Thursday, April 28, 2016

Snowden Revealed (the Trailer and a Poster Anyway) / More view of The Salesman

It's Thursday!  Hope you've had a good week.


Producers of Oliver Stone's delayed Snowden dropped a trailer this week.  Here it is via YouTube:

The case for Snowden to make the Telluride playlist for this Labor Day is not bad.  Stone has been in Telluride previously, albeit a good long time ago- 19 years with U-Turn.  The films distributor is Open Road which hit it big time last year in Telluride with Best Picture Oscar winner Spotlight.  That also bodes well.

Production Company Vendian Entertainment had Black Mass at Telluride last year as well.

The film's release has been delayed until Sept. 16th...putting it in the Telluride window.  I actually think a Venice, Telluride, Toronto play is a possibility.

In addition to the trailer, we also got the first look at a poster for the film from The Film Stage too:

Here's a ton of coverage of the film that accompanied it"s trailer release this week:


We got some additional stills from Asghar Farhadi's recently Cannes competition film The Salesman this week from The Film Stage.

The Salesman seems like a likely addition for Telluride's list too as Farhadi's previous Cannes chosen efforts, A Separation and The Past also made appearances at Telluride.

Here are the views we've seen thus far:

The article from The Film Stage that accompanies the new images does suggest that the long held theory that the film might be based, in some way, on Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman seems not to be the case.  Here's the link to the story:

The Salesman currently has no U.S. distribution.

More to come on Monday.  Have a great weekend.

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Variety's Tapley Talks Telluride and Makes a Few Guesses / Farhadi Joins Cannes Competition Lineup

Good Monday Everyone.  Thanks for taking the time to take a look at Michael's Telluride Film Blog


Variety's awards co-editor Kristopher Tapley posted an intriguing piece late last week that talked about the rapidity with which The 43rd sedition of TFF sold out of passes.  Tapley analyzes some of what he sees as reasons for the quick sell out.

He also takes a some time to take a very, very preliminary look at some titles that he thinks might make the lineup over Labor Day weekend.  Some surprises included:

Ang Lee's Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
Asghar Farhadi's The Salesman
Garth Davis' Lion
Gavin O'Connor's The Accountant
Andrea Arnold's American Honey
The Dardennes' The Unknown Girl 
Nate Parker's Birth of a Nation

That last, of course was a Sundance hit but has already fairly warmly rumored to be a Telluride possibility.  Both Tapley and The Hollywood Reporter's Scott Feinberg have now mentioned the possibility.

Check Tapley's entire article here:

As we expected, the Cannes Fest added seven new films to various programs for next months 69th iteration.  Among the was Asghar Farhadi's The Salesman which was added to the Palme d'Or competition lineup.  The addition bodes well, I think, for Farhadi to make a third appearance at Telluride after successful runs there with A Separation and The Past.

I have linked three stories about the additions which also include the new film from David Mackenzie, He'll or High Water which has been added to the Un Certain Regard section.  Mackenzie's Starred Up played Telluride to wide acclaim in 2013 and this UCR selection could foreshadow a return for him this year.

The stories:

That's it for this Monday...more to come on Thursday.

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Parsing Cannes' Director's Fortnight / Calling All Film Makers / Awards Daily Talks Telluride

Good Thursday everyone.  Cannes starts in three weeks...


The last major segment of films for the 69th Cannes Film Fest was announced earlier this week as the fest announced films selected for its Director's Fortnight program.  The films that seemed to have the most initial Telluride potential (based on past T-ride selections) would seem to be:

Paul Schrader's Dog Eat Dog
Pablo Larrain's Neruda and
Alejandro Jodorowsky's Endless Poetry 

I have linked coverage of the Director's Fortnight announcement from Indiewire here:

Meanwhile, I missed this last week.  Director Eran Korilin, who appeared at Telluride in 2007 with The Band's Visit has new film in the Un Certain Regard section, which, because of the reception Band's Visit received nine years ago, must be considered a serious SHOW prospect.  The film is titled Beyond the Mountains and the Hills.


The word went out earlier this week...The Telluride Film Festival has opened its film submission period.  Here's the text of the announcement:

BERKELEY, CA – Telluride Film Festival (September 2-5, 2016), 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, 2016. Film Entry Form is available on the TFF website:
 Shorts and student film submissions must be received no later than 5:00 PM, July 1, 2016. Feature film submissions must be received no later than 5:00 PM, July 15, 2016. All submissions must have been completed after July 15, 2015 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, 2016. 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

So...hey...If you've got a film's your invitation.


Awards Daily's Sasha Stone posted a detailed piece yesterday focusing on four film fests and their Oscar footprint: Telluride, Cannes, Venice and Toronto.  It's interesting and says a number of the same things that I write in this space from time to time.  Take a look:

That's a wrap for Thursday.  More to come on Monday...have a great weekend.

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Monday, April 18, 2016

A Weekend of Telluride Speculation / Continuing to Look at Cannes

Good Monday to All...


Over the weekend I was in the midst of a good deal of Telluride speculation.  Fueled by mentions on Twitter and a couple of posts from various sources some very interesting and unlikely film titles made up the basis for the weekend's T-ride musings.

A Scott Feinberg/Hollywood Reporter piece about Cannes films and their Oscar potential included a Telluride reference late in the article that Sundance critical darlings Birth of a Nation and Manchester are "rumored" to be playing at Telluride.

If true, that would violate Telluride's "North American premiere" rule, although the fest has occasionally allowed that to happen in rare cases before.

I'm dubious but Feinberg has better ears on the ground than I ever will.  Check his post here:

Birth of a Nation teaser via YouTube

The other news of note focused on an interview with Cannes Artistic Director Theirry Fremaux with Screen Daily.  Fremaux talked about films that didn't make the Cannes lineup including a reference to Oliver Stone's Snowden.  Fremaux suggests that Snowden distributor Open Road is opting for a "different strategy" despite the fact that Fremaux says that Cannes would have liked to have the film.

Snowden's current release date is Sept. 16.

All of which suggests, at least to me, that we need to take the possibility of a Snowden screening at Telluride seriously.

The Fremaux interview is here:


Jeff Nichol's Loving

I have included here a couple of "Cannes breakdown" articles that seek to provide analysis about the films selected for the 69th edition of that festival:

That's it for this Monday...more on Thursday...

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

69th Cannes Film Festival Announces Its Lineup / Maybe No Warren

Good Thursday Everyone and MTFB is back.

After an unplanned layoff, I'm back in the saddle to post this Thursday and glad to be back.


Here is the lineup announced from Thierry Fremaux in Cannes from early this morning (via Awards Daily):

Opening Night Film
Cafe Society – directed by Woody Allen
Toni Erdmann – directed by Maren Ade
Julieta – directed by Pedro Almodovar
American Honey – directed by Andrea Arnold
The Unknown Girl – directed by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
Personal Shopper – directed by Olivier Assayas
It’s Only The End Of The World – directed by Xavier Dolan
Ma Loute – directed by Bruno Dumont
Paterson – directed by Jim Jarmusch
Rester Vertical – directed by Alain Guiraudie
Aquarius – directed by Kleber Mendonca Filho
Mal de Pierres – directed by Nicole Garcia
I, Daniel Blake – directed by Ken Loach
Ma’Rosa – directed by Brilliante Mendoza
Loving– directed by Jeff Nichols
Bacalaureat – directed by Cristian Mungiu
Agassi – directed by Park Chan-Wook
The Last Face – directed by Sean Penn
Sieranevada – directed by Cristi Puiu
Elle – directed by Paul Verhoeven
The Neon Demon – directed by Nicolas Winding Refn
Un Certain Regard
Varoonegi – directed by Behnam Behzadi
Apprentice – directed by Boo Junfeng
Voir Du Pays – directed by Delphine Coulin and Muriel Coulin
La Danseuse – directed by Stephanie Di Giusto
Clash – directed by Mohamed Diab
La Tortue Rouge – directed by Michael Dubok de Wit
Fuchi Bi Tatsu – directed by Fukada Koji
Omar Shakhsiya – directed by Maha Haj
Me’Ever Laharim Vehagvaot – directed by Eran Kolirin
After The Storm – directed by Kore-Eda Hirokazu
Hymyileva Mies – directed by Juho Kuosmanen
La Large Noche de Francisco Sanctis – directed by Francisco Marquez & Andrea Testa
Caini – directed by Bogdan Mirica
Pericle Il Nero – directed by Stefano Mordini
The Transfiguration – directed by Michael O’Shea
Captain Fantastic – directed by Matt Ross
Uchenik – directed by Kirill Serebrennikov
Outside Competition
The BFG – directed by Steven Spielberg
Money Monster – directed by Jodie Foster
The Nice Guys – directed by Shane Black
Gok Sung – directed by Na Hong-Jin
Special Screenings
Gimme Danger – directed by Jim Jarmusch
The Train to Busan – directed by Yeon Sang-Ho
A Chad Tragedy – directed by Mahamat-Saleh Aroun
The Death of Louis XIV – directed by Albert Serra
L’Ultima Spiaggia – directed by Thanos Anastopolous and Davide Del Degan
Exile – directed by Panh Rithy
Le Cancre – directed by Paul Vecchiali

Some random thoughts regarding the announced films Telluride...remember that Cannes and TFF commonly share seven-ish films by average and that usually the majority of the films come from the competition slate.

Competition films that would seem to have the most likely chance of making the Telluride lineup are:

Arnold's American Honey
The Dardennes' The Unknown Girl
Assasyas" Personal Shopper 
Dolan's It's Only the End of the World
Nichols' Loving
Mungiu's Bacalaureat (Family Photos)
Penn's The Last Face

As of today none of the titles from Un Certain Regard or the Out of Competition or Special Screening selections jump out as big possibilities.  That could change when Cannes kicks off on May 11th.  We could also see  some titles show up in the Directors Fortnight that could intrigue T-ride programmers.


There was a good deal of speculation this week regarding the Warren Beatty Howard Hughes project. Reports that it was done.   Reports that it was NOT bound for Cannes but could be looking at the fall fests (intriguing!!!) and finally, word purportedly from Beatty himself that seems to cast doubt on ANY fest screening.  The last coming from ShowBiz411 quoting Beatty's response to a "fall festival" question with the response "Why would I want to do that?" seems Beatty is either playing a bluff or...the film won't play any fest (most likely).  Perhaps Beatty might not regard New York or AFI a "fall fest; which might allow either of those fests to screen the film.

But taken at face value, it doesn't sound like the highly anticipated film will be at Telluride or anywhere else for that matter.

Here's the coverage from ShowBiz411:

 That's all for Thursday...come back for more on Monday...

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Monday, April 11, 2016

My Apologies


I have to apologize to everyone for not posting on the regular Monday, Thursday schedule this last week'  I've been consumed by directing the Oklahoma State Speech and Debate Tournament while simultaneously dealing with a particularly nasty bout of strep throat.  It's been a....challenge.

So, sorry friends, MTFB has missed a couple of deadlines.  I won't miss the next one.  MTFB returns on Thursday with its regularly scheduled post.

Hope it hasn't been an inconvenience.


Monday, April 4, 2016

Signs and Suppositions: From the Moon to The Lost City / Kickstart Key Transitions

Good Monday Peeps...


Two bits of news that could portend films that I've really kept off the TFF #43 radar so far this early spring.  The first is focused on the Nicole Garcia film From the Land of the Moon starring Marion Cotillard.  Word came this week that the film had been acquired for U.S. distribution by Sundance Selects which (along with its partner IFC Films) has had a significant presence at Telluride over the years including such recent films as: 45 Years (last year), Seymour: An Introduction, Two Days One Night (the last Cotillard film that was screened at TFF) and Blue is the Warmest Color.

The acquisition by Sundance Selects is the biggest reason I think that the film could show at The SHOW.  Here's coverage from Variety:

Meanwhile, over the weekend we saw what The Film Stage characterized as a "sales trailer" drop for James Gray's The Lost City of Z.  Although The Lost City doesn't necessarily strike me as a Telluride film...I have been waiting for a James Gray project to show up at Telluride since 2012.

Gray was in Telluride that year and showed a few scenes from The Immigrant as a part of the tribute to Marion Cotillard that year.  I have also reported in the past that Gray has attended TFF's soring party in Los Angeles.

Finally both The Film Stage and The Playlist (stories linked below) suggest a "fall film festival" appearance is likely.  The Playlist speculates Venice.

So...maybe The Lost of City of Z gets found over Labor Day weekend in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado.  Check the story and trailer here:


Friend of MTFB Christopher Schiller has completed his short film project Key Transitions.  Schiller directed and wrote the film.  I suspect he did any number of other jobs in getting the film to completion.

Schiller has established a Kickstarter account to raise funds to "enhance its festival exposure". That seems like a more than worthy here:

MTFB heartily endorses Key Transitions.  Drop a dime or two...

Here's the trailer for Key Transitions via YouTube:

That'll be a wrap for Monday's blog post.  Come back for more on Thursday...

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