Saturday, July 12, 2014

Saturday's Blog: New Inarritu Has New Producer/Best of the Week

Welcome to Saturday and a new weekend.  I'm in Indianapolis, IN. on my way back home after a fantastic two and a half week adventure.


News broke yesterday that Alejandro Inarritu's next project "The Revenant" starring Leonardo DiCaprio appears to have found additional financial backing from Annapurna Pictures and Megan Ellison.  It was the second straight day that Inarritu has made big news.  The day before yesterday we learned that his "Birdman" will open the Venice Festival.  Assuming he comes to Telluride with "Birdman", and I still think he will, I'll do my level best to find out what's going on with "The Revenant".

Here's coverage of the Annapurna/Revenant story:


TEN BETS #3 2014

Here's last week's Ten Bets:

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

And this week's:

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


IndieWire was up yesterday with their analysis of 40 films that they feel could/will play one of the four major film fests: Telluride, Venice, Toronto or New York.  They specifically mention Telluride half a dozen times, though rarely exclusively and certainly without any definitiveness.  Nevertheless, the films they mention with Telluride possibilities are:

"Far from the Madding Crowd"
"St. Vincent"
"Suite Francaise"

All of these have been discussed earlier on this blog.  I am still surprised at how consistently "Unbroken" gets bandied about as a Telluride possible.  That would be huge.  I should also hasten to add that the article is about "Premieres" so, necessarily, you have to believe that the films they think will be Toronto and New York  premieres will NOT play Telluride.  Additionally, that means that films they classify as possible for Venice would still be possible for Telluride play.  "Venice" possibles that are picked in their post are:

"Three Hearts"
"La Rancon de la Gloire"***
"99 Homes"
"A Pigeon Sat in a Branch Reflecting on Existence"
"Queen of the Desert"***
"Miss Julie"
"Inherent Vice"
"The Cut"
"Every Thing Will Be Fine"
"Big Eyes"

I have *** next to the films that I feel have the best chance of playing both Venice and then Telluride.

As I have noted previously.  Up until last year, the Venice/Telluride cross-pollination was usually about three films.  Last year, however, there were six that played both places.  They were: "Bethlehem", "Gravity", "Tracks", "Under the Skin", "The Unknown Known" and "The Wind Rises".

Check the entire IndieWire post here:


I am continuing my series of looking at distributors and their connection to Telluride over the past few years as a way of examining the potential film choices for TFF #41,  Today it's Fox Searchlight.  Here's what we have seen from them art Telluride over the past decade:

2004: Kinsey
2005: Bee Season
2006: The Last King of Scotland, The Namesake
2007: Juno, The Savages
2008: Slumdog Millionaire
2009: ZIP
2010: Never Let Me Go, 127 Hours, Black Swan, Millions
2011: Shame, The Descendants
2012: ZIP
2013: 12 Years a Slave

14 films in ten years.  The highwater mark coming in 2010 with 4 films on the SHOW list but  '09 and '12 with no films at all.  But when Fox Search plays, they usually light it up including two Best Picture winners that they had play T-ride including last year's "12 Years a Slave".  Looking at their current lineup of films purportedly ready as per you'll find that they have three films that could show at the SHOW:

Inarritu's "Birdman", Vallee's "Wild" and Vinterberg's "Far from the Madding Crowd"...though it is still unlikely to be ready in time for Labor Day weekend.  Meanwhile, if you read this space with much regularity, you know that I think the "Birdman" is very, very likely to make a Telluride play.  That leaves "Wild" as a question mark.  Currently, I'm not feeling it as a Telluride play (although star Reese Witherspoon won her Oscar for "Walk the Line" which played T-ride in 2005.


Today I'm looking at Roadside Attractions and Magnolia.

Roadside Attractions:  This entity has just become a player at Telluride in the last five years.  Prior to 2010 they didn't have a presence in the previous decade.  Even then, they've been limited to one film in each of the past three years but they've been fairly impressive films:

2010: Biutiful
2011: Albert Nobbs
2012: Stories We Tell
2013: All is Lost, Gloria

So what does Roadside Attractions have as possibles?

It seems to me that they really have only one film that's got a shot and that's the Tommy Lee Jones sophomore effort "The Homesman" and I have to say that I haven't really gotten a great Telluride vibe for it, at least so far.

What could surprise at Telluride is "'71", a film starring Jack O'Connell (who's going to be a big name come Oscar season as he stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's "Unbroken".  "71" played Berlin among other international fests and has generally been well received.  I could see it popping up as a part of the TFF #41 program.

How about Magnolia Films?

Today's other exploration of domestic distributors is Magnolia Pictures.  Their Telluride history for the past decade looks like this:

2004: Keane
2005: The Lost City
2006: Severance
2007: Redacted, The Princess of Nebraska, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, Terror's Advocate
2008: Nope
2009: Nope
2010: Nope
2011: Nope
2012: The Hunt, A Royal Affair
2013: Nope

Magnolia has a couple of Cannes films in its basket.  Both of them have a reasonable chance of being a part of Telluride's 2014 lineup.  They are:

"Force Majeure" and "White God".  I'd give both films about a 40% chance of playing TFF #41 and maybe a slight edge to "Force Majeure".  It could go any of three ways with both films making the grade, one or the other or neither.  I'm guessing one does.


Focus used to have  a presence at Telluride. Then last year, after a lengthy absence, they returned. Here's the list:

2003: Lost in Translation
2004: The Motorcycle Diaries
2005: Brokeback Mountain
2006: Catch a Fire
2012: Hyde Park on Hudson

Focus has a couple of films that look like they could be Telluride possibles.  The Stephen Hawking biopic "The Theory of Everything" with Eddie Redmayne as Hawking and directed by James Marsh.  Marsh was in Telluride in 2009 with a segment of the "Red Riding" trilogy that played as a part of the TFF #36 program.

Poster image via Wikipedia

The other film with a shot is the Jeremy Renner starrer "Kill the Messenger" based on the true story of reporter Gary Webb who reported on CIA shenanigans in Nicaragua in the '90's.  Michael Cuesta directs.

Honestly, I don't have a big feel for either of these films.  I wouldn't be shocked if one or both made the lineup but I won't be shocked when they're absent either.  I might give "Theory" a slight edge because of Marsh's past participation at Telluride.  I'd give both about a 25% chance of playing absent any other factors.

IMDb pages for "The Theory of Everything" and "Kill the Messenger" are here:


This little known distribution outfit has been in and out as a presenter at Telluride over the past few years.

2004: Aaltra
2005: Be with Me
2009: Gigante
2010: If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle

As you can see, they're presence has been limited and spotty.  Nevertheless, they have one film in their basket that has a chance to make T-ride's lineup.  "Stations of the Cross" directed by Dietrich Bruggemann played well at the Berlin Film Festival where Telluride usually discovers a couple of films to program each year.  "Stations" won two prizes at Berlin for Screenplay and the Ecumenical Jury prize.  To me, that makes it a serious film to consider for Labor Day weekend in southwest Colorado.


Adopt Films made its Telluride debut two years ago in 2012 with "Barbara".  Than last year the distributor had "Bethlehem" at TFF.  This year they are the U.S. distributors for Cannes' Palme d'Or champion "Winter Sleep" which makes them a better than even bet to make the cut for TFF #41.


Here's what Strand has had at Telluride in the recent past:

2010: Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff
2011: Bonsai
2012: Paradise: Love
2013: The Missing Picture

So, Strand has been very consistent recently.  Another common thread is that all four of the above films played in some capacity at Cannes.  So the question becomes, does Strand have a project that fits this profile?  The answer is yes..."Girlhood"...played at Cannes and had a decent critical reaction.  So mark it down as a potential TFF #41 participant.


A24 has not been around terribly long, but in their short existence they have come to play Telluride for the past two years.

2012: "Ginger and Rosa"
2013" "Under the Skin" and "Enemy"

So you have to think that they'll likely have a shot at something playing at T-ride.  What?

There's Atom Egoyan's "Captives" which was not all that well received at Cannes and seems a much more likely Toronto prospect.

Then there's J.C. Chandor's "A Most Violent Year" with Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain.  I'd like to believe that this film makes it to the San Juans.  The only other possibility is a virtually unknown flick from Julius Avery entitled "Son of a Gun"

Best chance is "A Most Violent Year"


A new trailer appeared yesterday for the Dardennes Brothers new film "Two Days, One Night" starring Oscar winner Marion Cotillard.  I'm still bullish on its chances of playing T-ride (see above). You'll note that The Playlist agrees in their story.  Links to the trailer and stories here:


And also dropping a new trailer yesterday was Angelina Jolie's "Unbroken" which continues to get occasional mentions in a number of places that it could play Telluride.  Here's the link to the Variety story that includes the trailer:


Olivier Assayas' Cannes entry (and TFF #41 possible) "Clouds of Sils Maria" dropped a trailer yesterday.  Here it is from YouTube:

And accompanying stories from Awards Daily, FirstShowing and Movie City News:


Now, understand, I don't really think David Fincher's "Gone Girl" will show at The SHOW...but... you know Fincher was feted as a Tributee in 2008 and that included footage of "Benjamen Button" and a screening of "Zodiac".  So, it's not entirely out of the question.

"Gone Girl" dropped a new trailer yesterday.  Here it is via Film Trailer Zone and YouTube:

And also, the story from HitFix/InContention:

Have a great weekend everyone...more on Monday...

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