From the Telluride frontlines…
The 40th Telluride Film Festival doesn’t actually start until this morning…but it essentially started Wednesday night with a free concert in the community’s Town Park featuring The Punch Brothers. They will appear on the soundtrack album for The Coen Brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis” which was announced as one of the films making up the program for this anniversary year. The “Brothers” included songs from “O Brother Where Art Thou?” and “The Big Lebowski” (which also screened in the outdoor theater Wednesday night).
The Coens were in attendance at the concert and “Llewyn Davis” himself, Oscar Issac, who plays the title role in the film, showed up and added his voice to the occasion.
Rain then. A lot of rain. The concert suffered a deluge and I escaped just before the body of the storm hit.
Lots of talk about the lineup…which is incredibly exciting. In addition to “Llewyn” the fest announced screenings of Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska” with Cannes Best Actor winner Bruce Dern in attendance, Jason Reitman’s “Labor Day”, Jonathan Glazer’s “Under the Skin”, Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity”, Ralph Fiennes’ “The Invisible Woman”, Errol Morris’ “The Unknown Known”, J.C. Chandor’s “All is Lost” complete with Robert Redford Tribute plus a lot more.
Then there are the “sneaks”…films that the festival hierarchy has in their pocket which will be announced later in the weekend. The buzz around town tonight is that there will be three or four and that one of them is almost certainly Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave”. As to the others, I don’t have any great intell yet, “Salinger”, the documentary about the reclusive author is being mentioned in some circles. I tend to believe earlier whiffs of the possibility of Denis Villenueve’s “Prisoners” may portend a “sneak” of that film. Other titles that I've seen/heard: "The Immigrant" and "Parkland".
Then there’s the intriguing story of a last minute screening for festival honchos last night here in Telluride of some “just finished” film. Is it true? If so, what film? Just for fun I’m going to toss out “Foxcatcher”.
The bottom line is that the weekend is going to offer an embarrassment of riches. I hope you’ll look here for an occasional report.
Today: Patron’s Brunch at 10:00 am. A great opportunity to star gaze, meet old film fest friends and make new acquaintances. At 1:00-Press meeting-duty calls. Patron Screening at 2:30. We don’t know what it will be yet. Last year it was “Argo”. 5:00-My meet-up with followers of my blog (see below) followed by dinner at the Opening Night feed on Colorado Ave. After that, a couple of films which will depend on what the Patron Screening is earlier in the day. I could catch the Redford Tribute, “Inside Llewyn Davis”, “All is Lost”, “Blue is the Warmest Color” or “Under the Skin”.
The adventure has begun.
TFF #40 PROGRAM GUIDE
Need to look at the Program Guide? Here's the link to the online pdf version of the guide:
So many choices and more to be announced.
Please make sure to attend this year's "Guide to the Ride". It's this afternoon at The River Club (550 W. Depot in T-ride). I promise to get everyone out in time to make the Opening Night Feed and the Robert Redford Tribute (or "Llewyn Davis" if that's your preference). We'll talk the lineup, the possible "sneak previews" and other TFF related subjects. Food, wine...etc. It's fun. Come by.
Also, don't forget to send me your film ratings to be a part of my "People's Telluride" project. Rate what you see 0-5.
THE KID DOES ALL RIGHT
The final "Ten (+) Bets:
2) Labor Day***
3) Inside Llewyn Davis***
4) All is Lost***
5) The Unknown Known***
6) The Past***
7) The Invisible Woman***
9) 12 Years a Slave
10) Blue is the Warmest Color***
11) Palo Alto***
12) The Immigrant
13) The Lunchbox***
***= films announced as part of the TFF #40 program
Also included from the "just below" list were: "The Story of Children and Film", "Jodorowsky's Dune", "Burning Bush", "Tim's Vermeer" and "Aguirre: The Wrath of God". Also, yesterday's "rumblings" segment turned out to be correct as Jonathan Glazer's "Under the Skin" is on the program.
"Ten Bets" (really was 15): Absent "sneak previews" MTFB called the top 8 and 12 of the 15. I'll also be willing to bet that at least one more from the final list ends up as a "sneak", maybe more.
AND THE OTHER THING ABOUT THIS BLOG
So the fest is about to start. As we've known now for 24 hours, the slate is jammed packed with great stuff and awards contenders. As always, this space will report on the fest as it happens and then transition to a post-fest account of how the films that have played here fair in the awards season. To that end I have linked Scott Feinberg's analysis from The Hollywood Reporter posted last night.
Scott, who will be a part of MTFB's Film Expert Rating's Panel for the weekend, also suggests that "12 Years" and "Prisoners" are likely "sneaks" (Dave Poland also tossed in a vote for "Prisoners" via Twitter last night. Weirdly, as I write this, a "Prisoners" television spot is running on the morning news program my wife has on.
I love this festival and I love this town...there, I said it