Saturday, August 31, 2013

Telluride Day Two/Day Three TBAs and Sneaks

Telluride Day Two…

This is the eighth SHOW I’ve attended and I’ve had some wondrous experiences but Friday might take the cake.

I began the day with the tribute to Robert Redford which was wonderful.  An hour or so of clips which reminded me of so much great work that Redford has done and also made me want to re-watch some of my personal favorites: “All the President’s Men”, “A River Runs Through It” which he narrated and directed, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”…many others.  The clip reel was followed by an entertaining Q&A led by John Horn of the Los Angeles Times.


Robert Redford


Following the tribute, I caught Penn and Teller’s documentary “Tim’s Vermeer”.  The film focuses on Texas inventor Tim Jenison and his search for a way to replicate the complex painting style of Johannes Vermeer.  Sounds pretty dull, but nope.  In fact, it’s the second most enthusiastic reception for a film I’ve seen this weekend.  Penn Jillette produced; Teller directed a film that ends up with an audience rooting for Tim to be successful.  The emotion was no doubt heightened by the presence of Mr. Jenison in the theater.

Then I caught J.C. Chador’s sophomore effort, the highly anticipated “All is Lost” starring Redford.  Redford plays “Our Man” a nameless guy who is sailing solo in the Indian Ocean.  Things go awry and quickly spiral out of control.  Soon “Our Man” is in desperate straits and all alone.  The man vs. the elements story is tight.  I wrote via Twitter “All is Lost” is simple, spare, beautifully shot and Redford acts his ass off”.   It really may be the legend’s finest film performance…and with almost no dialogue.


 Brad Pitt, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong'o and Michael Fassbender


I ended the day with sneak preview showing of Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave”.  McQueen as well as stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o and star/producer Brad Pitt were in attendance.  The film is incredible.  Following the film there came a standing ovation for the director and cast as they took the stage for a brief Q&A.  Reactions from across the board Friday night were effusive in praise for McQueen, the cast, John Ridley’s screenplay.  I tweeted “The Oscar race might be over.  Ejiofor, Fassbender and Nyong’o shine.  McQueen is genius.”

Other comments: Jeff Wells/Hollywood Elsewhere called it “Masterful, tender and eloquent”.  Eric Kohn/IndieWire called it “maybe the best movie about slavery ever”.  Alex Billington/FirstShowing said, “A profound cinematic achievement on every level”.  Greg Ellwood/HitFix said, “Powerful…a stunning turn by Chiwetel Ejiofor”. 

There are a number of mentions of probable Oscar nominations.  You have to think McQueen, Ridley, Ejiofor, Fassbender, Nyong’o and, of course Best Picture.  Also score, costumes seem likely to me at least.

My final analysis of “12 Years a Slave”…transcendent film making that seems to me to be in a class with “Schindler’s List”. 

Day Three will include the Coen Brothers tribute and Ralph Fiennes “The Invisible Woman” and more.

More from Telluride tomorrow.

SATURDAY TBAs and SNEAKS

Prisoners                  Palm/Sat 8:30a

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, 158m) In person: Denis Villeneuve



Prisoners Q&A                 Palm/Sat 8p



12 Years a Slave           Chuck Jones Cinema/Sat 8p

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 with McQueen, 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

12 Years a Slave    Q&A    Werner Herzog/Sat noon

3 All Is Lost CJC/Sat 11p

15 Tim’s Vermeer Masons/Sat 6p   

7 The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden  Le Pierre/Sat 12:30p             

19 Fifi Howls from Happiness   Q&A Le Pierre/Sat 9p  

Conversation

4p Elks Park

Steve McQueen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong'o with Scott Foundas


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.

FRIDAY'S TBA'S AND SNEAKS

• 4pm Masons GLORIA (33)

• 6pm Herzog Sneak: PRISONERS

• 6:30pm Masons BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID

• 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…




Friday's TBAs and Sneaks

FRIDAY'S TBA'S AND SNEAKS


• 4pm Masons GLORIA (33)

• 6pm Herzog Sneak: PRISONERS

• 6:30pm Masons BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID

• 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

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thursday: It Begins!/TFF #40 Program Guide/Last Call/The Kid Does All Right/The Other Thing...

Good Thursday from Telluride, Colorado

IT BEGINS



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.


LAST CALL



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:

For the Final "Ten (+) Bets":

1) Nebraska***
2) Labor Day***
3) Inside Llewyn Davis***
4) All is Lost***
5) The Unknown Known***
6) The Past***
7) The Invisible Woman***
8) Gravity***
9) 12 Years a Slave
10) Blue is the Warmest Color***
11) Palo Alto***
12) The Immigrant
13) The Lunchbox***
14) Prisoners
15) Gloria***

***= 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.



PS...

I love this festival and I love this town...there, I said it

More later...

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

TFF #40 LINEUP ANNOUNCED/SELECTED SUMMARIES

Here's the link for the lineup of films announced for the 40th Telluride Film Festival today:

http://www.telluridefilmfestival.org/

40th Anniversary Program Line-up
We are proud to announce official program selections for the 40th anniversary edition of Telluride Film Festival. TFF’s annual celebration of artistic excellence brings together, cinema enthusiasts, filmmakers and artists to discover the best in world cinema in the beautiful mountain town of Telluride, Colorado. TFF will screen more than 100 feature films, short films and revivals representing twenty-five countries, along with special artist Tributes, Conversations, Panels, Education Programs and Festivities. 

In honor of its 40th anniversary, the usual four-day Telluride Film Festival has an additional day of programming and takes place Thursday, August 29 - Monday, September 2, 2013

In celebration of their contributions to Joel and Ethan Coen’s new film INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS and the 40th anniversary of Telluride Film Festival, Punch Brothers will perform. The performance will include songs featured in several of T Bone Burnett and the Coen Brothers’ collaborations, including songs from the soundtrack of INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS. The concert will be tonight, Wednesday, August 28 at 5:00 pm in Telluride Town Park.

Telluride Film Festival is honored to present the Werner Herzog Theatre, the fourth cineaste for whom the Festival has named a theatre. Situated in Telluride’s Town Park Pavilion, the Werner Herzog Theatre is the Festival’s most technologically advanced theatre accommodating 650 pass holders. Chuck Jones, Abel Gance and Pierre Rissient also share this tribute. 

The past 40 years have seen Telluride Film Festival mixing highly anticipated award hopefuls with the films of talented emerging filmmakers and auteurs from around the globe. First-time filmmakers discovered at TFF include Terry Zwigoff, Jim Jarmusch, Billy Bob Thornton, Robert Rodriguez, Michael Moore, Doug Liman, Jon Favreau, Andrea Arnold, Lodge Kerrigan, Robert Luketic and Sarah Gavron. In addition, TFF has previewed numerous films that have generated wins at the Oscars® in recent years, including FOG OF WAR, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, THE LIVES OF OTHERS, BABEL, THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND, JUNO, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, UP IN THE AIR, THE KING’S SPEECH, BLACK SWAN, A SEPARATION, THE ARTIST, THE DESCENDANTS and ARGO. 

“This year’s 40th anniversary is a celebration of what Telluride Film Festival has accomplished over the past four decades, as well as what we are doing now and forty years from now” said Telluride Film Festival Executive Director Julie Huntsinger. We are committed to presenting groundbreaking films with the world’s most preeminent talent in technologically advanced, state-of the art facilities including the brand new Werner Herzog Theatre. We look forward to continuing to explore the future in cinema through current masters of the art form and breakthrough talents.”  

40th Telluride Film Festival is proud to present the following new feature films to play in its main program, the ‘SHOW’: 
ALL IS LOST (d. J.C. Chandor, U.S., 2013)
BEFORE THE WINTER CHILL (d. Philippe Claudel, France, 2013)
BETHLEHEM (d. Yuval Adler, Israel, 2013)
BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR (d. Abdellatif Kechiche, France, 2013)
BURNING BUSH (d. Agnieszka Holland, Czech Republic, 2013)
DEATH ROW: BLAINE MILAM + ROBERT FRATTA (d. Werner Herzog, U.S., 2013)
FIFI HOWLS FROM HAPPINESS (d. Mitra Farahani, U.S., 2013)
THE GALAPAGOS AFFAIR: SATAN CAME TO EDEN (d. Dan Geller, Dayna Goldfine, U.S., 2013)
GLORIA (d. Sebastián Lelio, Chile, 2013)
GRAVITY (d. Alfonso Cuarón, U.S./U.K., 2013)
IDA (d. Pawel Pawlikowski, Poland, 2013)
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS (d. Joel and Ethan Coen, U.S., 2013) 
THE INVISIBLE WOMAN (d. Ralph Fiennes, U.K., 2013)
LABOR DAY (d. Jason Reitman, U.S., 2013)
THE LUNCHBOX (d. Ritesh Batra, India, 2013)
LA MAISON DE LA RADIO (d. Nicolas Philibert, France, 2013)
MANUSCRIPTS DON’T BURN (d. Mohammad Rasoulof, Iran, 2013)
THE MISSING PICTURE (d. Rithy Panh, Cambodia/France, 2013)
NEBRASKA (d. Alexander Payne, U.S., 2013)
PALO ALTO (d. Gia Coppola, U.S., 2013)
THE PAST (d. Asghar Farhadi, France/Italy, 2013)
SLOW FOOD STORY (d. Stefano Sardo, Italy, 2013)
STARRED UP (d. David Mackenzie, U.K., 2013)
TIM’S VERMEER (d. Teller, U.S., 2013)
TRACKS (d. John Curran, Australia, 2013)
UNDER THE SKIN (d. Jonathan Glazer, U.K., 2013)
THE UNKNOWN KNOWN (d. Errol Morris, U.S., 2013)

Additional Sneak Previews may play outside the main program and will be announced over the course of the five-day weekend.

“During its 40 years Telluride has brought together established filmmakers and those about to be discovered to celebrate together the joys of great cinema,” commented Festival Artistic Director Gary Meyer. “This year is especially exciting because of the many wonderful movies we were able to consider and then program, and also frustrating given the amount we could not fit into the program.  Our selection of classics this year is truly rich as we celebrate the past, present and future of the art.” 

Since its inception in 1974, Telluride Film Festival has paid tribute to numerous influential filmmakers and artists. Gloria Swanson, Francis Ford Coppola and Leni Riefenstahl were the first to be honored, and forty years later the prestigious list has grown to include Pedro Almodovar, Claudia Cardinale, George Clooney, Penelope Cruz, Daniel Day-Lewis, Catherine Deneuve, Laura Linney, Clint Eastwood, Colin Firth, Jodie Foster, Stephen Frears, Werner Herzog, Isabelle Huppert, Jack Nicholson, Jean Simmons, Meryl Streep, Tilda Swinton, Andrei Tarkovsky, and Agnes Varda to name a few. 

Joining that list, the 2013 Silver Medallion Awards, given to recognize an artist’s significant contribution to the world of cinema, go to Grammy and Oscar-winning music producer T Bone Burnett and Oscar-winning filmmakers the Coen Brothers, whose four collaborations together include THE BIG LEBOWSKI, LADYKILLERS, O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? and INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS with a 90-minute program featuring a musical performance by the Americans, a clip reel with scenes from the collaborations and an onstage interview; Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof (THE TWILIGHT, THE WHITE MEADOWS, GOODYBE) presenting his latest film, MANUSCRIPTS DON’T BURN. The program includes a selection of clips followed by the presentation of the Silver Medallion and onstage interview; and Oscar-winning director, actor, producer Robert Redford (ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN, BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID) who stars in the TFF selection ALL IS LOST. The program includes a selection of clips showcasing the range of performances during his career, followed by the presentation of the Silver Medallion and an onstage interview. 

“When I joined James Card and Bill Pence to start the Telluride Film Festival, we wanted to make tributes, retrospectives and revivals central to the Festival” said Co-founding Artistic Director Tom Luddy. “40 years later, Julie, Gary and I are still able to present a show which focuses on film artistry and preservation. This is something I’m very proud of. The fact that there is still a large audience for it makes me believe in the future of the cinema.” 

For each of the past 25 years, Telluride Film Festival directors have selected a Guest Director to serve as a key collaborator in the Festival’s programming decisions, bringing new ideas and overlooked films to light. Donald Richie, to whom the Festival is dedicated, had the first honor in 1988 and has been followed by many notable collaborators including Laurie Anderson, Peter Bogdanovich, John Boorman, J.P. Gorin, Edith Kramer, Errol Morris, Alexander Payne, Peter Sellars, Stephen Sondheim, Bertrand Tavernier and Slavoj Zizek, among others. 

This year, Telluride Film Festival invites six past Guest Directors to return with new programs: novelist Don Delillo (TFF 2006) presents LA MORTE ROUGE (d. Victor Erice, Spain, 2006) and analyzes the 26-second ZAPRUDER film; screenwriter, director Buck Henry (TFF 2005) presents the “director’s cut” of THE TERMINAL MAN (d. Mike Hodge, U.S., 1972); writer Phillip Lopate (TFF 1995) presents NAKED CHILDHOOD (d. Maurice Pialat, France, 1969) with Pialat’s short, LOVE EXISTS (France, 1960); novelist Michael Ondaatje (TFF 2010) presents short films LA JETÉE (d. Chris Marker, France, 1962) and ELEPHANT (d. Alan Clarke, U.K., 1989); film scholar, curator and author B. Ruby Rich (TFF 1996) presents ONE WAY OR ANOTHER (d. Sara Gómez, Cuba, 1974); writer Salman Rushdie (TFF 2004) presents MAHANAGAR (d. Satyajit Ray, India, 1963). 

Additional film revivals include Pierre Rissient’s selections, short MUSCLE BEACH (d. Irving Lerner, Joseph Strick, U.S., 1948) and TV episode A PIECE OF THE ACTION (d. Bernard Girard, U.S., 1962); “Pordenone Presents” has two selections: HE WHO GETS SLAPPED with The Alloy Orchestra performing their brand new score, and A SIMPLE CASE (d. Vsevolod Pudovkin, USSR, 1930) with a live musical performance by Gabriel Thibaudeau both presented by Paolo Cherchi Usai; PORTRAIT OF JENNIE (d. William Dieterle, U.S., 1948) presented by David Thomson; LE JOLI MAI (d. Chris Marker, Pierre Lhomme, France, 1963) presented by Colin MacCabe; LA POISON (d. Sacha Guitry, France, 1951) presented by Monique Montgomery; AGUIRRE, THE WRATH OF GOD (d. Werner Herzog, Germany, 1972); and Michael Barker presents DEATH RIDES A HORSE (d. Giulio Petroni, Italy, 1967).

Backlot, Telluride’s intimate screening room featuring behind-the-scenes movies and portraits of artists, musicians and filmmakers, will screen the following programs, five of which are preceded by short films: 
DIOR AND I (d. Frédéric Tcheng, U.S., 2013)
HERE BE DRAGONS (d. Mark Cousins, U.K., 2013) 
JODOROWSKY’S DUNE (d. Frank Pavich, U.S./France, 2013)
LOCATIONS: LOOKING FOR RUSTY JAMES (d. Alberto Fuguet, Chile, 2013) select screening will be followed by Francis Ford Coppola’s RUMBLE FISH (U.S., 1983)
NATAN (d. David Cairns, Paul Duane, Ireland, 2013) 
MILIUS (d. Zak Knutson, Joey Figueroa, U.S., 2013)
MULTIPLE VISIONS, THE CRAZY MACHINE (d. Emilio Maille, Mexico, 2012)
MUSIDORA, THE TENTH MUSE (d. Patrick Cazals, France, 2013)
PARTICLE FEVER (d. Mark Levinson, U.S., 2013)
REMEMBRANCE – A SMALL MOVIE ABOUT OUUL IN THE 1950s (d. Peter Von Bagh, Finland, 2013)
ROAD MOVIE: A PORTRAIT OF JOHN ADAMS (d. Mark Kidel, U.K., 2013)
A STORY OF CHILDREN AND FILM (d. Mark Cousins, U.K., 2013)

Telluride Film Festival annually celebrates a hero of cinema who preserves, honors and presents great movies. This year’s Special Medallion award goes to Alejandro Ramirez who runs Cinepolis, the fourth-largest chain of movie theatres in the world, with a focus on how movies can address poverty and social change. Past recipients include C. Chapin Cutler Jr. and Boston Light & Sound, Criterion Collection, HBO, Ninon Sevilla, Ted Turner, Stanley Kauffman, Manny Farber, Pierre Rissient, Leonard Maltin, Serge Bromberg and UCLA Film & Television Archive. 

Telluride Film Festival’s SHOWcase for Shorts features eleven short films chosen to precede select feature films; Filmmakers of Tomorrow includes four programs: Student Prints, Great Expectations – narrative and non-fiction, and Calling Cards from twenty-one emerging filmmakers. 

Telluride Film Festival’s Education Programs present students the opportunity to experience film as an art and expand participants’ worldview through film screenings and filmmaker discussions. Celebrating its 25th year, the Student Symposium provides 50 graduate and undergraduate college students a weekend-long immersion in cinema. In honor of its anniversary, 25 new students and 25 alumni will make up the 2013 Symposium. The City Lights Project, now in its 14th year, brings fifteen high school students and five teachers from three divergent schools the opportunity to participate in a concentrated program of screenings and discussions. In 2011, TFF and UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television (UCLA-TFT) launched FilmLAB, an extraordinary new program giving ten outstanding graduate film students from UCLA/TFT the opportunity to attend the festival and learn from the greatest filmmakers in the world in a workshop/lab setting: and For The Love Of Movies, a Los Angeles High School Screening Program focusing on the most creatively promising and under-served young talent featuring the “Best” of Telluride Film Festival, managed by UCLA-TFT graduate students and with the participation of selected filmmakers and TFT faculty.

Telluride Film Festival’s Talking Heads programs allow attendees to go behind the scenes with the Festival’s special guests. Eight Conversations take place between Festival guests and the audience about cinema and culture, and three outdoor Noon Seminars feature a panel of Festival guests discussing a wide range of film topics. These programs are free and open to the public. A special seminar, Alice & Friends, with panelists Alice Waters, Michael Pollan and Dieter Kosslick will focus on the issues at the intersection of food sustainability, consumption and art and will be followed by the presentation of Participant Media’s inaugural FOOD, INC. Movement Award to Alice Waters. 

Various Festivities take place throughout the Festival including Book Signings with Don DeLillo signing Libra and Underworld; Robyn Davidson signing Tracks; David Thomson signing Moments that Made the Movies; and Joyce Maynard signing Labor Day. Other festivities include Story Night in Brigadoon; Disney’s never-seen-before short GET A HORSE; and 40 Years of THE SHOW, presented by AMPAS featuring two 40th anniversary exhibitions from the Academy’s Telluride Film Collection, a photography display and clip reels highlighting TFF’s history from the Academy Film Archive to precede film screenings. 

Corporate support at Telluride Film Festival plays an essential role in the life of the Festival and underscores the Festival’s commitment to quality, adventure and distinction in the art of cinema. TFF is privileged to collaborate with some of the world’s most renowned consumer and entertainment brands, including Land Rover North America, Turner Classic Movies, Audible.com, Meyer Sound, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Pine Ridge Vineyards and Universal Studios; and excited to welcome new partners Bombardier Business Aircraft, EY, Film Finances, Inc. and Participant Media-- each of which are aligned with a unique feature of the festival. Equally, Telluride Film Festival is extremely proud of its committed relationships with Americas Film Conservancy, The London Hotels, Teatulia, The Hollywood Reporter, Cinedigm, Dolby, New Sheridan Hotel, Telluride Alpine Lodging, and UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.

The 40th Telluride Film Festival’s program will be posted here in its entirety on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at noon.



Here are summaries for select films announced today:



 “All is Lost”- Directed by J.C. Chandor.  The second feature effort from Chandor (Margin Call) stars Robert Redford, a boat and the Indian Ocean.  This film played out of competition at Cannes to very good reviews and started some serious buzz for a possible Best Actor nomination for the 70 year old Redford.  Reportedly it has very little dialogue.  Lionsgate is distributing and the release date is also Oct. 18. The film is being presented in conjunction with a Festival Tribute of Redford. IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2017038/?ref_=ttco_co_tt



“Blue is the Warmest Color”-Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche.  The film that won the Palme d’Or at Cannes and the Steven Spielberg led jury took the unusual step of specifically recognizing the two lead actresses (Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarcopoulos) in addition to director Kechiche.  The film explores an intense relationship between two young women.  “Blue” is set to be released in the U.S. on Oct. 25.  Oddly, because of its release date in France and Academy rules, it will not be France’s entry for the Foreign Language Oscar.  “Blue’s” domestic distribution will be handled by Sundance Selects.  IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2278871/?ref_=ttco_co_tt

“Gloria” – Directed by Sebastien Lelio.  Paulina Garcia took the Best actress prize at the Berlin International Film Festival as the title character in this film about a woman of a certain age who has a whirlwind romance.  “Gloria” will also play the New York Fest in October.  IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2425486/?ref_=ttrel_rel_tt



“Gravity”- Directed by Alfonso Cuaron.  The film stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. As Cuaron returns to feature film directing for the first time since his outstanding 2006 film “Children of Men”.  We’ve heard a couple of things about this highly anticipated film: Clooney’s screen time is limited and it’s reportedly beautifully shot (and in 3D).  There has been quite a bit of buzz that this could return Bullock to the Oscar race.  “Gravity” is from Warner Brothers and is set for release on Oct. 4.  IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1454468/?ref_=ttrel_rel_tt



“Inside Llewyn Davis”- Directed by Ethan and Joel Coen and starring Oscar Issac (as the title character), Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, F. Murray Abraham and Justin Timberlake.  The Coen’s dive into the world of the Greenwich Village folk music scene in the early 1960’s in a film based loosely on Dave Van Ronk’s memoir of the period, “The Mayor of McDougal Street”.  “Llewyn” won the Grand Prix Award at Cannes in May (the unofficial second place award).  The film features a soundtrack of traditional folk music under the guidance of T. Bone Burnett repeating the job he did for the Coen’s “O Brother Where Art Thou?”  “Llewyn” is set for release on Dec. 6 and is being distributed by CBS Films.  The film is being screened as a part of a Festival Tribute of the Coen Brothers. IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2042568/?ref_=ttrel_rel_tt



“The Invisible Woman” -Directed by and starring Ralph Fiennes.  It also stars Felicity Jones as the title character.  Another true story, this film centers on the secret relationship British literary legend Charles Dickens had with a much younger woman.   Kristin Scott Thomas and Tom Hollander co-star.  Sony Pictures Classics is distributing and have set a U.S. release for Christmas Day.  IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1700845/?ref_=ttrel_rel_tt



“Labor Day”-Directed by Jason Reitman.  Reitman returns to Telluride where both “Juno” and “Up in the Air” showed with this film starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin.  Winslet is a single mother and Brolin is a con on the lamb whose paths cross with unexpected consequences.  Tobey Maguire and James Van Der Beek co-star.  The script was written by Reitman and bases on a novel by Joyce Maynard. I have a buddy who has seen it and says it is Reitman’s most mature work.  Distribution is under the direction of Paramount who will issue it in limited release on Dec. 25.  IMDb:


The Lunchbox- Directed by Ritesh Batra.  Irrfan Kahn stars in this film set in Mumbai and focused on the relationships that are changed as the result of a mix up in the delivery of a lunchbox.  This was a selection to the Cannes Critics Week.  Deborah Young of The Hollywood Reporter called it “an ingenious tale of romance by correspondence” IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2350496/?ref_=sr_1



“Nebraska” –Directed by Alexander Payne.  Payne returns to Telluride after the success of “The Descendants” in 2011.  “Nebraska” (which will be presented in the U.S. in black and white) stars Bruce Dern and Will Forte as an estranged father/son duo who make a cross country trip to claim a big money prize.  Dern was named Best Actor at Cannes for his portrayal of the alcoholic father.  Stacy Keach and June Squibb also appear. Paramount is distributing and the film is due in theaters on Nov. 22.  IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1821549/



“Palo Alto”-Directed by Gia Coppola.  The first thing you notice is the relationship of the director and the star, Emma Roberts, to other, more famous people.  Coppola is Francis Ford Coppola’s grand-daughter and Roberts is the daughter of Eric Roberts and niece to Julia.  The film is based on stories by James Franco who also appears in the film as does Val Kilmer.  The story is described a “dark drama” focused on a group of teenagers.  The film does not currently have a U.S. release date.  IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2479800/?ref_=sr_1



“The Past” –Directed by Asghar Farhadi.  Farhadi returns to Telluride as well with this follow up to his Oscar winning “A Separation”.  Berenice Bejo won the Best actress prize at Cannes for her portrayal of a young wife caught between two men, one of them her past the other her possible future.  Sony Pictures Classics has the distribution for the film which is set for U.S. release on Dec. 20.  IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2404461/?ref_=ttrel_rel_tt

“Tim’s Vermeer”- Directed by Teller (of Penn and Teller…Penn Jillette is one of the films producers).  Martin Mull is featured in this story about an American inventor, Tim Jenison, and his attempt to understand the intricacies of the paintings of Johannes Vermeer.  IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3089388/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

“Tracks”-Directed by John Curran.  Mia Wasikowska stars in this true story of a young Australian woman who goes on a lengthy journey of self discovery through the Outback.  “Tracks" also stars Adam Driver and has yet to establish a U.S. release date.  IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2167266/?ref_=ttrel_rel_tt



 “Under the Skin”-Directed by Jonathan Glazer.  Scarlett Johansson stars in this film about an alien in human form traveling through Scotland.  The film is playing both Venice and Toronto as well.  Currently, it has no announced U.S. release date.  Glazer returns to direct a feature film for the first time since 2004’s “Birth”.  IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1441395/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1


“The Unknown Known: The Life and Times of Donald Rumsfeld”.  Documentarian Errol Morris examines the life of former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.  IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2390962/?ref_=sr_6





Two Thirds to Nirvana/Final Ten Bets/Rumblings/Invitations

Good Wednesday everyone...


TWO THIRDS TO NIRVANA



I write this post from Salida, CO.  I'm roughly 2/3 of the way from my house to Telluride, Colorado.  I'll cover the remaining distance today and should be reporting the announcement of the lineup from Telluride itself.  That is expected around noon Telluride time; which would beat 2:00 pm Eastern.

There are already some rumblings about things that I've been expecting, but also some surprises in terms of films we weren't expecting and films we've been confident about not being announced later today.  Hold on...it's going to be exciting.


FINAL TEN (+) BETS



Last Friday's "Ten (+) Bets" were:

1) Nebraska
2) Labor Day
3) Inside Llewyn Davis
4) All is Lost
5) The Unknown Known
6) The Past
7) The Invisible Woman
8) Gravity
9) 12 Years a Slave
10) Blue is the Warmest Color
11) The Immigrant
12) Palo Alto
13) The Story of Children and Film
14) Daughter of the Dawn
15) Prisoners

For the Final "Ten (+) Bets":

1) Nebraska
2) Labor Day
3) Inside Llewyn Davis
4) All is Lost
5) The Unknown Known
6) The Past
7) The Invisible Woman
8) Gravity
9) 12 Years a Slave
10) Blue is the Warmest Color
11) Palo Alto
12) The Immigrant
13) The Lunchbox
14) Prisoners
15) Gloria


Other films that are just below the "Ten (+) Bets":

"Enough Said", "How I Live Now", "Le Weekend", "Burning Bush",  "The Armstrong Lie", "Jodorowsky's Dune", "Tim's Vermeer", "Life Itself", "Aguirre: The Wrath of God", "Child's Pose", "You Are Here", "Only Lovers Left Alive", "The Story of Children and Film", "For No Good Reason" and "Philomena".

RUMBLINGS



I've been hearing some rumors coming out of Telluride that one of the films that could show up which hasn't been on the MTFB radar so much is Jonathan Glazer's "Under the Skin" starring Scarlett Johansson.  I mentioned it back in July as a very unlikely possibility but if sources are to be believed...and they're good sources...then we might have this film to look forward to as well.

According to IMDb Johansson plays an alien who has taken human form and is journeying through Scotland.
Odd and intriguing I would say.

INVITATIONS



1) "THE GUIDE"-Come and visit, talk a little film, have a beverage and a nosh at The 3rd "Guide to the Ride".  It's an opportunity for us all to get together before the serious business of watching film until our heads spin.  "The Guide" will be hosted by Mitzi and Larry Mallard at The River Club in Telluride (550 Depot) at 5:00 pm on Thursday, Aug. 29.

Seriously, come and join us...it'll be fun.

2) RATE THE FILMS- For the second year MTFB is calling on you readers to share your impressions of the films you chose to watch during Labor Day weekend.  I call it "The People's Telluride".  Rate what you see on a 0-5 scale and send those ratings to me.  Email, DM, Facebook...whatever.  I'll collect and collate and report to everyone the week after the Festival concludes.  Also don't forget to check out "The Critic's Telluride".  Some very kind and generous people have agreed to rate the films they see as well:

Alex Billington/First Showing
Scott Feinberg/The Hollywood Reporter
Scott Foundas/Variety
Eric Kohn/IndieWire
Eugene Novikov/Film Blather
Sasha Stone/Awards Daily
Kristopher Tapley/HitFix/InContention

I have feelers out and would like to snag a couple of more of the "pros".  We'll see.

3) Bebop over to Screencraft.org (www.screencraft.org) during the fest.  I'll be posting there as well.  A daily summary of what is going on, impressions of the films I see and the buzz about the weekend.

Check back here later today for the complete list of films after they're released plus a selected rundown of summaries.

Follow/Like Michael's Telluride Film Blog on Facebook.

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