Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Re-Visiting Films from Warner Brothers / Free Fire to Close London / FFC's Distant Vision

Good Tuesday friends...


I've written it a number of times, Warner Brothers has become a strong presence at Telluride over the past four years.  Beginning with the Oscar winning run for Ben Affleck's Argo in 2012.  They followed that in 2013 with Gravity (another Oscar heavy hitter) and Prisoners.  They weren't in T-ride in 2014 but returned last year with Black Mass.

Last week in his overview of Oscar in relation to the first wave of Toronto announcements and the Venice announcements, Variety's Kristopher Tapley wrote this:

"Getting back to Telluride, which sold out passes in record time this year, Warner Bros. has leveraged the fest in the past with films like “Argo,” “Gravity” and “Black Mass.” This year the studio has Gavin O’Connor’s “The Accountant” slated for the same early-October release granted to “Argo” and “Gravity”; Clint Eastwood’s “Sully” primed for release immediately after the festival concludes; and Ben Affleck’s “Live By Night” on the backstretch with an expected December qualifying run. Certainly they’ll come with something."

It's that last sentence that stands out.  He seems confident that WB will be back to Telluride this year. Problem is that none of the bog three WB possibilities seems like a strong candidate though there could be an under the radar player or two.

The Accountant stars Ben Affleck and is set to open Oct. 14. That's the right date but almost no one seems to think it's a Telluride-type film.

The Tapley post is here in its entirety:


The Accountant's second official trailer via YouTube

Sully stars Tom Hanks and is set to open almost immediately after TFF is over-Sept. 9.  That's essentially the same lead time that they took last year with Black Mass (9/18).   Director Clint Eastwood has been to Telluride before.  But, again, there are issues.  It's a really short time between T-ride and the open, Eastwood has lately avoided fall fests and last week Venice artistic director Alberto Barbera revealed in an interview with Screen Daily that:

"I’m sorry Warner Bros is missing this year because they have been our most dependable partner in recent years. I tried to get Sully, but it was simply not convenient for them as Clint Eastwood wouldn’t be coming and Tom Hanks would’ve been too busy promoting Inferno. That is my biggest and only regret this year."

So that doesn't bode well.

The Barbera interview is here:


Finally, there's Ben Affleck's other WB film, the one he's directing.  The adaptation of Dennis Lehane's Live by Night.  The film may be positioned for awards consideration.  The reason we think that is that WB moved off of its original release to Jan. 13th.  Many are thinking that WB may well try to get the film a qualifying run in December.

I've heard that it's being test screened which would suggest that there is some nearly complete version but all of that is also pretty murky to hang your hat on for a guess at a Telluride berth.

Then there are a couple of wild cards.  One is a highly anticipated big name film: Collateral Beauty starring Will Smith and Kate Winslet.  It's directed by David Frankel and has a Dec. 16th release date.

The other is a smaller film that nonetheless has gained some pre-awards notice.  The Yellow Birds stars maybe the hottest young actor on the planet right now, Alden Ehrenreich and there is some awards buzz for his co-star Jennifer Aniston.  The Yellow Birds does not have an announced release date and IMDb seems to be torn as to whether it could appear in 2016 or 2017.  IMDb lists both films as being in post production with the last update for Collateral Beauty listed as April 22 and for The Yellow Birds it's Jan. 30.

Maybe one of these films shows up in September.


Brie Larson in Free Fire (The Playlist)

We found out yesterday that Ben Wheatley's Free Fire would close the London/BFI Fest on Pct. 16.  The film was announced as an European premiere.  I haven't been thinking seriously about the Wheatley film as a Telluride candidate but the European Preem designation got me to thinking...could it be T-ride bound?

The film's first screening must already be scheduled somewhere besides Europe and that points to one of three fests: Telluride, Toronto and/or New York.  It could play one of those fests or any combination of them.

The greatest chance is a spot in the as yet unannounced field of the still 200+ titles that TIFF has yet to announce.  They're set to announce another batch tomorrow although it is my belief that they will focus on Canadian films then.

Of course, the film is distributed from A24 and stars Brie Larson which matches the same characteristics as a film from last year that you may recall: Room.

I'm still expecting A24 to have a presence at Telluride with Barry Jenkins Moonlight but the presence of Larson and Telluride can't be ruled out (at least yet) because of the success that Room experienced last year.

Coverage of the London announcement is here:





FFC Works on Distant Vision (The Film Stage)

I have mentioned a couple of times that I believe that it is very possible that Francis Ford Coppola might return to Telluride this year to demonstrate, talk about, show his latest experiment in what he calls " kind of hybrid".  He also calls it "live cinema".  The project is named Distant Vision and Coppola has tackled a version of it twice now.  Once in Oklahoma City and most recently at UCLA.

I wouldn't be completely surprised if TFF #43 included a small demonstration of the project during the fest.

The Film Stage took a peak at what Coppola's been doing last week.  That story is here:


And a video of FFC at work and describing the project is here:


That's it for Tuesday.  Come back tomorrow for more...

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