Monday, May 5, 2014

Two Films I Want/Counting Down to Cannes (cont.)/Another Note on "Act of Killing"

Welcome to Monday...and May!  Telluride Film Festival is now less than four months away!


The purpose of this blog has always been (mostly) about trying to provide insight about what films might make the cut and appear at the Telluride Film Festival despite the challenge that the organizers keep the lineup secret until the day before the festival starts.  Purpose #2 has been to track those films that do get picked every year through the film awards season since Telluride has become, whether they want to be or not, a pretty big part of the film awards launchpad.

In service of the first purpose, I work fairly diligently at trying to uncover the best available evidence of any particular film making it to The SHOW.  However, there are also films that I unashamedly WANT to make the list.  Sometimes wishes come true..last year's appearance of "12 Years a Slave" and "Inside Llewyn Davis" were examples of films that I really, really hoped would be in T-ride.  At the outset of this process last spring, I though "12 Years" was a pretty fair bet but the chances of "Llewyn" being there seemed pretty small.  Glad they both made it.

All that to get to this:  I've got a couple of films (well, probably more) that I'm already putting on the "hope" list.  Both have some characteristics that make me think that they could make the trip to the San Juans but neither are a lead-pipe cinch to be there.  I mention these two specifically because I ran across stories about them both this week.  They are:

J.C. Chandor's "A Most Violent Year" starring Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain...Jessica Chastain on Colorado Ave?  Yes please!  The film popped up on my radar again this weekend as new photos emerged from Entertainment Weekly and then were subsequently posted by The Playlist:

Here's why I think it could make the T-ride lineup...Chandor (who's "All is Lost" played last year) and A24 is distributing.  A24 was involved recently with "Enemy", "Under the Skin" and "Ginger & Rosa"...which all played Telluride.  Also...Oscar Isaac is a cool dude.

Also on my "wish list": Morten Tyldum's "The Imitation Game".  The film follows the story of Brit Alan Turing who  was instrumental in breaking the Nazi's Enigma Code in WWII and. without hyperbole, ended the war sooner rather than later. Turing, who was gay, was hectored mercilessly for that by the very government he helped save.  

I'm really high on the concept.  It's a story that has fascinated me since reading Hugh Whitemore's play "Breaking the Code" in the 1980's.  Additionally, like most of the rest of the world, I've decided that Benedict Cumberbatch...who plays Turing in the film, is possibly a great actor. The Weinstein Company is distributing and they have played Telluride with some frequency.  Some years more successfully than others.

There was a good deal of reportage last year that TWC was originally going to sneak "Philomena" at TFF and changed plans at the last minute.  "Salinger" was the replacement.  I'd like to think that TWC will bring this to Telluride as they have realized the boost a successful run at T-ride can give and has given awards-seeking films in the last decade including TWC's own "The Artist" and "The King's Speech".

I was reminded this week of "The Imitation Game" as it has an announced release date...Nov. 21.  Check the story, also from The Playlist:

So...Telluride honcho's who read this space...I nominate "A Most Violent Year" and "The Imitation Game" for inclusion in the 41st edition of TFF.

That's today's "wish list".  There will be more.


(Photo from MCN)

Jake Howell and Movie City News continue their series of highlighting Cannes Palme d"Or contending films with a look at Xavier Dolan's "Mommy".  Find that here:


I reported in my last post my belief that Joshua Oppenheimer's "The Look of Silence"...a documentary sequel to his "The Act of Killing" is a fairly safe bet to play TFF 2014.  Underscoring the fact that it's back in the film news a bit was IMDb's tweet that "Act of Killing" sits atop a list that has been constructed there of the best docs of the current decade.

Also in the top ten of (based on their critical rating as averaged by IMDb): are past Telluride docs "Tabloid" (4), "Tim's Vermeer" (5) and "Stories We Tell (8).  Herzog's "Into the Abyss" is #11.

The complete list is here;

More on Thursday...

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