Friday, August 1, 2014

"Rosewater" has a Date/Best of the Week: Ten Bets #6; Toronto's Second Wave; Brit Producers; French Producers; Unified Clooney Theory; Homesman; Birdman; Bad News?; Interstellar

Hello from Crested Butte, Colorado on a Saturday...


Director Jon Stewart on the set of "Rosewater" (via

HitFix's Kris Tapley reports that Jon Stewart's "Rosewater" has a release date in early November.  Tapley also suggests that a Telluride screening is likely in the cards for the film which stars Gael Garcia Bernal.  Here's the story:

And "Rosewater's" IMDb page is here:



If we're reading the Toronto tea leaves correctly, we may may have the best idea of the Telluride lineup beforehand ever.

Last week's "Ten Bets":

10) Leviathan
9) Two Days, One Night
8) Rosewater
7) The Imitation Game
6) Wild Tales
5) Queen of the Desert
4) Wild
3) Birdman
2) Mr. Turner
1) Foxcatcher

This week's "Ten Bets" plus a couple...

12) Red Army
11) The Look of Silence
10) Two Days, One Night
9) Leviathan
8) Rosewater
7) Wild Tales
6) Wild
5) The Imitation Game
4) Queen of the Desert
3) Mr. Turner
2) Foxcatcher
1) Birdman


Tuesday morning the Toronto International Film Festival announced its second wave of titles and again, reading between the lines, we can make some educated guesses about films that will have appeared at Telluride prior to TIFF...Here's what I can surmise:

In the Documentaries section:

There appear to be three or four of TIFF's announced docs that look to be Telluride bound:

Joshua Oppenhimer's "The Look of Silence"
Gabe Polsky's "Red Army"
Robert Kenner's "Merchants of Doubt"

These three appear solid as they are listed as Canadian Premieres.  Ethan Hawke's "Seymour: An Introduction" is listed as an International Premiere and I can't find an instance of it having played yet anywhere else.

Frederick Wiseman's "National Gallery" which I had considered a real Telluride possibility, looks like it will not play at The SHOW.

In the Masters section it appears that we can plan to see Andrey Zvyaginsyev's "Leviafan" (Leviathan) as I have suspected since Cannes.  It is listed as a Canadian premiere.

It also seems we can write off Roy Andersson's "A Pigeon Sat on a Branch...", "Jean Luc Goddard's "Goodbye to Language" and Michael Winterbottom's "The Face of an Angel" as they are all listed as either World or North American premieres.

In the Vanguard and Midnight madness sections there are a couple of films that are listed as International premieres but I'm not prepared to claim any status for them regarding Telluride.  There are two films with Canadian premieres listed but they both played Sundance.

So, ultimately, we believe we know at least four more titles that are probably Telluride bound after this morning's TIFF announcement.

You can check the entire list of new films announced this morning form TIFF here from IndieWire:


For the last couple of summers I have included an analysis of certain European production companies focusing on the Brits and the French companies that are consistently connected to films that end up on the Telluride playlist.  I'm doing it again this week beginning with some of the British companies.


Here's what I have been able to track down from the last half decade vis-a-vis BBC Films at Telluride:

2008: Millions
2009: Fish Tank, Bright Star, An Education
2010: The First Grader, Tamara Drewe
2011: We Have to Talk About Kevin
2012: Ginger and Rosa
2013: The Invisible Woman

Up until Tuesday, the best guess I would have had for Telluride from what BBC Films has in its stable this year would have been Alan Rickman's "A Little Chaos" but that was announced as TIFF's closing night film so that's off the table now.  Perhaps the best BBC Film shot for Telluride this year is Michael Winterbottom's "The Face of an Angel" starring Kate Beckinsale and Daniel Bruhl.

Carol Morley's "The Falling" starring Greta Scacchi is also a possibility.

"The Face of an Angel's "IMDb page:

BBC Film's IMDb page:


BFI's past Telluride history includes:

2012: Ginger and Rosa
2013: Under the Skin

They have some involvement with the already assumed Telluride title "Mr. Turner".  Additionally, BFI also has a hand in the above mentioned "The Falling".  An additional title that might have some legs for Telluride is Debbie Tucker Green's "Second Coming" starring Idris Elba.

The best BFI shot this year is probably Ken Loach's Cannes competition piece "Jimmy's Hall" that's being distributed here in the U.S. by Sony Pictures Classics.

"Jimmy's Hall's" IMDb page:


This British production house has an even more prevalent profile for Telluride over the past decade than BBC Films does, although they were shut out in 2012.

The UK Film Council track record over the past decade:

2003: Intermission, Touching the Void
2004: Enduring Love, Merchant of Venice
2006: Venus, The Last King of Scotland, Deep Water
2007: When Did You Last See Your Father, Brick Lane
2008: Happy-Go-Lucky
2009: Fish Tank, Bright Star
2010: Tamara Drewe, The King's Speech
2011: Shame, We Need to Talk About Kevin
2013: Under the Skin

Here's the thing...the UK Film Council has no film listed that seems remotely ready for a 2014 play date.


Film4 has been a fairly constant presence at Telluride over the past few years and often when they are represented, they're represented with multiple titles:

2006: Deep Water
2007: When Did You Last See Your Father, Brick Lane
2008: Happy-Go-Lucky, Hunger, Slumdog Millionaire
2010: Another Year, Never Let Me Go
2011: Shame
2013: Under the Skin, 12 Years a Slave, Starred Up

This year, Film4 is associated with many titles that have the potential to play at TFF #41 including the all but certain Mike Leigh film "Mr. Turner".

Also in the Film4 basket:

"Slow West", "Suffragette", "Jimmy's Hall" and "Carol".  

There seem to be some questions about whether either "Suffragette" and "Carol" will be ready for a festival play.  "Jimmy's Hall" screened at Cannes, so it's clearly ready and "Slow West" has been listed on IMDb in post-production since you'd think it should be ready.

Film4's IMDb page:


See-Saw has only been producing since 2009 but in that short time they have been a part of a few films that have made an impact at Telluride.  The first film they were associated with that made a splash at The SHOW was "The King's Speech" in 2010.  They were also involved with:

"Shame" in 2011 and 
"Tracks" in 2013.

In 2014, See-Saw has involvement with two Michael Fassbender starring vehicles: Justin Kurzel's "Macbeth" and John Maclean's "Slow West" (see above).  Macbeth also stars Marion Cotillard and is listed as being in post-production by IMDb as of April.  Could See-Saw be part of a Fassbender double play?  Possibly.  

Of the two, my guess is that "Slow West" might be the more likely play and that's based on nothing more than conjecture.  Note this, however:  Fassbender seemed to have a really great time in Telluride last year and he is an executive producer on the film.

And on a late appears that Macbeth isn't ready to roll.  See the Thompson on Hollywood story below.

See-Saw's IMDb page:


This week, I've been looking at the films coming with attachemnts to production companies in Europe that have had some presence at Telluride over the last decade or so.  Monday and Tuesday it was the British and today and tomorrow I'll be looking at French production houses and the films that they have been a part of that might be Telluride bound.


Look at the history of Canal+ as a producer of films that played at Telluride over the last decade:

2003: The Barbarian Invasions, Dogville, Love Me If You Dare, The Tripletts of Belleville
2004: The Weeping Meadow
2005: The Child, Cache, Lemming, Live and Become
2006: Volver, Indigenes, The Page Turner
2007: The Diving Bell and The Butterfly, Terror's Advocate, Jellyfish
2008: With a Little Help From Myself, I've Loved You So Long
2009: Farewell, Coco Before Chanel, A Prophet, The White Ribbon
2010: The Illusionist, Carlos, Of Gods and Men, The Princess of Montpensier
2011: Crazy Horse, Albert Nobbs, Goodbye First Love, The Kid with a Bike, The Artist, Le Havre
2012: Rust and Bone, Superstar, The Attack
2013: Blue is the Warmest Color", Le Maison de la Radio", "The Past"

There are a title or two that we can eliminate from the Canal+ canon as Telluride material based on what we know from Toronto's announcements.  However, still in play are "Clouds of Sils Maria", "The Blue Room". "Bird People" and "Two Days, One Night".


Another French production outfit that sometimes plays at Telluride is StudioCanal.  Look at their ten year Telluride track record:

2003: Young Adam, Love Me If You Dare
2005: Cache
2006: Indigines, Catch a Fire
2010: The Princess of Montpensier
2012: Love, Marilyn
2013: Inside Llewyn Davis

2014 seems to be a fairly sketchy title list for Studio Canal.  "Before I Go to Sleep" starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth is a way, way outside shot.  Also with a very outside shot "El Nino" starring Ian McShane. Nothing else on their schedule appears to be likely.  This may be one of thise years where StudioCanal just doesn't have a play at Telluride.


Here are the films from France2 Cinema that have played Telluride in recent years:

2006: Indigenes
2009: A Prophet, Coco Before Chanel
2010: The Princess of Montpensier
2011: The Kid with a Bike
2012: Rust and Bone
2013: Blue is the Warmest Color

As you can see, about one film per year plays that has been co-produced by France 2.  This year, their best chances are two Cannes films (and one of them is a pretty good chance, I think):  "Two Days, One Night" and "Bird People".  I have a strong feeling that "Two Days" makes the T-ride lineup.


2003: Dogville, The Tripletts of Belleville
2005: Lemming, Live and Become, Cache
2006: The Page Turner, Indigenes
2007: The Diving Bell and The Butterfly, Persepolis
2008: I've Loved You So Long
2009: The White Ribbon
2010: The Illusionist, The Princess of Montpensier, Of Gods and Men
2011: The Artist
2012: Superstar, Amour
2013: The Past

Though France3 has had a larger profile than France2 at Telluride over the past few years, their pool of films this year seems thin with no one film standing out as a likely suspect.

Perhaps "Le Temps des Aveux" or, more likely "Caricaturistes, fantassins de la démocratie" the documentary about cartoonists and democracy that played at Cannes.


Another Franco production outfit that has had persistent presence in Telluride is arte France Cinema.  Their track record looks like this:

2003: Dogville
2004: The Weeping Meadow
2005: The Child, Cache, Paradise Now
2006: Day Night Day Night
2008: O'Horten
2011: Le Havre, Goodbye First Love
2013: Le Maison de la Radio, The Lunchbox

After no Telluride presence in 2012, arte France Cinema came back in 2013 fairly strong.  In 2014 their best chance at playing Telluride is the yet unannounced for any fall fest, Olivier Assayas' Cannes competition piece "Clouds of Sils Maria" starring Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart and Chloe Grace Moretz.

As we haven't seen it in Toronto's list yet, I am inching a little closer to thinking that it could actually play at Telluride and, perhaps a Juliette Binoche tribute?


CineCinema changed over to Cine+ within the last three years or so but it's all the same.  This production company has often been represented at Telluride over the last few years:

2005: Lemming, Live and Become
2006: The Page Turner, Indigenes
2007: The Diving Bell and The Butterfly
2008: With a Little Help from Myself
2009: Farewell, Coco Before Chanel, A Prophet, Inferno
2010: The Illusionist, The Princess of Montpensier, Of Gods and Men
2011: Goodbye First Love, The Kid with a Bike, Le Havre, The Artist
2012: Rust and Bone, Superstar, The Attack, Amour
2013: The Past, Blue is the Warmest Color, Le Maison de la Radio

Cine+ has four projects that they're involved in that could well make the Telluride playlist:  "The Blue Room", "Bird People", "Two Days, One Night" and "Clouds of Sils Maria".


I proposed "The Unified Clooney Theory" a couple of years ago as a different hypothesis to test possible Telluride films.  Does it always work?  Nope.  Does it often work?  I wouldn't even say that.  .t get lucky every now and then?  That's probably the best way to put it.

The UCT posits that by focusing on Clooney and his "known associates" (as law enforcement might call them) we can sometimes nail down a film or two that could play at Telluride.

The UCT last year suggested both "Gravity" and "12 Years a Slave" might make a Telluride appearance so what's The UCT suggest for this year?

Well, no Clooney...that's for sure.  He's got zero projects as an actor, producer or director that are ready for a Telluride play.

But Clooney KA (known associate) Brad Pitt is loaded up as the star of David Ayers "Fury" which could play.  I put its chances at 10%.  Pitt is also a producer on the Jonah Hill/James Franco collaboration "True Story" which at least one website had as a Telluride possible early on...I'd think it's in the 10% range.

Brad leads to KA and significant other Angelina Jolie and her "Unbroken" which I have at a 25% level of being in the Telluride lineup.  Also with "Unbroken" don't forget that another set of Clooney KA's, The Coen Brothers worked on the script.

Other members of The UCT we should look at?  How about "Oceans" 11-13 alum Don Cheadle?  Cheadle has a producer credit on "St. Vincent"...though, if you read yesterday's post...looks unlikely for T-ride.

Then there's Tim Blake Nelson whose "Clooneyness" stems from being cast within "Syriana" and "O Brother Where Art Thou".  Nelson is in "Kill the Messenger" starring Jeremy Renner which is still unclaimed by any fall film fest.  Nelson also has his own project reportedly in the can.  His "Anesthesia" could conceivably make a Telluride appearance.  I give "Messenger" a 15% shot and "Anesthesia" about a 10% chance to make the T-ride field.

Maybe semi-Clooney-ite Cate Blanchett shows at The SHOW in Todd Haynes "Carol".  Chances are 15%.

There could be other members of The UCT I need to think about...and as/if I do, I'll pass them along.


I have been reluctant since Cannes to really think that Tommy Lee Jones sophomore directorial effort "The Homesman", starring the irascible Mr. Jones and two time Oscar winner Hillary Swank, was a high-likelihood Telluride possibility but a Hollywood Reporter story out yesterday is making me reconsider.

Pamela McClintock writes that: "its likely to get a coveted slot at Telluride" in the story about upstart Saban Films plans to position the film for Oscar season.

I had put it on the back burner of T-ride possibles owing to its mixed reviews out of Cannes, the lack of a Saban Films history with...well...any festival and the fact that Jones hasn't ever been to TFF.  Now, if THR has it right,  all of that may change.

Check the complete story from THR here:


Fox Searchlight dropped a new trailer for Alejandro Inarritu's "Birdman" yesterday.  I still fully expect the film to make the Telluride lineup.  Here's the new trailer

via YouTube

And an accompanying story from IndieWire:

and also from HitFix:


"St. Vincent" photo via reported yesterday that a Toronto World Premiere Gala is all but a done deal for "St. Vincent" starring Bill Murray.  I have been holding out some hope that it and Murray would make the trip to Telluride but if the Mark Fleming, Jr. report is looks unlikely now.

Read the story from here:

And speaking of bad news...there's some buzz that J.C. Chandor's "A Most Violent Year" which I was thinking was a pretty good Telluride bet (and I was hoping would make the trip as well) may not be ready in time for the festival.

Gotta say that I'm bummed if both of these films miss the fest.


Much was made of the reveal at Comic Con last week by Christopher Nolan of a new trailer for his "Interstellar".  The film remains a way way outside possibility for Telluride, although I've become all but convinced that it won't happen.  Nevertheless, the new trailer can be accessed at the official Interstellar website by typing in the access code 7201969...the date U.S. astronauts landed on the moon.  Here's the site:

It's a cool trailer too.

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