appearance of Francis Ford Coppola, reportedly here to introduce his granddaughter Gia’s film “Palo Alto” during the weekend.  I actually got to shake the great man’s hand and thank him for the films he’s given us.  I’m sure that for him it is a common refrain, but for me it was a very nearly transcendent moment.  He was kind enough to stop a moment for a stranger.

Another incredible moment had actually occurred earlier in the morning.  Robert Redford had arrived and the grounds of Gray Head (the name of the facility where the brunch is held) was alive with electricity.  A few minutes later, Coppola appeared.  Redford broke away from the crowd that had engulfed him to greet him.  One legend greeting another, it was an incredible sight.  Fortunately caught on camera by my wife Kristy:

I also briefly met Bruce Dern this morning.  He was also very kind and funny.  He’s here starring in Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska”.  I’m planning to see that first thing in the morning.  More about my planned schedule for tomorrow a bit later.

Then a long wait for a bus made me almost late for the first screening of the day, the Patron’s screening of Jason Reitman’s “Labor Day” starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin.    The story of a chance meeting between a single mom, her son and an escaping convict seems to have been generally well received in early reviews.  My take: structural issues early in the film are a tough balancing act.  I have some issues of credibility in terms of the rapid development of the relationship between the two lead characters and that credibility is crucial to the second half of the film.  That said, the second half plays beautifully.  Winslet is good and Brolin is outstanding.  Child actor Gattlin Griffith is also very good as Winslet’s son.

Following the “Labor Day” screening we scurried over the mountain to my annual meet up with followers of my blog.

Then a quick dinner at the Opening Night Feed.  There the Mrs. Met and got a photo of the one and only Penn Jillette, here with the documentary “Tim’s Vermeer”.

We concluded the night with a screening of “Inside Llewyn Davis” with a Q & A after with Joel and Ethan Coen, T-Bone Burnett and Oscar Issac.  The film follows a week in the life of fictional folk singer, the Llewyn Davis of the title-played by Issac.  He’s terrific.  John Goodman and F. Murray Abraham are great. The music is terrific.  I loved the film quite a lot.  I think it speaks to anyone who has had any artistic aspirations and who hasn’t seen them fulfilled whether from lack of talent, lack of opportunity or the vagaries of life.

Day One was incredible.

On Day Two I’m currently planning the Robert Redford Tribute, , “Tim’s Vermeer”, “All is Lost”, The Coens tribute and “The Past” if I have enough energy.  Of course, that all could change with the announcement of the Friday TBAs. Seven slots to fill tomorrow afternoon and evening.


• 4pm Masons GLORIA (33)

• 6pm Herzog Sneak: PRISONERS


• 7:30pm Galaxy Sneak: 12 YEARS A SLAVE

• 9pm Nugget PARTICLE FEVER (I)

• 10pm Pierre STARRED UP (32)

• 10:30pm Galaxy LUNCHBOX (25)

Sneak Preview: Prisoners

A father (Hugh Jackman) goes ballistic trying to punish the suspected abductor (Paul Dano) of his daughter and another girl, while running afoul of the diligent cop (Jake Gyllenhaal) working the case. Sounds like countless hours of TV procedural-cop dramas? Nope. Director Denis Villeneuve (INCENDIES, TFF 2010), working from Aron Guzikowski’s fiendishly inventive script, reaches Dostoyevskian depths, creating a terrifying, morally ambiguous universe where ordinary human decency faces the harshest of tests. The superb supporting cast includes Terrence Howard, Viola Davis, and Melissa Leo. It may surprise you that Hollywood genre moves can still be this good. (U.S., 2013, 107m) In person: Denis Villeneuve

• Sneak Preview: 12 Years a Slave

In 1840s New York State, Solomon Northrup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), an impeccable middle-class attorney with a happy family and superb skills as a violinist, is an African American free from birth who has never spent a moment of his life confronting the horrors of black experience down South. Pursuing a business opportunity in Washington, DC, he is kidnapped and enslaved, and descends into a harrowing nightmare of moral corruption and irrational violence. Director Steve McQueen (HUNGER, SHAME) and screenwriter John Ridley shape Northrup’s memoir into a vivid, compelling historical fresco, with superb performances from Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, in his third collaboration withMcQueen, Lupita Nyong'o, Paul Dano, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti and Brad Pitt. (USA, 2013, 133m) In person: Steve McQueen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong'o

More tomorrow…

No comments: