Saturday, July 5, 2014

Oscar at the Half/Best of the Week: SPC, Sundance Selects and IFC, Foxcatcher Poster and Trailer, Fassbender's Western, St. Vincent and The Tribe

Good Saturday to All...


Both Kris Tapley at HitFix and Scott Feinberg at The Hollywood Reporter took the opportunity this past week to take a look at the awards landscape as we moved past the half way point on the 2014 calendar.  As you might expect, both fellows suggest that the bulk of films that are likely to contend are still to come.  I have linked both Kris' and Scott's posts here:


Here's the best from Michael's Tellluride Film Blog from this past week...

TEN BETS 2014 #2

Here's your second edition of "Ten Bets" for films that I expect to appear at the 41st Telluride Film Festival. Last weeks list looked like this:

10) Salt of the Earth (Wenders)
9) Winter Sleep (Ceylan)
8) Red Army (Polsky)
7) Coming Home (Yimou)
6) Foxcatcher (Miller)
5) The Roosevelts (Burns)
4) Leviathan (Zvyagintsev)
3) Birdman (Inarritu)
2) Two Days, One Night (Dardennes)
1) Mr. Turner (Leigh)

After a week of tracking any Telluride news/rumors, here's your new "Ten Bets" (also, see the next story below):

10) Coming Home
9) Winter Sleep
8) Red Army
7) The Roosevelts
6) Queen of the Desert
5) Foxcatcher
4) Leviathan
3) Two Days, One Night
2) Mr. Turner
1) Birdman


"Birdman" trailer via YouTube

Jeffrey Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere posted a Telluride piece on Wednesday.  He claims that Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's "Birdman" is a Telluride lock...which I have suspected for over a year.  Also a lock, according to Wells: Werner Herzog's "Queen of the Desert" which has also been anticipated here, as long as it was finished.  Wells also says that Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice" and David Fincher's "Gone Girl" are locked for the New York Fest and necessarily pre-empted for T-ride. 

The really interesting tidbit is the possibility of a Telluride presentation of Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar".  Up until last year, I would have thought this unlikely in the extreme but with the success of Telluride landing Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity" last year...I could believe this.  I'm not there yet...but I don't rule it out either.

Wells also has a couple of comments about the Toronto Film Fests ultimatum vis-a-vis Telluride and you can find the entire piece here:


Well, you know, if you read this space with any regularity, I have been following, rather obsessively, the progress of William H. Macy's Sundance hit "Rudderless".  I've been privy to a lot of the backstage machinations on the film for more than five years and it's with great pleasure that I can pass on this news.  "Rudderless" will be released in the U.S. on Oct. 17th.  That info comes via a tweet from Macy himself who said yesterday:

"Gentle Folk,
RUDDERLESS opens in theaters Oct 17th. Good lord I'm jacked up about this movie. More later. Macy"

Though I haven't seen this tidbit anywhere in the media...I'm pretty sure that Macy's got his dates right.  No news as to how wide a release the Oct. 17th date will be as yet so I'll keep an eye out on that.  So, I suppose that makes this an "exclusive".  Or, at any rate, an exclusive for those of us who follow Macy on Twitter.


No distributor has historically had a stronger presence at the Telluride Film Festival than Sony Pictures Classics.  Fest hondos usually tell people that they program between 24 and 30 feature films each year.  For the last ten years, SPC has averaged 4.6 films per festival...or somewhere in the neighborhood of 18% of the T-ride slate each year comes from the SPC stable.

Here's what SPC has shown in Telluride in the last 11 years :

2013: The Invisible Woman, The Lunchbox, The Past, Tim's Vermeer and Jodorowsky's Dune.
2012: The Gatekeepers, At Any Price, Rust and Bone, No, Wadjda, Amour
2011: A Dangerous Method, In Darkness, Footnote, A Separation
2010: Incendies, Of Gods and Men, Tamara Drewe, Another Year, The Illusionist, Inside Job
2009: The Last Station, The White Ribbon, Coco Before Chanel, A Prophet, An Education
2008: Waltz with Bashir, I've Loved You So Long, O'Horten
2007: Brick Lane, When Did You Last See Your Father, Persepolis, The Band's Visit, The Counterfeiters
2006: Jindabyne, The Lives of Others, Volver, The Italian
2005: Breakfast on Pluto, Capote, Cache, The Child
2004: Being Julia, House of Flying Daggers, Bad Education, Merchant of Venice, Up and Down, Yes
2003: The Fog of War, My Life Without Me, The Triplets of Belleville, Young Adam

Here are SPC's films listed by IMDb as of today:

"Jimmy's Hall"
"The Salt of the Earth"
"Wild Tales"
"Saint Laurent"
"Coming Home"
"Red Army"
"Mr. Turner"

Six of these films were listed on last week's first "Ten Bets" list.  (Those six are: "Leviathan", "The Salt of the Earth", "Foxcatcher", "Coming Home", "Red Army" and "Mr. Turner").  At this point the other four: "Jimmy's Hall", "Wild Tales", "Saint Laurent" and "Aloft" are less likely to my way of thinking, but none of these ten are impossible for TFF.


Only a player in distribution for just a few years, Sundance Selects has been present at the Telluride Film Festival for the last four fests at various levels of involvement.

2010: The Princess of Montpensier, Tabloid
2011: The Forgiveness of Blood, The Kid with a Bike, Goodbye First Love and Into the Abyss
2012: The Central Park Five, Everyday
2013: Blue is the Warmest Color

So you can expect one or possibly two of their films to make the grade Labor Day weekend.  Currently Sundance Selects has two Cannes films that could be programmed at Telluride:  Mathieu Amalric's "The Blue Room" and the almost 100% lock that is the Dardennes Brothers' "Two Days, One Night" with Marion Cotillard.

I'm at the point, and have been for a long time, that "Two Days" is a virtual TFF #41 certainty.  Amalric's "Blue Room" is a "could be" that I'd estimate at a 30% chance of making the T-ride program.


IFC films has been a fairly substantial presence at Telluride over the past several years.  The firms highlight year probably was 2008 (the writer's strike year) when it was represented by 5 films.  IFC Films sometimes partners with Sundance Selects.

Here's the film record for IFC Films at Telluride for the past ten years:

2003: Touching the Void, Intermission
2004: Nobody Knows
2005: Three Times
2006: Deep Water, Indigenes
2007: Secret Sunshine, 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days, Jar City
2008: Hunger, Gomorrah, Flame and Citron, Everlasting Moments, The Good, the Bad and the Weird
2009: Fish Tank, Red Riding Trilogy, Life During Wartime, Vincere
2010: The Princess of Montpensier, Carlos
2011: Into the Abyss, Pina
2012: Frances Ha
2013: No Show

IFC Films averages 2.3 films per year at the Telluride Film Festival over the last decade. So...what's in the IFC pipeline that has Telluride implications?

The one that seems most likely is Olivier Assayas' "Clouds of Sils Maria" which also played Cannes.  After that there is also "Bird People", "The Salvation" and "Welcome to New York".  It seems to me that "The Salvation" might be the next most likely film but any of these four or none of them could make the T-ride lineup.


IndieWire blog The Playlist posted "The Fall Festival 50: Our Wish list for the Venice, Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals" yesterday and there is a LOT to digest from the lengthy list of films (which actually edges over the 50 mark when "other possibilities" are included.

The Playlist specifically mentions Telluride in connection with six films:  "Unbroken", "While We're Young", "Men, Women and Children", "99 Homes", "True Story" and "Kill the Messenger".  Of that list, I'd agree on the Noah Baumbach "While We're Young".  All of the others have "issues" that may work against their inclusion.  I would love to see "Unbroken" make the trip to the San Juans though.

Four films that I think have some Telluride potential are listed in the article without any specific guess as to where they might end up: "Carol", "Suite Francais", "A Most Violent Year" and "Queen of the Desert"...though, if "Queen" is ready and doesn't play Telluride, I'll be stunned.

The post also suggests that Jon Stewart's "Rosewater" seems to be lock for Toronto and unlikely for Telluride.  It also says "The Imitation Game" is likely for TIFF and though they don't specifically rule out Telluride, an early slot for the Benedict Cumberbatch starrer at TIFF would close the door.  Finally, the Playlist Staff suggests that both Alejandro Inarritu's "Birdman" and Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice" are probably headed to Venice which doesn't preclude a Telluride play.  As regular readers of this space know, I'm high on "Birdman's" chances and less bullish on "Vice".

The whole Playlist post is here:


It was all over the Twitterverse yesterday.  A new poster for Bennett Miller's "Foxcatcher" (#6 on last week's "Ten Bets" list) featuring Channing Tatum.  You see it above.  Below are a smattering of the posts from various sources with the poster from yesterday.

Awards Daily:

Rope of Silicon:



The Playlist:


"Slow West" photo from Thompson on Hollywood

I have made several mentions of Justin Kurzel's "MacBeth" starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard.  I've even suggested that we could have a Cotillard "Twofer" along with "Two Days, One Night".  But Fassbender could be a "Twofer" on his own as well.  Fassbender stars in "Slow West" along with Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road).  Anne Thompson posted a look at the new film and a hint at the outset that it's a likely going to show at either Telluride or Toronto.  Look at Anne's story here:

Anne points out in the article that the film is produced by the team that was behind "A King's Speech", "Shame" and "Tracks".  It's got both See Saw films and Film4 behind it and both have had a good past relationship with Telluride.  All this leads me to believe that I need to really think about "Slow West" as a very real possibility.


Two new view of films that might be in the mix for Telluride.  First, a new trailer for Bennett Miller's "Foxcatcher".  I just get more excited every time I see something new about the film.  Here's the trailer via YouTube:

And an accompanying story from The Dissolve:

Meanwhile, I'm warming to the idea that the latest Bill Murray flick could be in the T-ride mix.  "St. Vincent" stars Murray in full irresponsibility mode as an adult that develops a relationship with an adolescent.  It's in The Weinstein Company wheelhouse and could conceivably be a better shot at Oscar consideration than "Hyde Park on Hudson".  Additionally, I got the feeling that Murray really enjoyed his Telluride visit with "Hyde Park" two years ago.  Here's that trailer also from YouTube:

And, again, an accompanying story from The Dissolve:


Alex Billington of reports that Drafthouse Films has acquired U.S. distribution for "The Tribe".  The film is told completely with sign language and without subtitles and was quite the buzz producer at Cannes in May.  

Drafthouse was represented at Telluride in 2012 with Joshua Oppenheimer's "The Act of Killing"...By the way, I fully expect Oppenhiemer's sequel to screen at TFF #41, "The Look of Silence".

Here's the link to the Billington post that includes a slightly NSFW trailer:

More on Monday...enjoy your weekend!

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