Thursday, April 30, 2015

Looking at Macbeth/And Speaking of Cotillard/"Youth" and Fox

Good Thursday World!


It's no secret that I have been banging the drum for Justin Kurzel's "Macbeth" to be a part of this year's Telluride lineup.  Its inclusion in the Palme d'Or competition in Cannes next month could be another step in that direction.  If it performs well in terms of critical response and picks up any buzz vis-a-vis awards from the Coen Brothers led jury that would also add to its chances to make the Labor Day lineup.

Earlier this week, we were treated to new images from the film that stars Marion Cotillard and Michael Fassbender as Shakespeare's most dangerous power couple.  You can find those images and coverage linked here:


As I was doing just above, casting news this week puts the former Telluride Tribute recipient in another future vehicle that could make its way to Telluride in 2016.  The announcement came for the latest plans for director Xavier Dolan's next project.  Dolan was part of the Telluride lineup last year with "Mommy".  Other cast members announced included Lea Seydoux who appeared at Telluride for TFF #40 with "Blue is the Warmest Color" and Vincent Cassel ("Black Swan").

The film will be based on a french play entitled "It's Only the End of the World".  It is reported that filming will begin soon.  Dolan is slated to serve as a part of the Cannes Palme d'Or jury next month.

Check the details below:


Also making news this week was the announcement from Fox Searchlight that they will distribute Paolo Sorrentino's Cannes competition film "Youth".  "Youth" stars Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz and Paul Dano.  The acquisition bodes well for the film and raises the chances that it could be a Telluride selection.  So much so, in fact that the below-linked post from Ioncinema suggests that a Telluride play is likely.  Check it:

More on Monday...have a great weekend!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Cannes Adds Nine Titles/Cinemacon: "Black Mass"/Cinemacon: "The Revenant"/Winterbottom and Ferrell Meet Ebert and Meyer


The 68th Cannes Film Festival completed its lineup this week by announcing nine more titles to its Palme competition section, Un Certain Regard and Special Screenings.  I had expected that when these additional films were announced there would be one or two that seemed like possible or even probable Telluride/Cannes crossover films but after parsing the list for a couple of days, I have to say...ummm.  not really.

What it leaves us with, at least initially and until the films actually start screening next month, is the same list we had on April 16th with the original Cannes announcement:

Audiard's "Dheepan"
Villeneuve's "Sicario"
Garoone's "The Tale of Tales"
Schroeder's "Amnesia"
Haynes' "Carol"
Kurzel's "Macbeth"
Van Sant's "The Sea of Trees"

Of course this will all change and shift when the festival actually kicks in and three factors begin to enter into my analysis: critical response, distribution deals and ultimately the awards presented by the Coen Brother's led jury.

The announcement of the additional nine films is covered here:


Cinemacon, the trade event in Las Vegas that was held last week allows a spring peak at a number of films that are scheduled to be released through the summer and fall.  It also gives journalists the first glimpses of footage of eagerly anticipated titles and this year, two, which I have on my Telluride watch list made big impressions: Scott Cooper's "Black Mass" with Johnny Depp and Benedict Cumberbatch and Alejandro Innaritu's "The Revenant" with Leonardo DiCaprio.  Coverage for both is below...including the teaser for "Black Mass":


And news this week that Michael Winterbottom will direct a film based on the development and collaboration that brought the cult classic "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" to the big screen.  Will Ferrell is reportedly on board to star as director Russ Meyer while Winterbottom and producers are still looking for an actor to play film critic Roger Ebert, who co-wrote the screenplay for the "Valley of the Dolls" sequel.

Could it be a future Telluride prospect.  As it will feature Ebert and will be directed by Winterbottom, at least initially...maybe.  I'll keep an eye on its development.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Here Comes Da Judge(s)/Cannes Announces Director's Fortnight Films/News About Caesar/Do You Remember This Project?

Good Thursday Everyone.  Welcome to the Monkey House...


The Cannes poobahs had a couple of major announcements in the early part of the week, one of which was the announcement of the members of the Palme d"Or jury.  We already knew that Joel and Ethan Coen (TFF #40 co-tributees with T-Bone Burnett) had been named as co-presidents of the jury.  Thierry Fremaux and company announced that they would be joined by a number of well known names including Oscar nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal, director Guillermo Del Toro, actress Sienna Miller and director Xavier Dolan among others.  I have linked copious reporting and analysis on the jury selection here:


The announcement of the Director's Fortnight section of films for Cannes came on Tuesday.  The overlap between the Director's Fortnight section and films that play at Telluride is small/tenuous, there have been a couple of films in recent years that have played the Cannes segment and then played on Labor Day in the San Juans.  Specifically, "Jodorowsky's Dune" in 2013 and "No" in 2012.  And there's a title or two that I could see popping up in T-ride among the films that were announced earlier this week.  For example:  Miguel Gomes' "Arabian Nights" and Arnaud Desplechin's "My Golden Years".

Here's the breakdown of the Director's Fortnight films from Ioncinema and Variety:


And since we've already mentioned the Coen Brothers above, lets note that we found out some more details about their upcoming (and almost certainly NOT Telluride abound) film "Hail Caesar via frequent Coens collaborators Carter Burwell and Skip Lievsay in The Hollywood Reporter.  The most important of which is that it may not be as comic as we have been led to believe up to this point.  "Hail Caesar" has been frequently mentioned as part three of the Coens purported "Numbskill Trilogy" featuring George Clooney (the preceding films being "O Brother Were Art Thou?" and "Intolerable Cruelty").  The complete THR post is here:


I wrote about this months and months ago...a film version that examines the "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs that took place in the '70s'.  Now comes news that a cast has been brought together and it's very cool.  The Wrap reports that Steve Carell and Emma Stone are set to play the two tennis stars under the direction of Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton ("Little Miss Sunshine).  The project is being developed by Fox Searchlight and produced by Danny Boyle.  Both of those factors suggest that the film might be a theoretical Telluride possibility in the next year or two.

The post from The Wrap is here:

More on Monday.  Have a great weekend and if you're at the Oklahoma City Festival of the Arts...come by and see me in Tent 12B...I'll be slinging some art!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Annual Call for Entries/Much More on the Cannes Lineup/Mr. Leigh's Next Film


I got the email this week...the annual call to film makers to enter their film into consideration for inclusion to this year's TFF.  The deadlines for student and short films is July1 and for features is July 15.  Here's the email text:

Telluride Film Festival (September 4-7, 2015), presented by National Film Preserve, Ltd. announces its Call for Entries in all categories including student, short and feature length films.

Submission period begins April 15, 2015. Film Entry Form is available for download at

Shorts and student film submissions must be received no later than 5:00 pm, July 1, 2015. Feature film submissions must be received no later than 5:00 pm, July 15, 2015. All submissions must have been completed after July 15, 2014 and no works in progress will be accepted. Feature-length films (60 minutes or longer) will only be considered if they are to have their first North American screening at Telluride Film Festival. Final program determinations will be made by August 1, 2015. No early or late entries will be accepted.

Professional and amateur filmmakers working in all aesthetic disciplines and genres including narrative, documentary, animation and experimental are welcome.

Each year Telluride Film Festival plays host to an average of 25 feature films and 25 shorts and student films. Films selected to screen at Telluride Film Festival will be shown out-of-competition. TFF is not a competitive festival.

For more information visit


I had a quickly pulled together list of the films announced as part of the Cannes Film Fest's lineup following its announcement last Thursday but I'm able today to provide significantly more analysis and images from friends around the interweb.

First, analysis.

Amne Thompson/Thompson on Hollywood:

Anne also includes the entire announcement press conference video as a part of her story.

Next, I reported on Thursday that there would be further films added to the lineup.  Kevin Jaegernauth of The Playlist says it could be as many as eight films added.  Look at his analysis here:

Jaegernauth references a Screen Daily post that I have re-linked here:

Now, images.  Between The Dissolve and The Playlist, here are some good posts that incorporate videos and photos for a number of the films that were announced on Thursday.  For stills, take a gander at this post from The Playlist:

The Dissolve has collected a number of trailers for selected films including: Garrone's "The Tale of Tales", Moretti's "Mia Madre", Kore-eda's "Our Little Sister", Sorrentino's "Youth"and others.  You can see those here:


Director/writer Mike Leigh announced his next project late this week and you can already mark it as a strong future Telluride possibility (and Cannes for that matter).   Leigh films have appeared frequently at TFF, earning him a spot in my list of "Usual Suspects".  Past Leigh TFF contributions include last year's "Mr. Turner" as well as "Another Year", "High Hopes", "Secrets and Lies" and "Happy Go Lucky".

Leigh's new film will focus on the Peterloo Massacre, an event not well known here in the states.  That event led the way to reforms in the structure of the government of Great Britain.  Leigh says he'll shoot the film in its appearance at Telluride is waaaayy...down the road, but count it as probable.

Here are stories about  Leigh's announcement from The Hollywood Reporter and The Playlist:

More on Thursday...

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Cannes Announces/"Jobs" is Done/"Suffragette" Teaser


Here's the complete list of films announced this morning for the Cannes Film Festival via Greg Ellwood at HitFix:

"Dheepan," (Working Title) Jacques Audiard
"A Simple Man," Stéphane Brize
"Marguerite and Julien," by Valérie Donzelli
"The Tale of Tales," Matteo Garrone
"Carol," Todd Haynes
"The Assassin," Hsiao-Hsien Hou
"Mountains May Depart," Jia Zhang-Ke
"Our Little Sister," Hirokazu Kore-Eda
"Macbeth," Justin Kurzel
"The Lobster," Yorgos Lanthimos
"My King," MaiWenn
"Mia Madre," Nanni Moretti
"Son of Soul," László Nemes
"Youth," Paul Sorrentino
"Louder than Bombs," Joachim Trier
"The Sea of Trees," Gus Van Sant
"Sicario," Denis Villeneuve
Midnight Screenings
"O Piseu (Office)," Hong Won-Chan
"Amy," Asif Kapadia
Special Selections
"Amnesia" Barbet Schroeder
"A Tale of Love and Darkness," Natalie Portman
"Panama," Pavle Vuckovic
"Oka," Souleymane Cisse
"Hayored Lema'Ala," Elad Keidan
Out of Competition
"Irrational Man," Woody Allen
"Asphalte," Samuel Benchetrit
"Mad Max: Fury Road," George Miller
"Inside Out," Pete Doctor and Ronaldo De Carmen
"The Little Prince," Mark Osbourne
Un Certain Regard
"Fly Away Solo," Neeraj Ghaywan
"Rams," Grímur Hakonarson
"Journey to the Shore," Kurosawa Kiyoshi
"I Am A Soldier," Laurent Lariviere
"The High Sun," Dalibor Matanic
"The Other Side," Roberto Minervini
"One Floor Below," Radu Muntean
"The Shamless," Oh Seung-Uk
"The Chosen Ones," David Pablos
"Nahid," Ida Panahandeh
"The Treasure," Corneliu Porumboiu
"The Fourth Direction," Gurvinder Singh
"Madonna," Shin Suwon

Jumping out to me as a Telluride junky are:

From the Palme d'Or competition titles:  "Dheepan", "The Tale of Tales", "Carol", "Macbeth", "The Sea of Trees" and "Sicario".

Also catching my eye is Barbet Schroeder's "Amnesia".

Ellwood says that other titles will likely be added next week including up to an additional two competition titles so stay tuned for that.

Cannes Analysis:



The Playlist:


On a different note, The Film Stage tweeted news this week that principal phtography has been completed on Danny Boyle's Steve Jobs biopic that stars Michael Fassbender as the APple founder.  The film is set for an October release so the news that it's "wrapped" means that it could have an appearance at Telluride.  Boyle was at T-ride previously with "Slumdog Millionaire" and "127 Hours".  Check the tweet from The Film Stage:


This week also saw the appearance of a  teaser for Sarah Gavron's "Suffragette".  The film looks to me like a moderately likely Telluride choice.  Check the teaser below via YouYube:

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

Monday, April 13, 2015

Cannes Announcement Looms/Smokehouse Adds to Its Stack

Good Monday to All...


We're just days away from the official announcement of films that will play at the Cannes film Festival-Apr. 16th is the day, and I thought I'd go back and re-post a number of the links to the Cannes speculation/prediction pieces that I have stumbled across over the last couple of months.  Included here are pieces from Variety, Screen Daily, The Hollywood Reporter, Hollywood News and The Playlist:

We know that The Coen Brothers will co-preside the Palme d'Or jury and that Isabella Rosselini (whose mother's visage is featured on the Cannes official poster for this year) will chair the Un Certain Regard jury.  Lots of questions to be answered Thursday.


George Clooney's production shingle, Smokehouse Pictures, has added a new film project to its list of titles.  The company has grabbed the film rights to the story of FBI body language expert Joe Navarro.  The book, and presumable film title is "Three Minutes to Doomsday".  

The acquisition is noticeable as Smokehouse was part of the production group behind Ben Affleck's 2012 Best Picture winner "Argo" which was a sneak preview at T-ride's 2012 soiree.  Smokehouse also has its share of two possible 2015 Telluride possibles:  David Gordon Green's "Our Brand is Crisis" and Jodie Foster's "Money Monster".

More on Thursday...

Thursday, April 9, 2015

A Look at "Every Thing..."/Future Telluride?: "Lion" and "American Honey"/Another Way of Looking at the Telluride-Cannes Connection

Good Thursday World...


Wim Wenders "Every Thing Will Be Fine" premiered at the Berlin Film Fest in February to modest reviews.  Still, because it's Wenders, it has to be considered a possible Telluride choice for this fall. This week's news was a trailer for the film that is included in this story from The Playlist:

The Playlist post also includes several stills from the film that stars James Franco, Rachel McAdams and Charlotte Gainsbourg.  The film has no U.S. distributor at this time.


Casting news for the feature film, "Lion"  directed by Garth Edwards comes from Variety.  It was announced this week that Rooney Mara would join the cast that already includes Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel.  Why is it on my "Future Telluride" list?  See Saw films is producing and The Weinstein Company is distributing.  That certainly doesn't mean it's a lock by any means, but See Saw and TWC both have had a healthy presence at Telluride in recent years.

The film is based on the true story "A Long Way Home" by Saroo Brierley.

Here's the story from Variety:


There was another bit of casting news this week for a film that could have Telluride in its future.  The makers of "American Honey", directed by Andrea Arnold, announced that Shia LeBeouf is on board for the film.  The link to a possible Telluride future is Arnold who was in Telluride in 2009 with her film "Fish Tank".  Among the films producers are Brit Production company Film4 which has also been represented on occasion at Telluride.

Variety also has the story:


If you've read this blog with some frequency, you're aware that, in most years, there is a significant crossover of films from Cannes to Telluride.  Here's another way to underscore that claim.

Awards Daily posted an examination of directors and their films at Cannes yesterday and the films/directors that they chose emphasizes the two fests connections.

Examples of Cannes Best Director prize winners and alternates that author Robin Write cites and that played both fests are:

"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"
"We Need to Talk About Kevin"
"Apocalypse Now"

Check the entire article here:

More on Monday...probably...

Monday, April 6, 2015

Hiddleston as Hank/Payne's Next Gig?/Now Waitful for The Hateful

Good Monday morning everyone,


We got word this week that Sony Pictures Classics has acquired the rights to distribute the Hank Williams biopic "I Saw the Light".  The film stars Tom Hiddleston as the as the country music legend.  It was written and directed by Marc Abraham.

The SPC acquisition sets "I Saw the Light" up as a possible Telluride film.  As regular readers of this blog are aware, SPC is usually a substantial presence at TFF.  Last year the fest programmed: "Mr. Turner", "Red Army", "Wild Tales", "Foxcatcher", "The Salt of the Earth"and "Leviathan" from the SPC stable so you have to think that this latest move means at least a chance that it will play.

Additionally, Abraham's only other feature film directing credit, 2008's "Flash of Genius" played the fest.  Also, SPC's tank isn't terribly full at the moment.  Looking at their list of films at IMDb, it seems that, at the moment the only other T-ride possible from them is "Elser" a film that played well at the Berlin fest a couple of months ago.

I have included three posts/stories about the SPC buy below:


Telluride regular Alexander Payne seems to be circling a new directing job.  Reports this week indicate that he has an interest in directing "Septillion to One" a romance set against the improbable true story of a multiple winner of the Texas lottery.

It has been thought that Payne's next film would be "Downsizing" but that seems uncertain in light of this latest set of stories.

Check these notes from The Playlist and The Wrap:


The Cortez Journal (.com) reported this week in a feature story that Quentin Tarantino's :The Hateful Eight" which has been filming near Telluride has had an unsurprisingly positive effect on Southwest Colorado area businesses.  Almost unnoticed in the story is the note that Tarantino's film (which had some delays due to weather issues) has wrapped.  As a result, we can begin to seriously speculate about the possibility that the film might be presented as a part of the TFF #42 lineup.  Keep a good thought.  The Cortez Journal article is here:

More on Thursday...

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Guess the Guest/Fox Searchlight and Malala/Steve McQueen's Next Gig:Not So Fast/"Suffragette" Has a Date/Wenders on "Salt of the Earth"


The 42nd Telluride Film Festival has named its Guest Director.  It's author Rachel Kushner.  Kushner continues a long line of literary choices that have been asked to Guest Direct the festival.  Past literary lions that have acted as Guest Directors are Salman Rushdie, Don DeLillo and Michael Ondaatje among others.  I have included the links to Telluride's official announcement as well as coverage from Variety, Thompson on Hollywood and The Wrap:


We found out this week that distributor Fox Searchlight has acquired the rights to the documentary about Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager that was nearly shot to death because she wanted an education.  The doc is called "He Named Me Malala".  The deal means that FS could have the film available for Telluride in September.  That's an interesting thought.  Coverage is here:


I reported in the last post that British director Steve McQueen had a project ready to go with "Gone Girl" scribe Gillian Flynn set to write the script.  Since Monday, The Playlist is reporting that McQueen will, instead, work on a television project for the BBC.  That story is here:

Of course, that doesn't mean that we won't see a McQueen selection this year or next.  It just may mean that TFF goes with a presentation of either this or his ongoing HBO project rather than a feature film.


We've been expecting that, after its non-appearance last year, that Sarah Gavron's "Suffragette" would likely be held for release until the fall awards season and that seems to be true as it was announced this week with an October 23rd release date.  The Screen Daily report, linked below, even speculates Telluride as a possibility.  I've also linked the report from Variety.

WENDERS ON SALT OF THE EARTH has a lengthy interview with director Wim Wenders about his Oscar nominated and TFF #41 presentation "The Salt of the Earth".  That's here:

That's all for now.  More on Monday.