Friday, June 23, 2017

The Distributors: Lionsgate Roadside and Saban / New Looks at Blade Runner 2049 / Marshall Has a Trailer

Good first Friday of summer 2017.


THE DISTRIBUTORS: LIONSGATE, ROADSIDE AND SABAN



Lionsgate, Roadside Attractions and Saban Films are an affiliated group of companies that have had an interesting and steadily successful run at Telluride over the past few years.  Their list of films that have played have featured the following films:

2010: Biutiful
2011: Albert Nobbs
2012: Stories We Tell
2013: All is Lost, Gloria
2014: '71, The Homesman, Mommy
2015:
2016: La La Land

Lionsgate has Stephen Chbosky's Wonder starring Julia Roberts and David Gordon Green's Stronger with Jake Gyllenhaal which could both be looking at fall film fest slots.

Wonder is based on the novel by R.J. Placio and also features young actor Jacob Tremblay who charmed Telluride in Room in 2015.  Stronger is the true life tale of one of the survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.

At the moment neither Roadside Attractions or Saban appear to independently have a film that would seem to be a Telluride possible.

Chances:

Wonder 35%
Stronger 30%.



NEW LOOKS AT BLADE RUNNER 2049



We got new glimpses yesterday of Denis Villenueve's Blade Runner 2049.  The film still seems like a stretch to me for TFF #44 but not a complete impossibility.

Here's the featurette via YouTube:


I've also linked some coverage from FirstShowing as well as from Indiewire.




MARSHALL HAS A TRAILER



I haven't gotten to a review of distributor Open Road Films yet (and I will eventually) but they made news this week with the release of a trailer for the biopic Marshall.  The film follows a crucial event in the life of a young Thurgood Marshall.  Chadwick Boseman stars as the young lawyer who would one day sit as a member of the Supreme Court.


Here's the trailer from YouTube:




The film is directed by Reginald Hudlin and is set to open on Oct. 13th.

I have linked stories related to the release of the trailer below:






That's your Friday.

More to come on Monday.

EMAIL:  mpgort@gmail.com OR michael_speech@hotmail.com

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Familiar TFFer Will Lead Us / The Distributors: A24 / Adding to Tuesday's Fox Searchlight Analysis

Good Thursday Film Fans!


A FAMILIAR TFFer WILL LEAD US



If you're as glued to Twitter as I usually am and you pay attention to Telluride Film news via that media, then you almost certainly already know that Telluride #44 has a Guest Director.

The word came via press release email yesterday that director Joshua Oppenheimer will Guest Direct for the 2017 edition of TFF.

Ironically, I mentioned Oppenheimer's first appearance at Telluride in last Tuesday's post as a part of my TFF history retrospective.  Tuesday's review was for the 24th TFF in 1997.  Oppenheimer presented The Entire Story of the Louisiana Purchase that year.

Most recently he has presented both The Look of Silence (2014) and The Act of Killing (2012) at the fest.

Here's the full text of the press release from TFF:


BERKELEY, CA – Telluride Film Festival, presented by National Film Preserve LTD., is proud to announce its 2017 Guest Director, Joshua Oppenheimer. The award-winning documentarian is set to select a series of films to present at the 44th Telluride Film Festival running over Labor Day Weekend, September 1-4, 2017.


Festival organizers annually select one of the world’s great film enthusiasts to join them in the creation of the Festival’s program lineup. The Guest Director serves as a key collaborator in the Festival’s programming decisions, bringing new ideas and overlooked films to Telluride. In keeping with Telluride Film Festival tradition, Oppenheimer’s film selections, along with the rest of the Telluride lineup, will be kept secret until Opening Day.

“The Guest Director program is one of the most essential and wonderful parts of our festival,” said Telluride Film Festival executive director Julie Huntsinger. “Joshua has been a part of the SHOW with several of the incredible films he has made in the past, and now as our Guest Director. His rare combination of intelligence and down-to-earth understanding of humanity will make for a remarkable presentation of films our audience will not want to miss. Further gilding the lily, FilmStruck has joined us as the sponsor of this selection. We are beyond fortunate with this terrific combination of cinematic genius.”

Filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer was born in the US in 1974 and studied filmmaking at Harvard University. Oppenheimer is best known for The Act of Killing (Telluride 2012) and The Look of Silence (Telluride 2014). The Act of Killing (2014 Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary) was named Film of the Year in 2013 by the Guardian and the Sight and Sound Film Poll. It won 72 international awards, including a BAFTA, a European Film Award and an Asia-Pacific Screen Award. The Look of Silence (2016 Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary) premiered at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize and the FIPRESCI award, and went on to receive another 70 prizes, including an Independent Spirit Award, the IDA Award for Best Documentary Feature, a Gotham Award, and three Cinema Eye Honors. His early shorts have recently been re-released online and on DVD, including The Entire History of the Louisiana Purchase, which premiered at Telluride in 1997. Joshua Oppenheimer was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2014. Oppenheimer is a partner at Final Cut for Real in Copenhagen, and Artistic Director of the Centre for Documentary and Experimental Film at the University of Westminster in London.

“You stumble from a cinema into Telluride’s thin air, touched in ways you never imagined possible,” commented Oppenheimer. “You turn to a total stranger to share a thought unthinkable only two hours before. What happened? In the mirror of a great film, you confronted truths from which you normally avert your eyes. You recognised yourself in those delicate, mysterious moments that defy words yet make us human. Telluride's movies are empathy machines, inviting us to find ourselves in people we’d never otherwise know. Julie Huntsinger and Tom Luddy’s annual selection is driven by such curiosity and humanity that you cannot leave Telluride without feeling the responsibility and pain and love that comes with compassion. We emerge connected, reminded that self-absorption ultimately leaves us isolated and fearful. There is no greater privilege than joining Tom and Julie as this year’s guest director, sharing with Telluride’s audience the films that give me the greatest courage, and teach me to practice the widest empathy.”

Past Guest Directors include Volker Schlöndorff , Rachel Kushner, Guy Maddin, Caetano Veloso, Michael Ondaatje, Alexander Payne, Salman Rushdie, Peter Bogdanovich, B. Ruby Rich, Phillip Lopate, Errol Morris, Bertrand Tavernier, John Boorman, John Simon, Buck Henry, Laurie Anderson, Stephen Sondheim, G. Cabrera Infante, Peter Sellars, Don DeLillo, J.P. Gorin, Edith Kramer and Slavoj Žižek.

For more information about Telluride Film Festival, visit www.telluridefilmfestival.org.



THE DISTRIBUTORS: A24




One of the newest distribution companies to the Telluride experience is A24 and though they are new to TFF, relatively speaking, and though they haven't screened a large number of films at the fest, their presence has made a lot of noise, especially the last two years.

Here's the entire A24 footprint which only begins its T-ride time in 2012:

2016: Moonlight
2015: Room
2014:  _____
2013: Under the Skin
2012: Ginger and Rosa

Brie Larson earned a Best Actress Oscar for 2015's Room and the film was also nominated for Best Picture, Director and Adapted Screenplay.

Then there's last year's Moonlight which picked up three Oscars for Best Picture, Supporting Actor and Adapted Screenplay.  It was also nominated for five others including Direction and Supporting Actress.

That's a very impressive run in an incredibly short time.

My take is that A24 likes getting their product into Telluride and Telluride likes having it there.  As you can see, however, the outfit hasn't ever placed more than a single film in a year in their limited time there and, as you can see above, in 2014 A24 wasn't in T-ride at all.

But could this be the year that the firm lands more than a single title?

Here's the rundown of current A24 films that seem to have a shot at Labor Day:

A Prayer Before Dawn/Sauvaire:  Played at Cannes as a part of the Midnight Screening program where it got a respectable 6.28 average critical rating according to Reini Urban's compilation of Cannes critics.  Chances of it playing seem slight to me.  Chances: 15%.

How to Talk to Girls at Parties/Mitchell.  Another Cannes presentation shown out of competition that had middling critical reception- 5.61 on the Urban compilation.  It could pop at Telluride but I have doubts.  Chance: 15%.

The Killing of a Scared Deer/Lanthimos:  The third A24 film that played Cannes- in the main competition category where it won Best Screenplay.  This coming on the heels of writer/director Yorgos Lanthimos' Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay last year for The Lobster.  Although the Urban combo score was 5.96, its Metacritic score was a solid 84.  I could actually see this making a play at T-ride.  Chances: 50%.


Cannes clip of The Florida Project via YouTube


The Florida Project/Baker:  Regular readers of MTFB know that I am high on this film's chances to play Telluride in light of its performance at Cannes.  It was the third most widely praised film critically at Cannes in any section with an 8.05 combo rating from Urban and a 91 Metacritic score. Sean Baker grabbed a lot of buzz in 2015 for his Tangerine and I expect A24 is going to be working hard to get Willem Dafoe some awards season attention for Best Supporting Actor.  All of that and my intuition makes me think The Florida Project might be heading to Colorado.  Chances: 65%.

Woodshock/Mulleavys:  The one film on the list that A24 didn't play at Cannes.  Kirsten Dunst stars in what looks pretty trippy.  At least that's the way the trailer looks:






I think it looks interesting but I also think it's how A24 looks at approaching Telluride now.  Chances 20%.

And if you were wondering about the Safdie's Good Time with Robert Pattinson; it's set to open in August.

So, it seems to me that your two best A24 best are The Florida Project and The Killing of a Sacred Deer.


ADDING TO TUESDAY'S FOX SEARCHLIGHT ANALYSIS




I was perusing  Nancy Tartiglione's post at Deadline earlier today for nuggets that might have popped up in 20th Century Fox's presentation at CineEurope in Barcelona.  A sentence or two caught my eye as FS Exec VP Rebecca Kearey is quoted as suggesting serious festival plays for Martin McDonagh's Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Guillermo Del Toro's The Shape of Water.  

Here's the direct quote from the post:

Those were joined by Fox Searchlight titles Battle Of The SexesGoodbye Christopher Robin , Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape Of Water. Of the latter two, Searchlight EVP of International Marketing & Distribution Rebecca Kearey said they would be playing at many of the fall festivals.


After seeing that, I'm inclined to bump both films' chances of a Telluride play up 5 points from Tuesday's analysis.  So Ebbing goes from 40% to 45% and Shape of Water from from 35% to 40%. I'm leaving Battle of the Sexes at 55% and Goodbye Christopher Robin at 45% for now.

Meanwhile, Pete Hammond from Deadline dropped his belief that Battke of the Sexes has, what he calls a 99% chance to play Telluride.  He also suggested in a story yesterday his belief that Alexander Payne will have Downsizing at TFF #44.  Check out Hammond's story here.


LAST NOTE FOR THURSDAY...



I was reading this story from The Hollywood Reporter yesterday about David Lynch attending the Lucca Film Festival in Tuscany and the fact that he'll be doing some presentations of Twin Peaks;The Return (through seven episodes now on Showtime) and I was reminded that Lynch revealed the first two episodes at Cannes prior to their Showtime presentations.

It also reminded me that I have a theory that master of weirdness might make a return this year to Telluride.  Hear me out...or, I guess, read me out.

Lynch used to be a fairly serious Telluride regular.  As best I can tell Lynch was in Telluride in 1986 with Blue Velvet and Eraserhead.  Screened some of Twin Peaks in 1989 (though only Mark Frost and Michael Ontkean are listed as attending with the show).  Industrial Symphony in 1990, again with no Lynch listed as attending. Lynch received a Telluride Tribute in 1999 complete with screenings of The Straight Story.  In 2001, TFF reportedly "snuck" Mulholland Drive.  I think the last time a Lynch film played the festival was as an executive producer on Werner Herzog's My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done in 2009 as a sneak preview.

That's a pretty impressive run of Telluride screenings.

Sooo... how about screening the last two episodes of Twin Peaks: The Return at TFF #44?

They're both set to screen on Showtime on Sunday, Sept. 3rd.  Maybe we should kick off the weekend Friday with those two episodes back to back.

It's a thought.


That's a wrap for Thursday.  More tomorrow.



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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Distributors: Fox Searchlight / The Telluride History Book: TFF #24 / Travernier's Trailer



THE DISTRIBUTORS: FOX SEARCHLIGHT



Today's look at past T-ride distribution outfits is Fox Searchlight.  I've tracked their presence there since 2004.  You'll note that FS missed having any film at TFF in 2009, 2012 and 2016.


2015: He Named Me Malala
2014: Birman, Wild
2013: 12 Years a Slave
2011: Shame, The Descendants
2010: Never Let Me Go, 127 Hours, Black Swan
2008: Slumdog Millionaire
2007: Juno, The Savages
2006: The Last King of Scotland, The Namesake
2005: Bee Season
2004: Kinsey

The math here tells us that Fox Searchlight averages 1.2 films per year at Telluride.

This year, they appear to have as many as four films with at least some potential to lay the festival:

Battle of the Sexes, Goodbye Christopher Robin, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and The Shape of Water.

Battle of the Sexes is directed by the team of  Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (the team behind Little Miss Sunshine) and stars Emma Stone and Steve Carell.  The film is produced, in part, by Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, Steve Jobs).  The Boyle connection might be enough to give this film the best chance of the four to make the Telluride lineup.  Chances: 55%.  Here's the trailer from YouTube:



Goodbye Christopher Robin is directed by Simon Curtis and stars Domhnall Gleeson and Margot Robbie.  Beyond those basics, the trailer makes it seem very similar to Finding Neverland which played Telluride in 2004 and went on to one Oscar win and an additional six nominations.  Chances: 45%.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is written and directed by Martin McDonagh of In Bruges fame.  It looks (again based on its trailer) as if it is a serious awards vehicle for Francis McDormand. Chances: 40%.

Here's the link to the Red Band trailer for Three Billboards...and it earns its Red Band...


The Shape of Water is co-written and directed by Guillermo Del Toro and stars Doug Jones and Sally Hawkins.  Del Toro could return to Telluride for the first time since playing his The Devil's Backbone there in  2001 making him the only director in this group who has had a film previously make the lineup.  Chances: 35%.



THE TELLURIDE FILM FEST HISTORY BOOK: TFF #24




Here's another installment of my reach back in time to document the history of the Telluride Film Festival.  Today, the 24th TFF.  TFF #24 ran from Aug. 29-Sept. 1, 1997

Guest Director: Peter von Bagh

Tributes: Neil Jordan, Horton Foote, Alexander Sukurov

Special Medallion: Milos Stehlik

SHOWS:

Affliction
Alone
The Butcher's Boy
Can Memory Be Dissolved in Evian Water
Capitaine Conan
Caught
Classe Tout Risk
Eve's Bayou
Fast, Cheap and Put of Control
The Girl and the Hyacinths
Gummo
Lea
Letter from and Unknown Woman
Little Dieter Needs to Fly
Love and Death on Long Island
Ma Vie En Rose
Madame De
Men with Guns
Mother and Son
The Narrow Margin
Perfect Circle
Rothchild's Violin
Simoom
Steamboat Bill Jr.
The Sweet Hereafter
Taste of Cherry
Two Girls and a Guy
U-Turn
Unmade Beds
The White Reindeer
Who the Hell Is Juliette?

Guests:

Russell Banks
Powers Boothe
James Coburn
Vondie Curtis-Hall
Robert Downey, Jr.
Atom Egoyan
Richard Fleischer
Horton Foote
Werner Herzog
Mary Beth Hurt
Neil Jordan
Abbas Kiarostami
Gary Larson
Kasi Lemmons
Jennifer Lopez
Errol Morris
Joshua Oppenheimer
John Sayles
Paul Schrader
Alexander Sukurov
Oliver Stone
Bertrand Travernier
Billy Bob Thornton
James Toback
Haskell Wexler

Notes; Harmony Korine (Spring Breakers) shows his first feature at Telluride-Gummo and Joshua Oppenheimer makes his first Telluride appearance (The Act of Killing, The Look of Silence) with The Entire Story of the Louisiana Purchase.


TRAVERNIER'S FRENCH FILM EXTRAVAGANZA GETS A TRAILER



You may have caught Bertrand Tavernier's Journey Through French Cinema at TFF #43 last fall.  The film just played the Seattle Film Fest and is set to open in the U.K. in September, you can re-visit it to a degree as The Film Stage revealed the release of a trailer this past weekend.

Here's the trailer from YouTube:




That's a wrap for this Tuesday.  More to come on Thursday.

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Monday, June 19, 2017

The Distributors: The Weinstein Company / Annecy Audiences Loved Loving Vincent / Awards Circuit Takes a Stab

Welcome back from the weekend.  Hope all fathers had a nice day yesterday.


THE DISTRIBUTORS: THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY



After having at least one film play at Telluride each year that I have been attending (since 2006) last year was the first in which there was no film on the playlist from The Weinstein Company.  One might have thought (and I did for awhile) that The Founder or Lion might have played but that did not happen.

Here's the recent history of TWC (and before that, Miramax) from 2006 to the present:

2015: Carol
2014: The Imitation Game, Escobar: Paradise Lost, Keep On Keepin'On
2013: The Unknown, Salinger, Tracks
2012: The Sapphires
2011: The Artist, Butter
2010: The King's Speech
2009: The Road
2008: Happy-Go-Lucky
2007: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, My Enemy's Enemy, I'm Not There
2006: Venus, Indigenes


So the question becomes, "Will TWC return to TFF and if so, with what films?"

As I write this on Monday morning, TWC really seems to have on;y two films that are dated appropriately and with enough buzz to be serious Telluride (and for that matter, Venice, Toronto, New York, London) consideration.

The Current War and Mary Magdalene.  Let's breakdown each in terms of its TFF possibility.

The Current War stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon as Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse respectively and focuses on the battle between them to determine which form of electricity, Alternating Current or Direct Current, would dominate American electrical delivery.

The film is directed by Alonso Gomez-Rejon who has worked in the past for Alejandro Inarritu, Martin Scorsese and Ben Affleck.  Gomez-Rejon was a second unit director for Argo and for Babel.

I have heard via a back channel some scuttlebutt from a screening of the film that was less than stellar but, this far out, I don't think that necessarily removes The Current War from the TFF discussion.

Mary Magdalene stars Rooney Mara as Mary and Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus in a film that tells the story of the female follower of Christ.  Garth Davis (Lion) directs.  Additionally, one of the film's producers is Iain Canning who also produced The King's Speech, Shame and Hunger; all of which played Telluride.

My feeling is that it's more likely than not that TWC returns to Telluride in 2017 with one film (as you might note, the average for TWC is 1.6 films per year).  

My guesstimate at the moment is that The Current War has a slightly better chance than Mary Magdalene but that advantage is minuscule.

Chances: The Current War 51%, Mary Magdalene 49%.

Tomorrow, a look at Fox Searchlight.


ANNECY AUDIENCES LOVED LOVING VINCENT



The Annecy International Animated Film Festival concluded at the end of this past week with awards going primarily to Japanese film makers but the audience award went to Loving Vincent which I highlighted here last week.

The film likely gets a boost from the win both for Oscar consideration as well as for a Telluride play.

Check here for Variety's complete report about the awards at the conclusion of the festival.



AWARDS CIRCUIT TAKES A STAB



Clayton Davis' Circuitbreaker podcast from Awards Circuit was up this past weekend with a number of topics covered in the 1:20 long program.  The last 20 minutes or so beginning at the 55:35 mark starts as a discussion about the selection of Richard Linklater's Last Flag Flying as the opening night film for the New York Film Festival.  That leads to a far ranging discussion about where Davis and his crew think a lot of films will land at fall festivals including Telluride.  Those four titles are electrifying,

The four films that are named as Telluride plays (in order that they're mentioned in the podcast) are:

Woody Allen's Wonder Wheel
Alexander Payne's Downsizing
Denis Villeneuve's Blade Runner 2049
Martin McDonagh's Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

The inclusion of Downsizing isn't a surprise but Wonder Wheel, Three Billboards and Blade Runner 2049 would all be surprises.



That's a wrap for this Monday.


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Friday, June 16, 2017

The Distributors: Sony Pictures Classics / Trailer for Goodbye Christopher Robin

Welcome to Friday everyone...leaving La La Land today to head back to Casa Patterson...


THE DISTRIBUTORS: SONY PICTURES CLASSICS



As I wrote yesterday, I'm beginning the annual summer assessment of film distribution companies as a way to try to read the Telluride tea leaves.

I tend to begin this each summer with Sony Pictures Classics because, certainly in my time as an attendee, no other distributor has had as strong and continuous presence at TFF than SPC.  As I reminded everyone yesterday, here is the legacy of SPC over the past several years:

2016: The Eagle Huntress, Maudie, Norman, Toni Erdmann (4)
2015: Son of Saul (1)
2014: Foxcatcher, Leviathan, Red Army, Mr. Turner, Wild Tales, Salt of the Earth and Merchants of Doubt (7)
2013: The Invisible Woman, The Lunchbox, The Past, Tim's Vermeer and Jodorowsky's Dune (5)
2012: The Gatekeepers, At Any Price, Rust and Bone, No, Wadjda, Amour (6)
2011: A Dangerous Method, In Darkness, Footnote, A Separation (4)
2010: Incendies, Of Gods and Men, Tamara Drewe, Another Year, The Illusionist, Inside Job (6)
2009: The Last Station, The White Ribbon, Coco Before Chanel, A Prophet, An Education (5)
2008: Waltz with Bashir, I've Loved You So Long, O'Horten (3)
2007: Brick Lane, When Did You Last See Your Father, Persepolis, The Band's Visit, The Counterfeiters, Steep! (6)
2006: Jindabyne, The Lives of Others, Volver, The Italian (4)
2005: Breakfast on Pluto, Capote, Cache, The Child (4)
2004: Being Julia, House of Flying Daggers, Bad Education, Merchant of Venice, Up and Down, Yes (6)
2003: The Fog of War, My Life Without Me, The Triplets of Belleville, Young Adam (4)


SPC averages 4-5 films per year at the fest. Looking at the films that are listed as under the SPC umbrella at IMDb...here's a thought or two about those SPC films:

Initially, I'm not gong to assess films from SPC that played Sundance but are not yet in release (ex: Call Me By Your Name, Novitiate) due to Telluride's "first North American showing" policy but I will have a note about that below.  That leaves eight films to evaluate.

In order of TFF likelihood (at least for right now):



1) Loveless/Zvyagnistev.  The factors:  Played Cannes were it won awards and was well reviewed (88 Metascore).  Zvyagnistev played T-ride in '14 with Leviathan.  Chances: 80%.

2) A Fantastic Woman/Lelio.  The factors: Played Berlin where it won awards and was really well reviewed (96 Metascore).  Lelio played T-ride in '13 with Gloria.  Chances: 75%.

3) The Rider/Zhao.  The factors: An SPC purchase at Cannes after a very good play in the Director's Fortnight (86 Metascore).  Despite a young director and a cast of unprofessional actors, this is a film that I just have a gut instinct about in as far as TFF is concerned.  Chances: 60%.



4) Happy End/Haneke.  The factors:  Despite some critical disgruntlement, the film has a respectable Metascore (78) and Haneke's history is very strong with TFF (Amour, The White Ribbon , Cache). Chances: 55%.

After those four, the SPC slate seems a bit murkier as far as predicting films with a possible Telluride fest play.

5) Final Portrait/Tucci.  The factors: The biopic about artist Alberto Giacometti stars Geoffrey Rush (who was in T-ride in '10 with The King's Speech).  Stanley Tucci wrote and directed the film which played Berlin.  That plus a good Metascore (76) give it the #5 spot.  Chances: 40%.



6) The Silent Man/Landesman.  The factors: Liam Neeson stars as Mark Felt, the Deep Throat of Watergate fame.  It hasn't played festivals to this point.  If TFF is looking to program a film that "feels" reflective of the current environment in Washington; this could be a way to do that.  Chances: 25%

7) The Leisure Seeker/Virzi.  The factors: Like Silent Man, The Leisure Seeker has not played at a fest as yet.  It stars Helen Mirren (The Last Station '09) and Donald Sutherland.  Chances: 20%

Note about The Silent Man and The Leisure Seeker.  Though neither has played a festival, neither did SPC films Norman nor Maudie last year...so don't count either film out.

8) Based on a True Story/Polanski.  The factors:  The film was not reviewed well following its Cannes play (Metascore 43) and Polanski's inability to accompany the film to the U.S.  makes it the least likely of the eight SPC films listed here.  Chances: 5%.

One final note:  Although I doubt that Telluride plays another Sundance film this year, it's not impossible.  Last year both Manchester by the Sea and The Eagle Huntress played Sundance first and there was a lot of buzz that Birth of a Nation might make the same journey until the film got mired in director Nate Parker's controversy.  Sooo...2% chances for Call Me By Your Name and Novitiate.


Monday's look will be The Weinstein Company.


TRAILER FOR GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN




If you didn't see it yesterday, Fox Searchlight dropped a trailer for Simon Curtis' Goodbye Christopher Robin starring Domnhall Gleeson as Winnie the Pooh creator A.A. Milne.  Margot Robbie co-stars as his wife.

Here's the trailer from YouTube:



The scenes look lovely and obviously, Fox Searchlight, which has dated the film for an Oct. 13th release, thinks it has an awards player on its hands.

Could it play Telluride?  I'll be assessing its chances as I look at the FS slate next week.

Here's additional coverage of the releases of the trailer from:

Indiewire

The Playlist

The Film Stage

FirstShowing


Come back on Monday...


EMAIL:  mpgort@gmail.com OR michael_speech@hotmail.com

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Lotta Ins, Lotta Outs Part One: Last Flag, Florida and Another Wonder /the 25th Telluride Film Festival Re-visited

It's Tuesday...


LOTTA INS, LOTTA OUTS PART ONE: LAST FLAG, FLORIDA AND ANOTHER WONDER

Yes.  I'm quoting The Dude.  I'm talkin' The Dude here.  Yesterday saw at least three pieces of news that altered some parts of the fall film scene.

First...an "out".  The New York Film Festival announced that Richard Linklater's Last Flag Flying will be their opening film and that it will be a world premiere on Sept. 28th.



Cranston, Carell and Fishburne in Last Flag Flying (from NYFF and Collider)


That world premiere status means that the film is off the table in as far as a Telluride play is concerned.

Bums me out a bit as it is a film that I would like to have seen make the TFF #44 lineup.  Bryan Cranston and Steve Carell in a "spiritual sequel" to Hal Ashby's classic The Last Detail? I would have been a very receptive viewer.

And though I never have had it high on my mental list of TFF-possibles...its status as an Amazon Studios film kept me from ruling it out completely.

But it's ruled out now.  No Last Flag at T-ride.

Coverage is linked about the NYFF announcement below:

The New York Film Fest Press Release

Variety

Indiewire

Awards Daily

Collider


And while Last Flag Flying was getting booted off my list, a couple of other films were dated for release yesterday which, in one case, made their Telluride case a little better and in the other might move a film onto the periphery of my list.



Sean Baker's The Florida Project was announced with an Oct. 6th release date.  That puts it in very good chronological position for A24 regarding T-ride and Toronto and a possible awards play.

Florida Project news is here from Variety and here from Indiewire.

Also yesterday, Amazon announced that Woody Allen's latest, Wonder Wheel is getting a release on Dec. 1.  It's Allen's first non-summer release in some time and puts it in play for awards season which means that I might have to pay attention to its chances at Telluride.  I think they're small but...it is Amazon and Allen's Sweet and Lowdown played the fest back in 1999.  So never say never.



Wonder Wheel announcement coverage is here from:

Variety

Indiewire

The Playlist



THE 25TH TELLURIDE FILM FESTIVAL RE-VISITED





Another in my continuing attempt to document, online, a more thorough examination of the history of the Telluride Film Festival.  Today, a big anniversary fest.  #25.

The 25th Telluride Film Festival ran Sept. 3-7, 1998 (an extra fifth day for the anniversary).

Guest Director: Peter Bogdanovich

Tributes:  Meryl Streep, Vittorio Storaro, Susumu Hani

Special Medallion: Stanley Kauffman

SHOWS:

The Apple
August 32nd on Earth
Autumn Tale
Brakhage



Central Station
Claire Dolan
The Crowd
Dance Me to My Song
Dancing at Lughnasa
Dial HISTORY
Directed by John Ford
The Dreamlife of Angels
Endurance
The Fire Within
Frank Lloyd Wright
The General
Head



Happiness
I Stand Alone
I'm Losing You
The Informer
The Inheritors
It Happened Here
Kindness
The Last Command
Life at Any Cost
Love
M
Make Way for Tomorrow
The Man Who Laughs



Night of the Hunter
My Son the Fanatic
Outskirts
The Reckless Moment
Remous
She and He
Smiles of a Summer Night
Strike
Tango
Touch of Evil
We All Loved Each Other So Much
The Wedding March
Xiu Xiu-The Sent Down Girl

Guests:

Laurie Anderson
Rosanna Arquette
Peter Bogdanovich
John Boorman
Ken Burns
Joan Chen
Monte Hellman
Buck Henry
Chuck Jones
Janet Leigh
Norman Lloyd
Terrence Malick
Leonard Maltin
Errol Morris
Gaspar Noe
Bob Rafaelson
Michael Ritchie
Walter Salles
Barbet Schroeder
Todd Solondz
Vittorio Stararo
Meryl Streep
Bertrand Tavernier
Denis Villeneuve


Interesting (to me anyway) notes:

Terrence Malick at TFF for the documentary he produced: Endurance.  Twin Peaks alum Joan Chen directing Xiu Xiu, Denis Villeneuve with his first feature.


And that's Tuesday.  Back on Thursday...


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The Distribution Tango / The Cartoons in France

Good Thursday to all...from La La Land...


THE DISTRIBUTION TANGO

I'm right up against it for this summer.  The annual stroll through distribution outlets to examine their wares and try to determine what films from which outlets will wend their way to the San Juans over Labor Day weekend.

Some companies have a long and illustrious relationship with TFF.  Sony Pictures Classics is the prime example of this.  Here's their Telluride resume over the past several years:



2016: The Eagle Huntress, Maudie, Norman, Toni Erdmann (4)
2015: Son of Saul (1)
2014: Foxcatcher, Leviathan, Red Army, Mr. Turner, Wild Tales, Salt of the Earth and Merchants of Doubt (7)
2013: The Invisible Woman, The Lunchbox, The Past, Tim's Vermeer and Jodorowsky's Dune (5)
2012: The Gatekeepers, At Any Price, Rust and Bone, No, Wadjda, Amour (6)
2011: A Dangerous Method, In Darkness, Footnote, A Separation (4)
2010: Incendies, Of Gods and Men, Tamara Drewe, Another Year, The Illusionist, Inside Job (6)
2009: The Last Station, The White Ribbon, Coco Before Chanel, A Prophet, An Education (5)
2008: Waltz with Bashir, I've Loved You So Long, O'Horten (3)
2007: Brick Lane, When Did You Last See Your Father, Persepolis, The Band's Visit, The Counterfeiters, Steep! (6)
2006: Jindabyne, The Lives of Others, Volver, The Italian (4)
2005: Breakfast on Pluto, Capote, Cache, The Child (4)
2004: Being Julia, House of Flying Daggers, Bad Education, Merchant of Venice, Up and Down, Yes (6)
2003: The Fog of War, My Life Without Me, The Triplets of Belleville, Young Adam (4)


Or relative newcomers like A24 which hasn't been in business long but already has made a place for itself in Telluride.



Note:

2016: Moonlight
2015: Room
2014:  _____
2013: Under the Skin
2012: Ginger and Rosa

Then there are the players who are hit and miss like The Weinstein Company and Fox Searchlight:

TWC:



2015: Carol
2014: The Imitation Game, Escobar: Paradise Lost
2013: The Unknown, Salinger, Tracks
2012: The Sapphires
2011: The Artist, Butter
2010: The King's Speech
2009: The Road
2008: Happy-Go-Lucky
2007: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, My Enemy's Enemy, I'm Not There
2006: Venus, Indigenes

But no TWC film at TFF in 2016.

Fox Searchlight:



2015: He Named Me Malala
2014: Birman, Wild
2013: 12 Years a Slave
2011: Shame, The Descendants
2010: Never Let Me Go, 127 Hours, Black Swan
2008: Slumdog Millionaire
2007: Juno, The Savages
2006: The Last King of Scotland, The Namesake
2005: Bee Season
2004: Kinsey

But, like TWC, there was no FS film at Telluride in 2016.


Plus several others including major studios that occasionally play in The SHOW.  We're going to start looking at all of that tomorrow.


THE CARTOONS IN FRANCE




The Annecy Animation Festival has started up in France this week.  The festival opened on Monday and continues through the weekend.  Annecy sometimes serves up a film or two that make the TFF lineup in the fall.  This year I am keeping my eye on Loving Vincent which is playing in the Annecy Fest and which I have been keeping track of for months.

Variety reported on Loving Vincent's accelerating distribution sales this week in light of its premiere at Annecy.  U.S. distribution for the completely hand-painted film is with Good Deed Entertainment which is a very young outlet.

It will be of some interest should the film be  a prize winner by week's end.

More tomorrow.

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Telluride and The New York Times 25 Best Films of the 21st Century / Oscar's Foreign Language Race and Labor Day

Welcome back from the weekend...



TELLURIDE AND THE NEW YORK TIMES 25 BEST FILMS OF THE 21ST CENTURY



The New York Times got social media going over the last few days as they posted a list of what A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis have determined are the 25 best films that have been released since the calendar rolled over to the new century.  



It will likely not surprise you that a good number of those films had ties to TFF.  For example, their too choice is Paul Thomas Anderson's masterpiece There Will Be Blood as the top film.  As many TFFers will recall, TWBB scenes were screened in 2007 as a part of the tribute that year to Daniel Day Lewis.

Other films that make the NYT list with Telluride histories include:

#2 Spirited Away played Telluride in 2002.
#6 Yi Yi 2000



#11 Inside Llewyn Davis 2013
#14 L'enfant 2005
#17 Three Times 2005



#20 Moonlight 2016
#22 I'm Not There 2007

So better than a third of the list (8/25) made a stop in the San Juans in their journey to the NYT list (if you include TWBB, which I do).



OSCARS FOREIGN LANGUAGE RACE, FESTS AND LABOR DAY




Shane Slater at Awards Circuit posted an interesting article over the weekend with some thoughts about the major fests that have already come and gone and the impact that they might have on the foreign language Oscar race.

As a result, we can look at some of those as potential titles for TFF.  

Slater mentions films from Sundance, Berlin, Tribeca and Cannes.

From those films he mentions these probably have the best T-ride shot:




The Other Side of Hope 
Spoor
Loveless
120 BPM
The Square
Happy End



That's Monday...


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Friday, June 9, 2017

Time Tunnel: TFF #26 / State of the Race 2017 Vol. I

Welcome to the first Friday post on some time...


TIME TUNNEL: TFF #26


I'm continuing my on-going step back in time.  Today we go back to the 20th century and the 26th Telluride Film Festival (1999).  This is a part of my project to more accurately document the history of TFF.  Ultimately all of these posts of past Telluride Film Fests will replace the :Selected History" page that currently exists here at MTFB.


TFF 26 occurred from Sept. 3-6, 1999.



Guest Director: Peter Sellars

Tributes:

Catherine Deneuve
David Lynch
Philip Glass

Special Medallion: Arena


SHOWS:

Allah Tantou
Black and White
Bona
The Brian Epstein Story
Dust in the Wind
Dracula
East is East
Falalblas
Farewell, Home Sweet Home
The Girl on the Bridge
Greed
I Could Read the Sky
I'll Take You There



Jesus' Son
Journey to the Sun
Kadosh
Kurt Garron's Karussell
Journey to the Sun
La Garnde Bouffe
Me Myself I
Mifune
My Best Friend
Nothing More than a Woman
Orefu
The Passing
Place Vendome
Princess Mononoke
The Shakedown



The Straight Story
Time Regained
Travellers
The Taeback Mountains
Wisconsin Death Trip


Guests (a partial list):

Ken Burns
Billy Crudup
Catherine Deneuve
Richard Farnsworth
Philip Glass
Werner Herzog
David Lynch
Gary Meyer
Peter Sellars
Ally Sheedy
Adrienne Shelley
James Toback


A personal note: Denueve, Lynch and Glass in town at the same time...OMG!  (and Peter Sellars too...you're killing me!...Farnsworth...Burns...)


STATE OF THE RACE 2017 VOL. I




It's not a secret that one of the factors I look at this far out from the fest is the early line on Oscar contenders from the Oscar prognosticating professionals.

Consequently, when Awards Daily's Sasha Stone starts to turn her attention to the upcoming Oscar race, I pay attention as it may provide valuable insight into the films that will end up making it into the TFF #44 program

Sasha suggests that we keep an eye out for:

The Florida Project'
Wonderstruck


In addition to those two films, Sasha also suggests that we'd be wise to pay attention to clues surrounding these films (that could make The SHOW):

Suburbicon
Battle of the Sexes
The Current War
mother!
Victoria and Abdul
Downsizing


Take a look at Sasha's complete post here.

That's all the news that fits...See you back here on Monday...



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