Saturday, August 23, 2014

New for Saturday: The Playlist's 20 Fall Film List/ScreenTalk with Thompson and Kohn/Best of the Week: Ten Bets #9; Toronto; Leviathan; Variety; Rosewater

Welcome to the last weekend before TFF #41 takes flight.  We leave on Wednesday afternoon and cover about two thirds of the distance and then will finish on Thursday morning.  Planning to be in Telluride around noon in time to lunch with our generous hosts Mitzi and Larry Mallard.  Then pre-fest errands, and dinner with fest friends.  Can't wait.



The Playlist has posted the 20 films that they're looking forward to for this fall.  The list includes seven films that seem like relatively good Telluride possibilities: "Birdman", "Rosewater", "Foxcatcher", "The Imitation Game", "Wild", "Mr. Turner" and "Leviathan".  See the entire post and list of 20 films here:


Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood) and Eric Kohn (IndieWire) posted their latest episode of Screen Talk yesterday and it's almost exclusively Telluride-oriented.  The two (who will be rating films at T-ride for MTFB) mention eleven films that they feel are likely Telluride-bound.  (and three that aren't).

The films they name in order are:
"The Imitation Game"
"The Homesman"
"Mr. Turner"
"Wild Tales"
"99 Homes"

Two notes...I've been back and forth on whether "The Homesman" will actually play...they seem to think it will.  Also, yet here's yet another suggestion that Sundance hit (and Cannes film as well) "Whiplash" plays TFF #41.  Interesting.

Check out the nearly 18 min. podcast here:

Anne and Eric say their next cast will be from Telluride as the fest is look for that too.



Last week's "Ten Bets" was actually that list is:

15) The Homesman
14) Life May Be
13) Merchants of Doubt
12) 99 Homes
11) Red Army
10) Two Days, One Night
9) The Look of Silence
8) Rosewater
7) Wild Tales
6) Leviathan
5) Wild
4) The Imitation Game
3) Birdman
2) Mr. Turner
1) Foxcatcher

This week...the "Ten Bets" look like this:

15) Mommy
14) '71
13) 99 Homes
12) Red Army
11) Merchants of Doubt
10) The Look of Silence
9) Leviathan
8) Two Days, One Night
7) Rosewater
6) Wild Tales
5) Foxcatcher
4) Wild
3) The Imitation Game
2) Birdman
1) Mr. Turner


The Toronto International Film Festival announced its final titles this yesterday and there, again, are conclusions that we can reach.  We can't guarantee that these conclusions are 100% correct but we're probably pretty close.  Takeaways:

The announcement of " '71" and "The New York Review of Books: The 50 Year Argument" as Canadian Premieres is a good indication that both of those titles are headed to Telluride.  We've been thinking that was probably the case the last couple of weeks.  I'm particularly excited about " '71" which has a trailer that was associated with its play at the Berlin Film Fest back in February.  Here's that trailer:

" '71" trailer via YouTube
Here's the story that The Playlist ran yesterday with the release of the trailer:

We also found that three films that we had continued to think might be Telluride possibilities will NOT be as they are either World or North American premieres.  As reported earlier, "St. Vincent" starring Bill Murray is a World premiere and so will not be in T-ride.  TIFF has announced that Sept. 5th will be Bill Murray Day.

Announced as North American premieres were the Cannes Palme d'Or winner "Winter Sleep" and another Cannes standout, "The Tribe".  That means neither of those will play in the San Juans.  Too bad, especially about "The Tribe" which I have been really intrigued by.

Finally, four titles were announced as International premieres that we may need to consider for Telluride. There is limited screening history information about each of the four which, at least at the moment, leaves them as theoretical Telluride possibilities.

The most intriguing is the filmed version of Julie Taymor's stage production of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream".

Also in play: "Life in a Fishbowl", "The Little Death" and "Senza Nessuna Pieta".

Here's the Variety report on yesterday's Toronto announcement:


Over the weekend, I mentioned that a reader had alertly noticed that the TIFF website had listed "Leviathan" as a North American premiere and was asking if that meant no Telluride play.  It was a reasonable question. I did some research and source work and couldn't find any explanation for why a film that I was pretty sure had been announced as a Canadian premiere was listed as North American.

I contacted an acquaintance or two that have a way better knowledge of Toronto's workings than I do and they suggested that the "Canadian" designation was probably correct.

Yesterday, I checked back in to the website and someone had changed the designation.  So, suffice to say that "Leviathan" IS a Canadian premiere for Toronto and a very likely film for Telluride.

Check this link to "Leviathan's" TIFF page:


The New York Times put up a lengthy post yesterday that dissected the Telluride/Toronto situation.  In the course of the story, the Times nukes the notion of three major films making their appearance at Telluride:

David  Ayers' "Fury"
Angelina Jolie's "Unbroken" and
Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar"

The Times story says that the three films are, "sitting out the season's opening festivals, according to people briefed on the films, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of confidentiality rules."

The Times says the reasons range from not being ready to differing marketing and awards season strategies.

Makes me sad to mark them off the prospective list though "Fury" was really gone already and I was always dubious about "Interstellar".

That leaves "Big Eyes" and "Exodus: Gods and Kings" as the biggest fish out there without an announced festival.

Here's the story from the Times:


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:

More on Monday...have a great weekend!

Follow me on Twitter @Gort2

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