Monday, August 31, 2015

Talking Tributes / The Echo Chamber / Pre-TFF #42 Assessment / What a Lineup! / Couple of Odds and Ends

It's the Monday before Telluride.  We start a week that'll go too slowly at the beginning and go too fast at the end.  Four days until SHOW!


So...who DO YOU THINK gets a tribute this year?  Last year's set was unusual from the perspective of the "Apocalypse Now" 35th anniversary tribute since it wasn't for a specific person though you could, of course point to Coppola.  (By the way...I still think we might see FFC show up this year with the "Distant Vision" experiment that he conducted here in my home state of Oklahoma. Wouldn't surprise me a bit).

TO remind...the other tributes last year were for actor Hilary Swank and director Volker Schlondorff.  In 2013 we saw the Coen Brothers with T. Bone Burnett, Robert Redford and Mohammad Rasoulof.

As I begin my serious casting about for possibilities I start with the list of possible guests that I posted a week ago (Monday, Aug. 24)...

It seems to me that among the directors that I listed that Guggenheim, Boyle and Haynes might all be possible candidates and maybe even writer Aaron Sorkin.

Among the acting types that are possible guests the best shots, to me anyway, would be Kate Winslet, Johnny Depp, Tom Courtenay (his "45 Years" co-star Charlotte Rampling was a 2005 Tributee), Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo.  I thought Keaton was a possibility last year with "Birdman". Cate Blanchett seems like a no-brainer for a tribute but is doing a play in Sydney, Australia so isn't a likely T-ride participant.

I also think a Quentin Tarantino tribute could take place with some scenes from "The Hateful Eight" being screened.

The truth is that I'm relatively sure that I have named two of the tributes in the lists above.  I have been sniffing around for the third and frankly I've heard one rumor that seems really surprising.  We'll see how that shakes out.

What are your best guesses?  Shoot me a Tweet, FB message, email and I'll pass some of those along over the next couple of days.


Jeff Wells/Hollywood Elsewhere was up with apiece over the weekend talking about the travails of plying his trade during the short window of the four day festival.  In the post Wells also runs through a number of films he suggest will be playing.  That list should look very familiar to readers of MTFB.

Wells names "Suffragette", "Steve Jobs", "Black Mass", "Spotlight", "Son of Saul", "Beasts of No Nation", "Carol", "Amazing Grace", "Marguerite", "Room" and "Hitchcock/Truffaut" as "presumably" (i.e. not confirmed) playing the fest.  He also lists "Anomalisa" as "probably" and "He Named Me Malala" as "maybe".

As I wrote above, sounds familiar doesn't it as every one of those films was on last week's "Ten Bets" (Plus Five) list.

We've reached that point where the pre-fest naval gazing seems to have become self-referential.  Still, it's always good to see some of the national press types saying the same things that I'm saying.

Wells complete article is here:


Sasha Stone at Awards Daily has posted a reflection on the upcoming awards season which gets underway this week with the double dose of Venice and Telluride.  She also might allude to a certain set of "bets" made at someone's blog.

Take a look at what she has to say here:

Meanwhile, David Poland and Movie City News have their first Gurus of Gold up for the Best Picture race and it is divided into three sections based on what's been seen, what's going to be seen in the run of Festivals and other films expected to make noise outside the festival run.

What I notice from these first takes is that we have a lot to look forward to this week if I'm anywhere close to right about what's going to play:

On Gurus list #1 (what's been seen) are "Carol" at #1, "Son of Saul" and "45 Years" get a mention.  From the fest list: "Steve Jobs", "Spotlight" and "Black Mass" at the #2, #3 and #4 spots respectively and "Suffragette" at #6.  Also making some noise on this list was "Room".

Of course the third Gurus list by definition excludes any probable or even possible TFF films though you know that "The Revenant" would play if were ready and I still think there's an outside shot at some footage of  "The Hateful Eight".  Also included in the "also receiving votes" category here are "The 33" and "Burnt" which might still raise their heads this week.

Check the entire lists here:


As many of you know, I will be compiling your film ratings from this year's festival.  As always, please send those along using a 1-5 scale.  I'll compile them and publish after the fest is all over.

I also ask some friends and acquaintances to share their ratings during the fest as well as The Professionals.  This year the list of folks who have a greed is outstanding and, I believe, the largest collection of "pros" that have ever agreed to share their ratings.  As I write on this Monday, the following have agreed to share (in alphabetical order by last name):

Nick Allen/Chicago Film Critics Assn. member/
Alex Billington/
David Ehrlich/Time Out New York
Greg Ellwood/HitFix
Scott Feinberg/The Hollywood Reporter
Eric Kohn/Indiewire
Tomris Laffly/Movie Mezzanine/Film Journal
Christopher Schiller/
Sasha Stone/Awards Daily
Kristopher Tapley/Variety/InContention
Anne Thompson/Thompson on Hollywood

I have to say, that's one fine group of human beings who know film and who have agreed to share with us.  Also, a shout out to David Ehrlich and Nick Allen who join the Merry Band for the first time.  I'd also like to tip my cap to Kris Tapley and Alex Billington who are doing this for me for the fourth consecutive year.


Reports this week that Justin Kurzel's "Macbeth" will have a limited release on Dec. 4.

Also, Guatemala announced that "Ixcanul" will be its choice for the Best Foreign Language Oscar. We think it might be a possible entrant for Telluride.

Peter Bogdonavich is on record this week saying Orson Welles' final unfinished film "The Other Side of the Wind", which caused quite a bit of response in this space a couple of weeks ago will be edited beginning next month.  Let us hope.

And finally, at the end of the week last week this form Vanity Fair, that I found hilarious..."10 Best Pickup Lines at the Telluride Film Festival":

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Ten Bets #10 (Plus Five) / "Black Mass" Background / New Trailer for "Malala" / All Hail "Macbeth"

Welcome to the last Friday before TFF #42 takes flight.  We have film in seven days!


I hope you've been following the "Ten Bets" progress throughout this summer.  It started back on June 26th with the first "Ten Bets" which looked like this:

10) "Queen of the Desert"
9) "Suffragette"
8) "Truth"
7) "45 Years"
6) "13 Minutes"
5) "I Saw the Light"
4) "Youth"
3) "Carol"
2) "Son of Saul"
1) "Dheepan"

As I post this morning, 4 of those films appear solid for next weekend in T-ride ("Son of Saul", "Carol", "45 Years" and "Suffragette").  Two others ("Queen of the Desert" and "13 Minutes") could still make the grade.  The other four appear to be off the Telluride table: "Truth", "I Saw the Light", "Youth" and "Dheepan" though I still think they were pretty good "Bets" back in June.

I also listed another 6-8 films that were "close" to the original ten bets and among those it looks good that we'll be able to see "He Named Me Malala" and "Black Mass".  Also still possible from that additional list is "Macbeth" and technically still possible is "In the Heart of the Sea".

Last week's "Ten Bets (plus Five) looked like this:

15) "Heart of a Dog"
14) "Rams"
13) "Hitchcock/Truffaut"
12) "Spotlight"
11) "Amazing Grace"
10) "45 Years"
  9) "Carol"
  8) "He Named Me Malala"
  7) "Steve Jobs"
  6) "Anomalisa"
  5) "Room"
  4) "Suffragette"
  3) "Beasts of No Nation"
  2) "Black Mass"
  1) "Son of Saul"

Here's this week's Ten Bets (Plus Five)

15) "Taxi"
14) "Marguerite"
13) "Hitchcock/Truffaut"
12) "Anomalisa"
11) "Amazing Grace"
10) "Room"
9)   "Spotlight"
8)   "45 Years"
7)   "He Named Me Malala"
6)   "Carol"
5)   "Steve Jobs"
4)   "Black Mass"
3)   "Suffragette"
2)   "Beasts of No Nation"
1)   "Son of Saul"

There are a few more films that I may add when I post the Final Ten Bets on Wednesday morning next week.


I ran across two interesting and informative stories about Scott Cooper's "Black Mass" featuring Johnny Depp as mob legend Whitey Bulger and thought I'd pass them along.  The first is an interview with Cooper himself from Anne Thompson/Thompson on Hollywood.  Anne will be one of the industry pros offering ratings to MTFB of the films that she sees at TFF #42.  Here's that interview:

Additionally, I also saw this interview with the head guys from Cross Creek Pictures which produced the film (and a couple of others this fall season.  The interview includes some discussion of "Black Mass" and star Depp:  


In a year where it seems that there will be at least a couple of other documentaries that I will have to try to get in ("Hitchcock/Truffaut" and "Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words") should they materialize, the doc I am most energized about is Davis Guggenheim's "He Named Me Malala" which focuses on the story of Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai.

That anticipation was stoked yesterday with the release of a new trailer for the film.

I have linked three stories with the new trailer embedded:


The Playlist:

Huffington Post:


I'm still holding onto the slim reed of hope that we might see Justin Kurzel's "Macbeth".  New posters appeared for the film yesterday and they just intensified my desire to see the new take on "The Scottish...Film".

Acting as a splash of cold water on those hopes was news that the director (Kurzel) and stars Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard's next project..which includes all three of them- "Assassin's Creed" is on the brink of beginning to film.  

Perhaps the entire crew will hold off until after Labor Day weekend and join us in the San Juans for a respite and a screening of their interpretation of the Bard's work...Keep Hope Alive!

I'll pass along some of the coverage from the last couple of days for the film and the new images/posters:


Just wanted to pass along that I could post during the weekend should circumstances warrant.  Check back her or check on Twitter and Facebook as I will post links there should a special post or two occur during the weekend.

Also, please consider joining other MTFB readers and rate the films you see next weekend for "The People's Telluride".  Rate films on a 1-5 scale and send those ratings to me via any of the contact methods below.

Have a fantastic weekend...

Please feel free to leave a comment or question here at the blog.

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

McCarthy Reveals "Marguerite"? / You Must Remember This / Speaking of New York... / New Posters for Jobs and Suffragettes / Calling Your Inner Critic

Thursday is here and one week from today, I should be in Telluride...Eight days until the Fest begins!

THIS DISCLAIMER...Remember, I'm just guessing at this.  No guarantees here.


Still from "Marguerite from the Venice Film Fest website

The Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy posted a very interesting read yesterday about the prospective awards season and the fall film slate.  The tenor of the article is that, in McCarthy's view, the season seems a bit tepid.  He then details a rundown of a large number of films and their positioning mostly as regards Toronto and Venice.  If you follow the awards season, it's worth the time.

If you follow this space, you probably are looking for clues about what we could see next week and McCarthy seems to tell us/confirm that Xavier Giannoli's "Marguerite" will play TFF #42.  McCarthy writes near the end of the piece that, "Marguerite director Giannoli has let it be known that he was forced by Toronto to chose between it and Telluride; he went with the latter".

Sounds to me like the film, which will premiere in Venice's competition section on Sept. 4 is now a good bet to be on our schedules next week.

"Marguerite" is described as a film that is set in 1921 and follows a woman who loves to sing but whose talent doesn't match that desire.  The description for the Venice program says that the film is loosely based on the life of American Florence Foster Jenkins.

For your further perusal:

The Todd McCarthy piece:

"Marguerite's" IMDb profile:

"Marguerite's" page from Venice's website:


Dan Callahan writing at reminded us a couple of days ago that the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Ingrid Bergman's birth is being marked by a live presentation the week after Telluride in Brooklyn featuring Isabella Rosselini and Jeremy Irons.

We also believe after the announcement from NYFF from earlier this week that "Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words" has a real shot at the Telluride lineup (check MTFB from Tuesday, Aug. 25).

So...I move that TFF #42 combines all of this so that Isabella and Jeremy can have a solid dress rehearsal and bring this all together for our education and enjoyment next week.  Also, as I said Tuesday...bring Alicia Vikander too.  Can I get a "Second"?

You might enjoy Callahan's lengthy piece here:


A couple of additional announcements yesterday continue to provide circumstantial evidence about films that I'm thinking are in the T-ride lineup.  NYFF announced the addition of "Son of Saul" as a special event as well as Laurie Anderson's "Heart of a Dog".  The lack of any delineation as to either film's premiere status is a tacit admission that both films will have their premiere within the United States somewhere else and Telluride is really the only candidate.  So it would seem the supposition that they'll play T-ride is further strengthened.

Here's the official announcement form the New York Film Fest:


We got new art for two films that seem to be all but certain to play in the San Juans next week.  "Steve Jobs" and "Suffragette" both had new looks:

 Linked here is the FirstShowing story for "Steve Jobs" which also reports that the conventional wisdom beyond this space is that the film will play Telluride:

And this story for "Suffragette" from Entertainment Weekly:


To add your voice and film ratings for the films you see at Telluride and be a part of MTFB's annual "People's Telluride" ratings.  Rate the films you see next week on a 1-5 scale with 1 being "Ghastly" and 5 being perfection.  Send them in to the contact info below:

Please feel free to leave a comment or question here at the blog.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Toronto's Final Word? / What's "Most Likely"? / Making "Steve Jobs" / Taking the Measure: Pre-Fest Awards Assessment / And Remember...

It's Hump Day with nine days left until the 42nd Telluride Film Festival launches...Make it go faster!


Barring some sort of surprise announcement, we now know all of the films that are scheduled to play the Toronto Film Fest on Sept. 10-20.  The last set of films was announced yesterday with what would seem to be very little impact in terms of telling us much of anything about what will show at The SHOW.

The only film to emerge from yesterday's TIFF announcement that may have some T-ride potential is "Ixcanul", The film is listed by TIFF as a Canadian Premiere and though it appears to have been screened in Mexico, that same set of circumstances does not seem to have prevented the probable screening of Jafar Panahi's "Taxi" next week.  So...

"Ixcanul" is directed by Jayro Bustamante and is from Guatemala and France in terms of origin.  TIFF's description says that it focuses on the lives of two young Mayan lovers who flee Guatemala for the U.S.  The film played Berlin and Karlovy Vary among other international fests and currently has no U.S. distribution per IMDb.  Here is "Ixcanul's" page there:

Does it play Telluride?  I put it's chances at 50/50.

Otherwise, as best as I can tell, no other new films seemed to be indicated by the TIFF press releases yesterday.


If you've been following along with this summer's progressive "Ten Bets" lists you're aware that I think we've got a pretty good idea of somewhere between 15-20 TFF #42 films (and, who knows?...I could be wrong about some of them).  What that also means is that there are likely 5-10 films that we haven't pinpointed so the question naturally arises...what's the best guess at what some of those might be?

Here's me least for now.

Sony Pictures Classics.  Are we really to believe that they will have one and only one film at TFF?  "Son of Saul" and that's all?  That'd be really hard to believe.  But the only other card they hold is "13 Minutes" maybe that makes it a "Most Likely".

Same calculus about The Weinstein Company...though slightly less dramatic.  They don't usually show at Telluride in the same force as one does.  TWC has "Burnt". "Tulip Fever" and"Macbeth" they could add to the almost certain "Carol".  also...we'll continue to dare to dream that we might be treated to some "Hateful Eight" footage.

Fox Searchlight has "Malala" likely at T-ride but not "Youth".  What's left? "A Bigger Splash"?  I've heard whispers that it's playing Venice and Venice alone.  So maybe Fox Searchlight plays "Malala" and that's all.

Herzog???  You still have to think "Queen of the Desert" shows up next week at The Zog.  "Salt and Fire" less likely, but not outside the realm of possibility.

"The Last Face"?  Maybe...River Road/Bill Pohlad producing...could get it into the lineup.

If Warners brings more than "Black Mass"?  "Creed"? "In the Heart of the Sea"? "The 33"?

Could the Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions/Saban gang bring "A Hologram for the King"?  "Genius", "The Sea of Trees"?  You could make some case for any or all.

Barbet Schroeder's "Amnesia"?

Some part of the touring Wim Wenders retropsective?

Also...still nagging at me "Secret in Their Eyes"...


Screen Crush focused an unusual article this week on Danny Boyle's "Steve Jobs".  The story details the unique approach that Boyle took with his actors and the intense involvement of screenwriter Aaron Sorkin.  I'm hoping that, in addition to Boyle, that actor Michael Fassbender and scribe Sorkin might be persuaded to attend the gathering next week.

Here's the story from Screen Crush (pulled from Collider):

And for hoots, the original Collider post is here:


It's a fool's game...peering into the uncertain film future of the next few months...but there are really smart people who do it.  So, prior to the first screening at Venice, which leads this whole "fall fest" season off, I thought I'd crunch a few numbers to see where the experts are in terms of anticipated Best Picture type films before we really get rolling.

To do that I focused on the experts that are already up at  I looked at each experts top five choices and did simple math from that point.

The entire list of experts (a dozen including Sasha Stone and Anne Thompson who will be part of the Professionals rating films for this blog next week in Telluride) with their lists of ten films apiece can be seen here:

Here's the consensus for Best Picture:

1) "The Revenant"
2) "Joy" (actually tied with "Revenant" tie broken by looking at 6-10 rankings)
3) "Carol" (#9 on my last "Ten Bets")
4) "Steve Jobs" (#7 on my last "Ten Bets")
5) "Bridge of Spies"
6) "The Hateful Eight" (footage please QT)
7) "The Danish Girl"
8) "Inside Out"
9) "Black Mass" (#2 on my last "Ten Bets")
10) "Mad Max: Fury Road"

Other probable Telluride 2015 titles that were in the Gold Derby convo for Best Picture:
"Son of Saul"
"45 Years"
"Beasts of No Nation"


For the fourth straight year Michael's Telluride Film Blog is asking you to join in rating the films you see at the fest.  I want your input as I gather your ratings on a 1-5 scale.  You can email them or tweet them or put them in a comment on this blog.  I'll compile and a week or so after the fest, I'll report to you what you, The People (The Peeps), thought about the films that play TFF #42.

I'll also be compiling ratings from some of the industry professionals that'll be in town for the festivities as well.  Included in this year's pros will be writers from Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, IndieWire, Awards Daily and more.

Please feel free to leave a comment or question here at the blog.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Latest Toronto News is Almost No News

With what purports to be their final announcement this morning, the Toronto International Film Festival added films to its Discovery and New Wave sections and the upshot of that is that it changed virtually nothing in as far as I can tell about Telluride's lineup.

In their Discovery section, TIFF listed a single International Premiere and two Canadian Premieres (which are the films that you want to examine if you're looking for Telluride clues).  The International Premiere is for Aussie film "Downriver" which has played down under so that accounts for its status.  The two Canadian preems are for "Ixcanul" which premiered at Berlin as well as a number of other fests including one in Mexico which presumably was its North American (although the whole "Taxi" situation explained in today's earlier post makes you wonder...) and "James White" which played Sundance.

One interesting omission was "Carol" which's Pete Hammond suggested yesterday would be playing TIFF:

But there was no announcement to that affect.  Also, a number of TIFF followers and fans were hoping that Guillermo Del Toro's "Crimson Peak" might be added and that didn't happen either.

So, from my cursory glance at this morning's information, it seems that nothing was added to the Telluride table and not much was precluded either.

More tomorrow...

Monday, August 24, 2015

Put the "Taxi" in Reverse / New York Doc Selections: More Clues? / Podcasts Forever / Winslet Talks "Jobs" / Final from Toronto Today / Rate Those Films

Welcome to Tuesday, August 25, 2015...Telluride happens in ten days...Bring it!


A couple of weeks ago, I had Jafar Panahi's :Taxi" as a likely film for T-ride.  Soon after I posted, however, I was nudged into discovering that the film had played at the Riviera Maya Film Fest in Mexico back in April.  Conclusion...not gonna play Telluride because it won't be a North American first screening.  Check out my post from Aug. 11...

But...thanks to the eagle eye and Twitter delivery of @nickallen_redux...I think we can go back to the original notion that "Taxi" may well be a TFF #42 choice.  Check the poster from The Film Stage:

Seems like very strong circumstantial evidence, as my lawyer friends might say, that "Taxi"...which I've been knocking about as a T-ride possibility since the Berlin Fest, is headed to the San Juans.   And I say "Yes!"

Panahi's courage to make films in the face of his governments dictate not to...humbling.

Check out "Taxi's' IMDb profile here:

And here's the link to the full story from The Film Stage:

And for fun...the trailer for the film from YouTube:


The New York Film Festival named a dozen films that will play as a part of the 2015 NYFF yesterday.  That entire post from The Film Society of Lincoln Center can be found here:

Of interest to Telluride film goers would be the three docs that were not designated as either a "World" or "North American" premiere.

"Ingrid Bergman: In Her Words" has been scheduled.  I wrote in this space back in June when that it sounded like a great fit for Telluride.  Now, by reading the NYFF announcement tea leaves, it looks like this could definitely happen.

I said in that earlier post that it would be great to have Isabella Rosselini on hand and while we're at it, bring in the hottest actress on planet Earth right now, Alicia Vikander who voices Bergman for the film...

Here's my take from my June 20th post:

And the trailer for the doc that was put together for Cannes:

IMDb profile:

Another doc that has no premiere designation from the NYFF announcement is "Troublemakers" The Story of Art and Land".  IMDb lists it as a 2014 project but also doesn't list it as having played anywhere up to now.

It's IMDb page is here:

The third doc with no preem designation (which indicates that NY can't list it as a U.S. premiere which gives rise to the theory that it could play Telluride first) is Frederick Wiseman's "In Jackson Heights".  However, Toronto has listed the film as a "North American" premiere which has been telling us that it would NOT be a Telluride choice.  Additionally, the film is set to World Premiere on Sept. 4 in Venice.   So, there is a bit of confusion here.

The Wiseman doc IMDb page is here:

My hunch is that the Bergman is on for Telluride, the Wiseman is not and the "Troublemaker/Art" doc is 50/50 to play.


Seems like everyone has a fall fest/awards assessment podcast up this week.  Here are links to:

Oscar Poker (Sasha Stone and Jeffrey Wells):

Awards Watch Oscar Podcast:

Screen Talk with Anne Thompson and Eric Kohn:


"Steve Jobs" trailer via YouTube

Entertainment Weekly posts this interview with Oscar winner Kate Winslet as she talks about Danny Boyle's "Steve Jobs" and her co-star in the film, Michael Fassbender.

 "Steve Jobs" currently sits at the #7 spot in my latest "Ten Bets" published in last Friday's post.


Reportedly the final reveal of films for the Toronto International Film Festival comes later today so check back here to see what else we learn from that and how it may pertain to TFF #42.


To add your voice and film ratings for the films you see at Telluride and be a part of MTFB's annual "People's Telluride" ratings.  Send them in to the contact info below:

Please feel free to leave a comment or question here at the blog.

Email me at or

Tweet/Follow at me @Gort2 on Twitter

You can also message me on Facebook (and "Like" me too)

Thinking About the Guests / More to Come from Toronto / Some Questions About "Amazing Grace" / Have You Thought About This? / Don't Forget

Welcome back from the weekend.  Hope you had a good one and now on to Monday  and another day closer to TFF #42!


I get to this point each year now, thinking that I've got a pretty good bead on a majority of what's likely to play at the festival and start to wonder about Tributes and Guests.  I'm still enough of a goon that I get excited about the possibilities of who my wife and I might get to meet, rub elbows with and inadvertently annoy in the four days of the festival.  Call me shallow...but it was a thrill to shake hands and have even a brief conversations with a number of the fests guests over the years.

So...who could make the trip to Telluride and pass you on the street or be eating next to you at 221 Oak or on the next bar stool at The New Sheridan Bar?

Looking at last week's "Telluride Ten Bets (Plus Five) here are the possible suspects...

Director-wise: Laurie Anderson, Davis Guggenheim, Todd Haynes, Danny Boyle (maybe he hauls screenwriter Aaron Sorkin with him), Charlie Kaufman (but I think co-director Duke Johnson is more likely) and Cary Fukunaga are the names that leap out to me.

Actor wise: from "Black Mass": Johnny Depp and Joel Edgerton (Cumberbatch is busy doing Hamlet on England.

"Beasts of No Nation": Idris Elba.  Also, I wouldn't be surprised to see the youngster that plays the lead: Abraham Attah.

"Suffragette": Carey Mulligan is preggers and so is an unlikely guest but maybe Helena Bonham Carter (she's been to the fest before in 2005 with "Conversations with Other Women") and if they really want to "wow" us, Meryl Streep (Who was at the fest in 1998 receiving a tribute and with "Dancing at Lughnasa").  Though, to be fair, her role is very small in the film...still, a guy can dream.

"Room": Brie Larson.  Maybe co-stars William H. Macy (at TFF in 2005 with "Edmond") and/or Joan Allen (who was at T-ride in 2004 with "Yes")

"Steve Jobs": Michael Fassbender could return to Telluride after being there two years ago with the crew from "12 Years a Slave".  Maybe any number of other cast members: Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels.

"He Named Me Malala":  I'm begging you TFF, bring Malala Yousafzai to Telluride.  It'd be like meeting Gandhi, Pope Francis, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu or the Dali Lama...once in a lifetime-level!

"Carol"  Cate Blanchett is doing a play in Australia.  I'm told that her show there is dark on Sunday...but it's Australia.  Maybe her co-star, Rooney Mara?

"45 Years": I wouldn't be completely shocked if both Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay made the trek.

"Spotlight": Lots of people that could make the trip: Michael Keaton (come on Mike...wanted you there last year with "Birdman"), Mark Ruffalo (who was in T-ride in 2003 with "My Life Without Me"), Stanley Tucci, Rachel McAdams, John Slattery, Liev Schreiber (who was in Telluride in 2005 with "Everything is Illuminated"), Billy Crudup (pf "Rudderless" fame(and who was at TFF in 1999 with "Jesus' Son")

In order of my level of begging to have their presence:

1) Malala
2) Streep
3) Fassbender
4) Keaton
5) Macy
6) Winslet
7) Boyle
8) Depp
9) Ruffalo
10) Mara

I've got a pretty good feeling for about 50% of this list.

As to some ideas...but let's see your speculation for a bit:  @BoomBoomChris suggests via Twitter that it might be Fassbender, maybe Tarantino with some "Hateful Eight" footage and Hitchcock.

The rest of you need to chime in...Who do you think might receive a tribute in Telluride in 2015?


I am reliably told by a reader who commented on my post from Wed., Aug. 19th that we will see the last announcement of films for the Toronto International Film Festival tomorrow.  Those last additions could still give us information to chew on regarding Telluride.  Maybe we'll see the addition to the TIFF slate of some of those films still unclaimed by Venice or New York.

The commenter says that TIFF still has films to add to its Discovery Section, "In Conversation With..." and may still add some titles to its Masters section.  Stay tuned for those developments.


Had an interesting query to the blog late Friday via the comment section (check Friday's 8/21 post) in which "Anonymous/filmbuff 83" asked me about reports that the Sidney Pollack documentary about Aretha Franklin filmed in 1972, "Amazing Grace" is "premiering" at Toronto.

I did my due diligence and responded as follows:

I'm very comfortable predicting "Amazing Grace" to play Telluride. The producer who finished the film at Sidney Pollack's request has been quoted as saying it is and the L.A. Times, which originally reported that it would premiere at Toronto has since gone back in a later story to say Telluride was likely. Further, Toronto lists it as an "International Premiere" meaning it will have played outside of Canada prior to its screening there. T-ride is really the only option for that to be true. Finally, Jeff Wells/Hollywood Elsewhere reported the Telluride play last night:

The appearance of the Wells piece came Friday night right in the of my due diligence.  It came in really handy.

Of course, Wells does mention, as I have, that the project has been in legal limbo for years due to Franklin's hesitance and that could still come into play between now and Labor Day...


I've been seeing mentions here and there for about the last week or so that its the 35th anniversary of Ken Burns' seminal documentary of the Civil War.  It occurs to me that we could see some sort of celebration of that 1990 T-ride presentation.

As evidence...Burns is already scheduled to do a public presentation hosted by the Telluride Historical Museum at The Palm on Aug. 30.

So it seems to me that they'll be ready to run some of the over 11 hour doc if the fest has a mind to do that.


To add your voice and film ratings for the films you see at Telluride and be a part of MTFB's annual "People's Telluride" ratings.  Send them in to the contact info below:

Please feel free to leave a comment or question here at the blog.

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Friday, August 21, 2015

Telluride Ten Bets (Plus Five) #9 / New Looks for Fukunaga's "Beasts of No Nation" / The Changing World of Online Film Writing / Rate TFF #42 Films!

We finally get to Friday...


Here's your weekly assessment of the ten most likely films for the Telluride Film Festival beginning with a reminder of last week's Ten Bets:

10) "Amazing Grace"
9) "He Named Me Malala"
8) "Steve Jobs"
7) "Suffragette"
6) "Carol"
5) "Room"
4) "Beasts of No Nation"
3) "Anomalisa"
2) "Black Mass"
1) "Son of Saul"

And now here's the ninth 2015 installment of Ten Bets (plus five)

15) "Heart of a Dog"
14) "Rams"
13) "Hitchcock/Truffaut"
12) "Spotlight"
11) "Amazing Grace"
10) "45 Years"
  9) "Carol"
  8) "He Named Me Malala"
  7) "Steve Jobs"
  6) "Anomalisa"
  5) "Room"
  4) "Suffragette"
  3) "Beasts of No Nation"
  2) "Black Mass"
  1) "Son of Saul"

I think I have one other film nailed down and that's the documentary "Tyrus" that I mentioned earlier this week.  After that...

I have a list of three documentaries that could make a play in Telluride: "A Young Patriot", "Sherpa" and "Winter on Fire".  

Here's the trailer for "A Young Patriot" via YouTube:

Here's a four and a half minute profile of "Sherpa" with director Jennifer Peedom:


And an image from "Winter on Fire":

IMDb pages for each are here...


Trailer for "Beasts of No Nation" via YouTube

 There's a good deal of buzz about Cary Fukunaga's "Beasts of No Nation" which is at the #3 spot on the latest "Ten Bets" list above.  I'm hearing that it may be hit with the same level of intensity as Steve McQueen's Best Picture Oscar winner "12 Years a Slave".  That's some pretty bold talk which I'd love to see pay off in a couple of weeks.

The Wrap put up a story this week which included a number of unified character posters.  I have re-posted them here:

You can peruse the entire post from The Wrap here:


It was a shock this week when Brad Brevet of Rope of Silicon posted that he was done.  I have linked to that sight for this blog many, many times and I am saddened that a resource that's has been useful for me and my readers disappears.  You can find Brevet's sign off here:

Meanwhile, on the same day, Kristopher Tapley, whose InContention recently departed from HitFix posted on the tenth anniversary of its founding and the fact that he's about to start his latest iteration at  Here's his meditation:

Sometimes I daydream about making this enterprise bigger...expanding to cover as many as 6-10 major film fests through the course of the year and their subsequent effect on awards season.  But then I look at the landscape and see how tough it is and think: "Buddy, you're just fine the way you are".

Glad there are some peeps who read me.

Speaking of Peeps...

For the fourth straight year Michael's Telluride Film Blog is asking you to join in rating the films you see at the fest.  I want your input as I gather your ratings on a 1-5 scale.  You can email them or tweet them or put them in a comment on this blog.  I'll compile and a week or so after the fest, I'll report to you what you, The People (The Peeps), thought about the films that play TFF #42.

I'll also be compiling ratings from some of the industry professionals that'll be in town for the festivities as well.  Included in this year's pros will be writers from Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, IndieWire, Awards Daily and more.

That's a wrap for Friday, Aug. 21, 2015.  Enjoy the weekend and come back Monday for more MTFB!

Please feel free to leave a comment or question here at the blog.

Email me at or

Tweet/Follow at me @Gort2 on Twitter

You can also message me on Facebook (and "Like" me too)

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Takin' Care of Business / Trailering "Amazing Grace" / Official "Spotlight" Poster and EW Interview / Burning Questions / Peeps and Pros...Be a Peep!

It's Thursday!


I've always got new details to deal with or clean up the day after a major film fest announcement and that isn't any different today following Toronto's final and massive release of films that they have scheduled that happened yesterday.  So, a couple of things...

First, an anonymous commenter pointed out after yesterday's post went up that Toronto has listed "The Treasure" as a North American premiere...which, if true, implies that it won't be a Telluride play.  That contrasts with how the film was announced by the New York Film Fest last week-absent any premiere designation which implies that it will have played somewhere in the United States before NYFF.  Telluride is pretty much the only option.

Both things cannot be true so something has to give.  I have no real intuition which way this goes either but I'm not completely writing off its chances of showing up in T-ride in a couple of weeks.

Linked here are the relevant sections from both TIFF and NYFF where you'll see the premiere designation or lack thereof:

We also discovered yesterday, through good friend Christopher Schiller, that director Mark Cousins "Atomic" will play at the Cambridge Film Fest in England.  That fest runs from Sept. 3-13 so it does overlap Telluride's entire run.  Cousins film is scheduled to run there on Sept. 4 and 11.  I have no real idea if that absolutely means that Cousins is not attending Telluride but it sure means it's less likely.

Here's the Cambridge Film Fest program:

Final notes for this segment...I had some "behind-the-scenes" convos last night about an item or two of interest that I'll pass along for your consumption.  Although I still think it's very solid for Telluride, there is some concern about whether "Carol" will actually play.  Additionally, some of us are starting to think on terms of Tributes...and that could get interesting.

If you have any thoughts...pass them along using any of the contact methods below.


We're still not 100% certain that this lost 40 year old documentary of a live performance from an in-her-prime Aretha Franklin is going to male it to Telluride.  We think so.  The producer is on record as saying so...but we also know that there could be legal issues.  Right this moment, I'm cautiously optimistic.

It's also set to play Toronto which has led to this release of a trailer for the film and here it is from YouTube:

And the story for its release from The Playlist here:


Now that I've gone over to the "Spotlight will play The SHOW" amp, here's the Entertainment Weekly official rollout of the poster for that film starring Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Stanley Tucci, Billy Crudup and John Slattery.  The film is directed by Tom McCarthy.  EW interviews him for the story that you can find here:

And if you haven't caught it yet, here's the current trailer for the film via YouTube:


The Wrap was up with an article yesterday asking nine "burning questions" about the fall/winter film and awards season and the films that will play as apart of that.  Many of them involve, s you might expect, films that are probable for our little shindig in the San Juans in two weeks time.  Films like "Steve Jobs":

Trailer for "Steve Jobs" via YouTube

Check out the article here with special attention on The Questions of Telluride Relevance: #1 (Black Mass), #2 (Steve Jobs), #3 (Carol) and #8 (The 33).


For the fourth straight year Michael's Telluride Film Blog is asking you to join in rating the films you see at the fest.  I want your input as I gather your ratings on a 1-5 scale.  You can email them or tweet them or put them in a comment on this blog.  I'll compile and a week or so after the fest, I'll report to you what you, The People (The Peeps), thought about the films that play TFF #42.

I'll also be compiling ratings from some of the industry professionals that'll be in town for the festivities as well.  Included in this year's pros will be writers from Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, IndieWire, Awards Daily and more.

That'll be a full bag for Thursday...Check back tomorrow for an UPDATED "TEN BETS" LIST...It may have (probably will have) more than 10 films.

Please feel free to leave a comment or question here at the blog.

Email me at or

Tweet/Follow at me @Gort2 on Twitter