Thursday, August 21, 2014

Chang and Variety Dissect Telluride and Toronto (And Venice Too)/Not So Fast on "Foxcatcher"/New Views of Stewart's "Rosewater"/"Also New Looks at "Kill the Messenger"

Welcome to Thursday...



Variety's Justin Chang was up yesterday with a lengthy piece that goes to great lengths to outline the current skirmish between film festivals.  The article/story/post zinged around the Internet with great velocity so there's a good chance you've already seen it.  If not it's linked here:

Makes for an interesting read.


"Foxcatcher" trailer from YouTube and Coming Soon

Jeff Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere was commenting at his site on the same Justin Chang/Variety story reference above.  In a piece called "Close Tabs" he says that he's heard " 'Foxcatcher' wasn't going to Telluride".

Now, that flies in the face of most of what we've been seeing/hearing for a long while.  "Foxcatcher" has been at or near the top of this summer's "Ten Bets" but, remember, this enterprise is still mostly guesswork and you never know.

That said, I still feel pretty good about our chances to see the Bennett Miller film next week.  It was just last week that we inferred from a post that it was likely to make the trip to the San Juans.

Still, you can expect that "Foxcatcher" may not be in the #1 spot on tomorrow's "Ten Bets".

Here's the complete Jeff Wells story:


Director Jon Stewart on the set of "Rosewater" via The Playlist

A much anticipated potential Telluride title is this directorial debut from comedian and Daily Show host Jon Stewart.  "Rosewater" tells the true story of Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari and his detention in Iran in 2009. The Playlist had a couple of new photos from the film yesterday.  I have reposted them above and below.

Stewart also reveals that he picked the brains of Ron Howard and J.J. Abrams in his preparation for the film. Check The Playlist story here:


Jeremy Renner in "Kill the Messenger" from Rope of Silicon

The last few days I think the blog has drawn more questions about the possibility of "Kill the Messenger" playing at Telluride than any other film.  And I don't know any really useful info about the film.  It could play.  It could not.  Its distributor, Focus Features, has occasionally played the fest but isn't a presence every year.  Nevertheless, a Rope of Silicon post splashed several new photos from the film onto the web yesterday and so I pass them along here:

More tomorrow...

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FrownUPSIDEdown said...


Something to maybe keep in mind (in case you already haven't!) with Kill the Messenger and Telluride is the fact that Focus has been turned completely inside out at the start of the year; none of the executives responsible for Brokeback, DBC, Lost in Translation, Hyde Park etc. are still there. As a result, I'm not 100% sure we can look to Focus' sometimes-there-sometimes-not presence at Telluride in the past as a predictor for it this year. One thing that we can tell for sure is that new-Focus has a strategy for its films, wise or not, that suggests it came to play the field. Theory of Everything is probably most telling--it's by far Focus' most sellable film and, given new-Focus' emphasis is on money-making and less art house (see: 50 shades of grey), TIFF should be the perfect fit with all the mega-press. However, it still didn't get a run at Telluride first...or anywhere else. The same thing can be said for Boxtrolls at Venice, Telluride and AFI withstanding. Considering new-Focus is carrying their heaviest slate of oscar contenders into one season that I can remember, I can't imagine why they wouldn't want to play (or try to play) at least one at Telluride this year. The fact that they've set a lot of restrictions on it's other 2 films is what makes me wonder whether KTM is not festival-friendly or just the last piece of Focus' festival puzzle.

I'm not claiming to be right by any capacity! I know there are no other festival labels we can infer KTM by, but Focus' slate and strategy don't exactly say nothing.

Just to add--While new-Focus hasn't had a lot (any) luck with their film releases since DBC (where old-Focus ended) it's also important to note that Kill the Messenger and Boxtrolls (I think) were purchased and made under old-Focus, and were promised to be distributed by new-Focus (along with Black Sea, which
New-Focus will distribute in dump
month, Jan of next year). Given old-Focus' heavier emphasis on the craft and oscar-quality risk takers, I don't doubt that KTM was always likely to be marketed to the more oscar-prone crowd. I'm personally 60/40 on KTM making a festival run especially because of that "risk taking" characteristic, esp when Gary Webb was such a polarizing figure himself. But nevertheless, the fact that new-Focus gave both of the films oscar-friendly dates after their respective screenings, and then followed it up with a public-friendly purchase of Theory of Everything and it's highly-publicized TIFF debut, it seems like (IIIIFFFFF KTM were going to go the festival route) that a smaller festival would be preferable given the content.

This is just my educated guesses! I don't have huge hopes for KTM at Telluride, but I wouldn't be surprised if it did. The change-up at Focus will become very clear at some point in this oscar season, I'm just not sure when. :)

Michael Patterson said...
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Michael Patterson said...