Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Goodbye Gene / Una Busted / Oscar and Fall Film Anticipation / Reminders

Welcome to a bleaker Tuesday because Gene Wilder is gone...


Gonna take a moment here that's Telluride unrelated but not really.  If part of what the Telluride Film Fest is supposed to be a celebration of the greatness of cinema past, then it's altogether appropriate that we mark the passing  great in this space.

We all learned yesterday that the great Gene Wilder had died from complications associated with Alzheimer's.  Like millions (and that's no hyperbole) it broke my heart.

Wilder was at the center of two films that absolutely the form the core of what I think a comedic film can be: Blazing Saddles (which I have said before, I don't think anyone, even Mel Brooks could get made today) and Young Frankenstein, which for my money is the funniest film comedy made in my lifetime and which Wilder co-wrote.

He and other great roles as well, The Producers and Willy Wonka are the two that come most quickly to mind.  And don't forget that half great half not-so-great partnership with Richard Pryor.

Huge, fun films that would be fundamentally different if some other actor played those roles (Remember that Wilder was not the originally cast Waco Kid in Blazing Saddles, that was supposed to have been Gig Young...really...try to imagine that).

And one of my favorite little nodules about Wilder...he was the original Billy Bibbitt in the 1963 Broadway production of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest that starred Kirk Douglas as R.P. McMurphy, Ed Ames as Chief Bromden and William Daniels as Harding. The mind reels.

We lose famous and notable people every day.  People that have entertained, educated and inspired us and it's easy to get inured to those losses.  But Gene Wilder is in a different, more rarefied category.  You could see it and feel it online when the news broke: an immense outpouring of loss and grief and remembrance.

I wonder if he knew how much he was loved.  I'd like to think he did.


Quite a bit of furor over the interwebs yesterday morning as Screen International/Screen Daily posted its thought-to-be-embargoed review for Una.  The post was labeled a "Telluride Review".

The post/link disappeared fairly quickly but not until after it had caused a good deal of hubbub about the embargo breach.

Here's the original Tweet:

But very quickly, this is what you found at the end of that link:

The other ramification, of course, is that it confirms that Una is on the TFF #43 lineup that will be announced on Thursday.

Una is a drama based on David Harrower's play Blackbird that was recently revived on Broadway starring Michelle Williams and Jeff Daniels.  The film version features Rooney Mara and Ben Mendelsohn.


Two big previews were published yesterday.  Todd McCarthy's Hollywood Reporter piece about anticipated fall films that included mention of a number of expected Telluride titles and McCarthy signals expectations of a Telluride play for some of them. and Vulture.com makes some pre-fall fest Oscar predictions that may give us an insight into how substantial TFF #43 might be on the upcoming awards season.  First the McCarthy/THR piece.

McCarthy singles out Damien Chazelle's La La Land and Denis Villenueve's Arrival as probable Telluride plays.  He also says Sully is "heavily rumored" for Telluride.  McCarthy also says Francois Ozon's Frantz "looks to be set at all the festivals" (which includes T-ride).  He then runs off a list of films that I'm expecting to play TFF: Moonlight, Una (see above), The B-Side, Into the Inferno and Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall...

Also included in that list is the music doc I Called Him Morgan which leads me to think that McCarthy is signaling that it could be a Telluride play as well.  I mentioned I Called Him Morgan as a Telluride possibility back a couple of weeks ago (Aug. 15) along with Beauties of the Night, Chasing Trane and American Anarchist.  Morgan, Trane and Beauties were also mentioned here as possibilities on Aug. 10 in a post including TIFF announcement analysis that also suggested The Ivory Game, Water and Sugar and India in a Day.  Could be that some of these make the Telluride program too.

McCarthy's THR piece is Here

Meanwhile, Kyle Buchanan at Vulture.com takes a stab at predicting six major Oscar categories. Here's the expected Telluride players in each:

Best Picture: Moonlight (which some predict gets a boost from the Nate Parker/Birth of a Nation rape controversy), Manchester by the Sea.  He also mentions Sully, Bleed for This and La La Land.

Best Director: Eastwood/Sully, Chazelle/La La Land, Lonergan/Manchester, Jenkins/Moonlight all have a shot

Best Actor: Casey Affleck/Manchester, Tom Hanks/Sully, Ryan Gosling. La La Land, Miles Teller/Bleed for This

Best Actress: Amy Adams/Arrival, Emma Stone/La La Land, Isabelle Huppert/Things to Come

Best Supporting Actor: Aaron Eckhardt/Bleed for This

Best Supporting Actress: Michelle Williams/Manchester, Naomie Harris/Moonlight, Janelle Monae/Moonlight

Check out all of Buchanan's meditation at this link: Vulture


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