Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Usual Suspects 2014 Part Two/Herzog on his Queen/Poland Talks Telluride vs. Toronto

Hello to all on a Wednesday in July...


I'm continuing my rundown of common players at Telluride fests that have films thought to be ready for presentation.  Yesterday I wrote about Herzog, Burns, Payne and Morris.  Today...

Mark Cousins...Cousins has been a part of the Telluride program in four of the last five years and I suspect that he'll return this year.  He has a documentary that he co-directed with Iranian film maker Mania Akbari.
The film is described as a conversation/discourse between the two.  "Life May Be" has played the Edinburgh and Karlovy Vary Fests this summer.  I think there's a very high probability that this film plays.

Iranian film maker Mania Akbari (via The Guardian)

"Life May Be's " IMDb page is here:

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu... Inarritu has become a fixture at Telluride.  Both "Babel" and "Biutiful" played the fest and Inarritu attended last year in support of his friend, Alfonso Cuaron, for a little picture called "Gravity".  It may be instructive to know that "Gravity" played Venice and then came to Telluride.

As I'm sure you know, Inarritu's "Birdman" will open the Venice fest on Aug. 27th.  T-ride opens Aug. I really expect to see "Birdman" at Telluride.  My questions are: Will Keaton come along? (A Keaton tribute?) and will Cuaron return Inarritu's favor and just be a guest this year...because that wouldn't surprise me at all.  Nevertheless, count on "Birdman" (it's at # 1 on the last week's Ten Bets).

"Birdman's" IMDb page:

Mike Leigh...the writer/director has been at Telluride a number of times.  He's been a long time player at TFF beginning over a quarter century ago with 1988's "High Hopes".  He's also been at TFF with "Secrets and Lies" in '96 (he was the recipient of a tribute) , "Happy Go Lucky" in '08, and "Another Year" in '10.

Now, Leigh has "Mr. Turner" ready after its competition run at Cannes in May and Timothy Spall's win for Best Actor there. I fully expect "Mr. Turner" to make an appearance at TFF #41 and further, I suspect Mr. Spall will attend as well.

"Mr. Turner's" IMDb page is here:

Jean-Luc and Pierre Dardennes...have also become regulars at Telluride over the past few years.  They tribute recipients in 2005 which included the presentation of  "The Child" and were back in 2011 with "The Kid with a Bike".  This year, they have "Two Days, One Night" starring another TFF Tributee, Marion Cotillard.  Sundance Selects has the distribution, so all of these factors considered make me believe that "Two Days" is also a likely Telluride play.

My question here is": "Will Marion return to Telluride?"  That question has an additional component in that she has another film that could play, Justin Kurzel's "MacBeth" with Michael Fassbender in the title role. Could Cotillard double dip at T-ride?  I hope so!

Here's the link to the "Two Days, One Night" IMDb page:

And finally, today's last "Usual Suspect" is Olivier Assayas.  Assayas fits a familiar profile listed in a number of the "Usual Suspects" mentioned above.  His film "Clouds of Sils Maria" played well at Cannes.  Juliette Binoche was named Best Actress for the film at Cannes by the International Cinephile Society.  But of all the "Usual Suspects" listed today, Assayas has, perhaps, the sketchiest Telluride resume.  His "Irma Vep" played in 1996 and "Carlos" in 2010.  His 2012 film "Something in the Air" played Venice, Toronto and New York but not Telluride.

All of these factors have made me a bit squeamish about "Clouds of Sils Maria" making it onto Telluride's program.  I wouldn't be surprised, but I'm much less bullish about its chances than any of the other "Usuals" listed in today's blog.

I also wouldn't be stunned if a Juliette Binoche tribute was a part of a package that included the presentation of "Clouds".

Its IMDb page is here:

Tomorrow, the final five of this year's "Usual Suspects"


The Playlist posted an interview with Werner Herzog yesterday in which the auteur talks about his new film, and likely Telluride presentation, "Queen of the Desert" starring Nicole Kidman and Robert Pattinson.  I current lay have "Queen" at #4 on the "Ten Bets" list.

Here's the link to that story:


Movie City News' David Poland added his two cents (actually more than two) to the whole Toronto ultimatum concerning premieres, their first weekend and Telluride's programming.   It's a lengthy article and has some interesting, thought-provoking things to say about the situation.  It also includes a proposal for a compromise concerning independent, small and/or foreign films caught in the vortex of Toronto's demand.

Take a look at it here:

More on Thursday...

Follow Michael's Telluride Film Blog on Twitter @Gort2.

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