Thursday, October 19, 2017

The FAC's Oscar Screenplay Predix / Back in Time: The 17th Telluride Film Festival / Todd Haynes Talks Wonderstruck and More

It's a Thursday...and MTFB is back...


THE FAC'S SCREENPLAY OSCAR PREDIX



I am continuing to roll out the first wave of Oscar 2018 predictions from The Film Awards Clearinghouse (FAC) with today's focus on the race for success in both Adapted and Original Screenplays.

As always, films that played Telluride are in Bold.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY



1) Call Me By Your Name
2) Mudbound
3) Molly's Game
4) Last Flag Flying
5) Wonderstruck

Others in contention: Stronger, The Disaster Artist, First They Killed My Father

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY



1) Three Billboards
2) The Shape of Water
3) Darkest Hour
4) Get Out
5) Lady Bird

Other in contention: The Post, The Big Sick, I Tonya


BACK IN TIME: THE 17TH TELLURIDE FILM FESTIVAL



My slow roll back through past Telluride Film Festivals continues today as we go back to the 17th Fest that ran from Aug. 31-Sept 3, 1990

Guest Director:

Tributes: Clint Eastwood, John Berry, Gerard Depardieu

SHOWS:

All the Vermeers in New York
Antonia and Jane
Archangel
The Big Man
The Civil War
Coma
The Comfort of Angels
Cyrano de Bergerac
Daddy Nostalgia
Doctor Petiot
The First Spring of Youth
Freeze-Die-Come to Life
Havana
He Ran All the Way
I Walked with a Zombie
Industrial Symphony
Ju Dou
Justin de Marsielle
The King of New York
L'Atalante
The Long Walk Home
The Nasty Girl
Pursued
Reversal of Fortune
The Roof of the World
Stanto Tutti Bene
White Hunter Black Heart

Guests:

Ken Burns
Julee Cruise
Manny Farber
Abel Ferrera
Taylor Hackford
Chuck Jones
Guy Maddin
Helen Mirren
Liam Neeson
Paul Schrader
Barbet Schroeder
Sissy Spacek
Bertarnd Tavernier
Christopher Walken


TODD HAYNES TALKS WONDERSTRUCK AND MORE



Nick Newman of The Film Stage had a semi-in-depth interview with writer/director Todd Haynes that was posted on Tuesday.  Haynes talks Wonderstruck, which opens on October 20th as well as a mention of the late David Bowie.

Catch up on the Haynes' interview here.


TRACY LETTS ON LADY BIRD



Tracy Letts plays Lady Bird's (Saoirse Ronan) father in the film of the same name written and directed by Greta Gerwig.  Recently he was interviewed as a part of a series sponsored by the SAG-AFTRA Foundation.  The interview is conducted by Indiewire's Eric Kohn and was posted to YouTube.

You can see their conversation here:




That's your Thursday MTFB.  More on Monday...


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Monday, October 16, 2017

Supporting Players Oscar Chances / Awards Daily's Latest Oscar Take / Weinstein Out of AMPAS

Welcome back from the weekend and to this Monday in October...


SUPPORTING PLAYERS OSCAR CHANCES



Since I got this year's FAC underway in last Thursday's post (with looks at the Best Picture, Direction, Actress and Actor categories), I thought I'd continue today with a review of where the Supporting Acting races look to stand at this point in mid-October.

Telluride #44 performances are in Bold.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

1) Alison Janney/I, Tonya
2) Laurie Metcalf/Lady Bird
3) Holly Hunter/The Big Sick
4) Octavia Spencer/The Shape of Water
5) Melissa Leo/Novitiate

Others: Kristen Scott Thomas/Darkest Hour, Mary J. Blige/Mudbound, Hong Chau/Downsizing


SUPPORTING ACTOR



1) Sam Rockwell/Three Billboards
2) Willem Dafoe/The Florida Project
3) Armie Hammer/Call Me By Your Name
4) Michael Stuhlbarg/Call Me By Your Name
5) Ben Mendelsohn/Darkest Hour

Others: Michael Shannon/The Shape of Water, Mark Rylance/Dunkirk, Kevin Spacey/All the Money in the World


Adding the first two FACs of the season together, here's where TFF #44 films stand in terms of the six categories that get the most attention:

Darkest Hour- Four nominations and one other potential. Noms: Picture, Direction, Actor, Supporting Actor and also a possible shot at Supporting Actress.

The Shape of Water-Four nominations and one other potential. Noms: Picture, Direction, Actress and Supporting Actress.  The other possibility is Supporting Actor.

Lady Bird-One nomination and two potentials.  Nom: Supporting Actress.  Other possibilities are Best Picture and Actress.

Downsizing has a possible nomination for Supporting Actress.

Battle of the Sexes is possible for Best Actress.



AWARDS DAILY'S LATEST OSCAR TAKE




Sasha Stone's Awards Daily website (www.awardsdaily.com) posted its latest collection of Oscar predictions in her weekly "Predictions Friday" post.

TFF #44 films according to Stone grab nominations as follows:

Darkest Hour (10) Picture, Direction, Actor, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actor, Original Screenplay, Editing, Cinematography, Production Design, Costumes

The Shape of Water (10): Picture, Direction, Actress, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actor, Original Screenplay, Editing, Cinematography, Production Design, Costumes

Lady Bird (3): Picture, Supporting Actress, Original Screenplay

Battle of the Sexes (2): Picture, Actress

Wonderstruck (1): Adapted Screenplay

The complete Predictions Friday from Awards Daily is here.


WEINSTEIN OUT OF AMPAS



It seemed like I should probably mention something about Harvey Weinstein in light of all of the furor of the past few days and his expulsion Saturday from The Academy of Motion Picture Hearts and Sciences.

Just a couple of notes...

The Weinstein Company has certainly been a presence (and Miramax before TWC) in the years I have been attending TFF.  Since I started going to T-ride, I count 18 films from one or the other of the companies including Oscar Best Picture winners The King's Speech and The Artist.  Other notable films from TWC or Miramax at TFF the last 12 fests included: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, I'm Not There, The Imitation Game and The Road.

There were other films from Weinstein at the fest before I started going such as Finding Neverland and Lost in Translation.

From my notes, TWC was last represented at Telluride in 2015 with Todd Haynes' Carol.

In the dozen fests I have attended I only actually saw Weinstein with my own eyes in 2014 when The Imitation Game was playing the fest.

I recall some behind-the-scene angst in 2013 when I thought that Philomena would play TFF and did not.  The rumor was that it was a last minute pull and that TWC replaced it with Salinger.

I can recall being more than a little surprised in 2012 as I was going into The Chuck to see The Sapphires and was stopped by name by a representative from TWC saying that she'd like to get my reaction to the film afterwards.  I was stunned that they had any idea who I was and had a nice conversation after the film which I had really enjoyed.

So...

Weinstein is now gone from the membership of The Academy and is out at TWC.  I'm not sure where all of this will ultimately end up but I hope for some measure of justice for all the women that have come forward these past few days.

Here's Anne Thompson's Indiewire story from Sunday about Weinstein's ejection from AMPAS.


That'll do it for this Monday.  More to come on Thursday.


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Thursday, October 12, 2017

The 18th Telluride Film Festival Re-visited / The Season's First FAC / Man of Integrity Director Could Be Sentenced in Iran

Welcome back to MTFB on this Thursday in October...



THE 18TH TELLURIDE FILM FESTIVAL RE-VISITED



The ongoing (and slowly developing) ramble through Telluride's film festival past continues today with the 18th fest which occurred from Aug. 30-Sept. 2, 1991.

The guest director was Laurie Anderson.

Tributes were for Jodie Foster, Sven Nyquist and "Nature's Filmmakers": Peter Jones, Marion Zunz and Paul Atkins.

SHOWS:



Apocalypse Now
A Captive in the Land
Danzon
Dogfight
The Double Life of Veronique
Empire of the Air
Hearts of Darkness
Hors la Vie
I Want to Fly
Latino Bar
Let Him Have It



Little Man Tate
Lucky Star
Lyrical Nitrate
The Other Eye
The Ox
Prix de Beaute
Prospero's Books
Raise the Red Lanterns



Rambling Rose
The Rapture
Ride the High Country
Scream of Stone
A Tale of the Unextinguished Moon
The Tourist
3:10 to Yuma
The Trails of Life
Wild by Law
A Woman's Tale

Guests:

John Berry
Ken Burns
Martha Coolidge
Laura Dern
Jean Doumanian
Roger Ebert
Glenn Ford
Peter Greenaway
Renny Harlin
Werner Herzog
Dennis Hopper
Elmore Leonard
Bill Plympton
Mimi Rogers
Lili Taylor


THE SEASON'S FIRST FAC




Here's your first look at MTFB's Film Awards Clearinghouse.  I'm going with a stripped down version this year.  Films that played TFF #44 are Bold.


BEST PICTURE



1) Dunkirk
2) The Shape of Water
3) Darkest Hour
4) Three Billboards
5) The Post
6) Call Me By Your Name
7) Get Out
8) The Florida Project

Others: Blade Runner 2049, Mudbound, Lady Bird

BEST DIRECTION



1) Christopher Nolan/Dunkirk
2) Guillermo Del Toro/The Shape of Water
3) Steven Spielberg/The Post
4) Joe Wright/Darkest Hour
5) Martin McDonagh/Three Billboards

Others: Sean Baker/Florida Project, Luca Guagadino/Call Me By Your Name, Dee Rees/Mudbound


BEST ACTRESS



1) Frances McDormand/Three Billboards
2) Sally Hawkins/The Shape of Water
3) Meryl Streep/The Post
4) Margo Robbie/I, Tonya
5) Jessica Chatain/Molly's Game

Others: Kate Winslet/Wonder Wheel, Emma Stone/Battle of the Sexes, Saoirse Ronan/Lady Bird


BEST ACTOR



1) Gary Oldman/Darkest Hour
2) Jake Gyllenhaal/Stronger
3) Daniel Day Lewis/Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Film
4) Tinothee Chalamet/Call Me By Your Name
5) Hugh Jackman/The Greatest Showman

Others: Andrew Garfield/Breathe, Denzel Washington/Roman Israel Esq., Tom Hanks/The Post



MAN OF INTEGRITY DIRECTOR COULD BE SENTENCED IN IRAN



I reported a few weeks back that Iranian director Mohammad Rasouluf had been detained in Iran after returning there from both the Telluride and Toronto Film Fests.  Rasouluf  has been screening his latest film, A Man of Integrity.

News came yesterday that the film maker could be sentenced by an Iranian court to six years in prison for"anti-regime propaganda".  That's according to Al Arabiya.  The complete article is linked here.

Rasoulof was detained on similar charges in 2010.  Al Arabiya reported that Rasoulof was detained on his return to Iran on Sept. 15 and extensively interviewed by authorities on Oct. 3.




That's your MTFB for this Thursday.  Have a great weekend and come back for more on Monday.


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Monday, October 9, 2017

Reprising TFF #44 / Stone's Take on the Oscar Race / Shape of Water and Wonderstruck Views / Foreign Language Field Is Set

Welcome back from the weekend everyone...

REPRISING TFF #44



Was perusing Gary Meyer's Eat, Drink Films website over the weekend and discovered a fine wrap-up of this year's Telluride Film Festival from Risa Nye.  I have linked it here.

Risa hits many of the highlights of the weekend and specifically talks Downsizing, Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, Darkest Hour, Lean on Pete, Lady Bird, Jamaica Man, The Rider, Hostiles, Love Cecil, An Inconvenient Sequel, Wonderstruck, The Cotton Club Encore and Battle of the Sexes.


STONE'S TAKE ON THE OSCAR RACE



Awards Daily's Sasha Stone updates her Oscar prediction every Friday so I thought I'd take a look at last Friday's list and sort of get a feel for where this year's Telluride crop might be headed.  I t should be noted that Stone doesn't list all 24 categories as yet but does mention 14 of them.

Currently she has Joe Wright's Darkest Hour and Guillermo Del Toro's The Shape of Water leading the way with 10 nominations each.

She has Darkest Hour with:  Picture, Direction, Actor, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actor, Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Editing, Costumes and Makeup.

The Shape of Water would have these nominations: Picture, Direction, Actress, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actor (Jenkins), Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Editing, Costumes and Makeup.

Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird would land three nominations: Picture, Supporting Actress and Original Screenplay.

Battle of the Sexes gets a nomination for Emma Stone for Best Actress.

Hostiles gets a nomination for Adapted Screenplay as does Wonderstruck.

Faces/Places gets nominated for Documentary Feature.

Loving Vincent gets a nom for Animated Feature.

She also lists "Contenders", films/performers that she doesn't currently list as nominees but which could get in. 

That potential exists for other nominations for:

The Shape of Water: Supporting Actor (Shannon)

Lady Bird: Direction, Actress

Battle of the Sexes: Picture, Direction

Hostiles: Picture

Wonderstruck: Picture, Direction

Downsizing: Picture, Direction, Actor, Supporting Actress

Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool: Actress

The complete "Awards Daily Predictions Friday" post is here.
 

SHAPE OF WATER AND WONDERSTRUCK

We got a new "inside look" at Del Toro's The Shape of Water this weekend from SlashFilm.  The story and the video are both here.

Additionally, we also got a new clip from Todd Haynes Wonderstruck that runs just over four minutes.  The new clip is below from YouTube:



The Shape of Water opens on Dec. 8 and Wonderstruck opens on Oct. 20.


FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILED OS SET

The deadline has passed for the submission of films for consideration for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.  The Playlist reports that a record 92 nations submitted films for consideration.  

Among them are five films that played as a part of the TFF #44 lineup:

First They Killed My Father (Cambodia)
A Fantastic Woman (Chile)
Foxtrot (Israel)
The Insult (Lebanon)
Loveless (Russia)




That's your MTFB for this Monday...more on Thursday.


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Thursday, October 5, 2017

Byron Allen Gets Friendly With Hostiles / The Stanton Oscar Express Making Headway? / New Poster for Film Stars / First Reformed Added to NYFF

Welcome to the first Thursday in October...


BYRON ALLEN GETS FRIENDLY WITH HOSTILES




After having premiered at Telluride and playing Toronto and being announced as the opening film for the Rome Film Fest, Scott Cooper's Hostiles has finally gained distribution.

The news was revealed Tuesday that Byron Allen's fledgling Entertainment Studios.  Reports suggested that plans for the film will include an Oscar qualifying release before the end of the year and a wider release in January.

Those plans mean that Christian Bale and Rosamund Pike are probably both part of the awards conversation for acting honors and that the film could be a player in the Best Picture, Direction and Screenplay categories as well.

The film was received in a generally positive way at both Telluride and Toronto especially Bale for his portrayal of a 19th century U.S. Army Captain charged with escorting a Native American Chief (Wes Studi) to Montana from New Mexico.  The film  currently has a 67 on Rotten Tomatoes and a 63 from Metacritic.

Further coverage is here from:

Variety

Indiewire



THE STANTON OSCAR EXPRESS MAKING HEADWAY?


FOr those that have been following along, the Harry Dean Stanton for Best Actor Oscar campaign may have gotten a boost this week as Scott Feinberg, The Hollywood Reporters chief awards writer, included Stanton in his latest Feinberg Forecast,

Feinberg, doing an update of FF at the halfway mark of the New York Film Festival lists HDS as a "New" entrant on the race as a part pf a group he labels as "Major Threats".  That puts the late Stanton in Feinberg's top 12 for Oscar Best Actor.




The complete and updated version of The Feinberg Forecast is here



.NEW POSTER FOR FILM STARS


Paul McGuigan's Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool starring Annette Bening as film star Gloria Grahame and Jamie Bell has a new poster as it moves towards its Dec. 29th limited release date in the U.S..  The film is under the umbrella of Sony Pictures Classics. and in addition to having premiered at Telluride played Toronto and will play London, Mill Valley and Middleburg.

Check the new poster:



Also take a look at the story from The Express (UK).


FIRST REFORMED ADDED TO NYFF



A24 announced earlier this week that Paul Schrader's First Reformed has been added to the lineup of the on-going New York Film Festival.  The film played Telluride, Venice and Toronto.  The film stars Ethan Hawke and Amanda Seyfried.

It is scheduled to screen tomorrow evening at 6:00pm in Alice Tully Hall.  A release date has not yet been set.

Here's the rundown from NYFF.



Monday, October 2, 2017

New Darkest Hour Trailer Appears / HDS For Oscar Campaign Continues / News from Middleburg, Va. / More from Mexico...

Welcome back from the weekend.  It's October!


NEW DARKEST HOUR TRAILER APPEARS

As Focus Features readies Joe Wright's Darkest Hour for its release on Nov. 22 they released a new trailer for the film this week.  Here it is from YouTube:



Coverage is included here for the new trailer's release from Entertainment Weekly and Indiewire.



HDS FOR OSCAR CAMPAIGN CONTINUES




So, I'm sure you've noticed over the past two weeks plus my minute campaign to jump start a campaign to get Harry Dean Stanton into the Best Actor Oscar conversation for his final film, Lucky.  Well, heads up friends...I'm not the only one.  David Ehrlich took up the cause late this past week at Indiewire with an article entitled: "Why 'Lucky' Should Earn the Late Harry Dean Stanton His First Oscar".

Well, I was thrilled.  You might say David has a larger platform to make the point than  I do.  I know David just a little bit as he has been kind enough over the past few years to be one of the Telluride Pros who shares his ratings of the films he sees at Telluride that I then post so it was very gratifying to see that post pop up this week echoing the sentiment that I have been feeling since the passing of Stanton in Sept. 15.

So, friends, be aware.  The Harry Dean Stanton drumbeat is going to be continuing here (and from my Twitter and Facebook accounts) for the foreseeable future.  I hope it doesn't annoy and my apologies if it does.

Here's the coda for this week.  Links to rapturous reviews for the film and Stanton's performance in particular from Justin Chang of The Los Angeles Times and Peter Travers of Rolling Stone.


NEWS FROM MIDDLEBURG, VA



I received a friendly email from MTFB reader and TFF patron Patrick Healy this week.  Patrick is working hard currently in the run up to the Middleburg Film Fest in Middleburg, Va.  Patrick works for the fest in PTR and wanted to alert me to the fests lineup and dates.  It grabbed my interest because Patrick has been a respondent to my requests for the "People's Ratings" for TFF and also because the MFF lineup is A) Fantastic! and B) includes a ton of TFF titles.

Middleburg TFF #44 films: Darkest Hour (their opener), Lady Bird (their centerpiece) as well as Faces/Places, A Fantastic Woman, Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, Loveless, The Other Side of Hope and Wonderstruck.  MFF has also programmed such intriguing titles as Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, Last Flag Flying, Happy End, Call Me By Your Name, I Tonya, Mudbound and Breathe.

That's just a rockin' lineup...

The Middleburg Fest runs Oct.19-22.  Check the website here: The Middleburg Film Festival, Middleburg, Va.


MORE FROM MEXICO...



Last Monday I posted a story about film preservationists in Mexico challenged due to the recent earthquake there.  Gary Meyer of Eat Drink Films and former co-director of the Telluride Film Festival pointed out that, among other things, there is a very definite connection to TFF.

From Gary's email:

Michael,
Thanks for posting about  Viviana's situation with her archive. Obviously it has it roots with Telluride. Tom saw a very rough cut of PERDIDA in Morelia and became interested because of his own passion for some Mexican films and especially the actress Nino Sevilla who got a Silver Medallion in 1995 and we showed a documentary about her as well as the classics VICTIMS OF SIN and AVENTURERA. He met Viviana in Morelia and gave her extensive comments about the film and also introduced her to some key people for her story, some she did not know were still alive.

I sent this email out to many archive and press friends and art house operators.
===================

If you saw the wonderful documentary PERDIDA by Viviana Garcia Besné that premiered in Telluride in 2009 you know about the incredible story of how the filmmaker "was told that her family had made some of the worst films in the history of Mexican cinema. Viviana spent many years ashamed of that legacy and distanced herself from everything that the Calderón family had ever done. But a chance encounter sparked her interest and led to a 3-year quest to uncover the story of a family that had been involved in all aspects of the film business in Mexico and the United States -- theaters, distribution, and production -- whose rise and fall throughout the 20th century closely mirrored that of Mexican cinema as a whole, a once-powerful film industry that was now virtually nonexistent. The story that Viviana discovered through old film reels, photographs, newspaper articles, clips from the family's film vaults, and interviews with the survivors of Mexican cinema's golden eras included tales of romance and stories about movie and music legends like Ricardo Montalbán, Lupe Vélez and the mambo king Damaso Perez Prado, and allowed her to make peace with a legacy of film pioneers." (IMDB).

In the process researching she found hundreds of reels of Calderon films that included everything from genre films like El Santo and Aztec Mummy wrestling movies to classics like Emilio Fernández' VICTIMS OF SIN with Ninon Sevilla.

She and her husband Alistair have been unearthing, cataloguing and restoring the films. 

Here is a short video of Viviana recovering films.  

And then the earthquake hit this week  
​badly damaging
 the archive building 
​ and films​
 
.

Our mutual friend and Berkeley-based collector Peter Conheim and archivist has been working with them and set up a Go Fund Me page where you can also donate:

Yesterday he sent out this letter and the attached letter from Viviana with photos of the damage.

This evening Peter reports: "I spoke to Viviana at around 7pm and got a further update, which was actually quite amazing – an armada of 30-some volunteers have managed to get the films off the floor. But now a lot of them are in people’s cars! "

Your support would be much appreciated.

Thanks
Gary



That's going to do it for your MTFB Monday post.  I'll have more on Thursday...

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

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Foreign Language Field Grows / Views of Downsizing and First They Killed My Father / Lady Bird Flies a Little Earlier / More Harry Dean Stanton Goodness / Hostiles: Still No Distrib But a Trip to Rome

Good Thursday Film Fans...



FOREIGN LANGUAGE FIELD GROWS



Thus week Russia announced that its official entrant into Oscar's Best Foreign Language race will be Andrey Zvyaginstev's Loveless.  The choice is a, perhaps, a bit of a surprise because the film, as was Zyvaginstev's previous Oscar nominated Leviathan, offers a critique of modern day Russia.

The film had a great response at Cannes and Telluride did nothing to diminish that.  Loveless will screen at the London, Hampton and Mill Valley Film Fests soon.
 
Other TFF #44 films in announced for the FLF race:

Cambodia: First They Killed More Father
Chile: A Fantastic Woman
Israel: Foxtrot
Lebanon: The Insult

Other non-TFF #44 films of note announced:

Austria: Happy End
France: BPM
Poland: Spoor
Sweden: The Square


Details and a complete list can be found here from Awards Watch.


VIEWS OF DOWNSIZING AND FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER

This week we were treated to a new clip from Alexander Payne's Downsizing and a new trailer for Angelina Jolie's Oscar Foreign Language contender First They Killed My Father.

Downsizing is set to open in the U.S. on Dec. 22nd:



Meanwhile, First They Killed My Father has begun screening on Netflix on Sept. 15th.  The film was theatrically released as well:





Both videos are posted via YouTube.


LADY BIRD FLIES A WEEK EARLIER

A24 has announced that they are moving the initial limited release of Greta Gerwig's Telluride smash, Lady Bird up a week to Nov. 10th.  The film had been set for Nov. 17th and will go wider that weekend and even wider as Thanksgiving weekend.

Details and the story are here from Deadline.com.



MORE HARRY DEAN STANTON GOODNESS





The MTFB push to get Harry Dean Stanton into the awards conversation for his final film, Lucky continues today with a couple of articles from this week.  The film opens tomorrow in limited release in New York and Los Angeles.

First, The Hollywood Reporter had this story this week that focused on a gathering of a number of his close friends in Stanton's s favorite L.A. watering hole.

And Variety filed this report with the cast and crew of Lucky celebrating the L.A. premiere of the film.


HOSTILES: STILL NO DISTRIBUTOR BUT A TRIP TO ROME



As of my typing this on Thursday morning Scott Cooper's Hostiles is still without a distributor.  The name Netflix keeps buzzing about but there's nothing solid.  Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter says that the film will open the Rome Film Fest on Oct. 26th.

That report is here.


Last note for the day is that we are expecting a Darkest Hour trailer later today.  I'll be looking for that.


Until Monday, my friends...

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

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Monday, September 25, 2017

Oscar Analysis as Fall Begins / Catching Up on Trailers: Wonderstruck, Film Stars, Faces Places / Looking Ahead / Earthquake in Mexico

Good Monday everyone...

OSCAR ANALYSIS AS FALL BEGINS



Well.

We're through the triple threat of Telluride, Venice and Toronto.  New York and London loom in October with the AFI Fest set to run in November.  It's time to get serious about awards season and the Oscarologists have begun to get serious as well.

And what they have to say is...nobody knows nothin'.

Across the board the pundits and experts are saying that it's the most wide open Best Picture race years.  We've had what were perceived as close races recently but those have generally two pony races:  12 Years a Slave and Gravity in 2013 and Birdman/Boyhood in 2014.  But this year it seems like a multi-horse race.  Then, when you add in the preferential ballot...

So...after consulting some of my usual gurus (OK, not real consultation, I just read their various websites)..Here's what looks to me like what could be some Oscar nominees when they are announced on January 23rd.

Best Picture:

Three films seem to have become consensus picks to be nominees:
Dunkirk
The Shape of Water
Darkest Hour

After that it becomes murky...

Possibles:

Lady Bird
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri
Last Flag Flying
Call Me By Your Name
The Post
Phantom Thread (or whatever its title will be)
The Florida Project

Others that could play:

Get Out
The Big Sick
Mudbound
Battle of the Sexes

It seems to me that mother!, Downsizing and Wonderstruck are not likely and I'm not sold on The Greatest Showman.

Directing candidates: Nolan, Del Toro, Wright, Spielberg, Anderson, Guadagnino, McDonagh, Baker, Linklater.

Best Actress: This field is loaded and is going to be fiercely competitive.  Just getting a nomination will be difficult.  Candidates:



Sally Hawkins/Shape of Water
Judi Dench/Victoria and Abdul
Saoirse Ronan/Lady Bird
Emma Stone/Battle of the Sexes
Meryl Streep/The Post
Kate Winslet/Wonder Wheel
Frances McDormand/Three Billboards
Margot Robbie/I Tonya
Daniela Vega/A Fantastic Woman
Glenn Close/The Wife
Jessica Chastain/Molly's Game
Jennifer Lawrence/mother!
Annette Bening/Film Stars
Carey Mulligan/Mudbound

It feels like Hawkins, Streep and McDormand are probable but this list of 14 is formidable.

Best Actor:  A thinner field than the ladies...so says the experts and I tend to agree:



Gary Oldman/Darkest Hour (and your prohibitive favorite I suspect)
Tom Hanks/The Post
Daniel Day Lewis/Phantom Thread/PTA Film
Timothee Chalamet/Call Me By Your Name
Jake Gyllenhaal/Stronger
Andrew Garfield/Breathe
Hugh Jackman/The Greatest Showman
Bryan Cranston/Last Flag Flying

And, of course, the dark horse candidate that I'm pushing: Harry Dean Stanton for Lucky.


Best Supporting Actress:

Laurie Metcalf/Lady Bird
Alison Janney/I Tonya
Nicole Kidman/Sacred Deer
Hong Chau/Downsizing
Holly Hunter/Big Sick
Octavia Spencer/Shape of Water
Mary J. Blige/Mudbound

Best Supporting Actor:

Willem Dafoe/Florida Project
Mark Rylance/Dunkirk
Armie Hammer/Call Me By Your Name
Sam Rockwell/Three Billboards
Michael Stuhlbarg/Call Me By Your Name
Richard Jenkins/Shape of Water
Michael Shannon/Shape of Water
Steve Carell/Last Flag Flying
Dustin Hoffman/The Meyerowitz Stories
Ben Mendelsohn/Darkest Hour


At a guess, your winners will be: Dafoe, Metcalf, Oldman, McDormand or Hawkins, Nolan and Dunkirk.


Here are some of the experts:

Kristopher Tapley/Variety: Article 1  Article 2
Sasha Stone/Awards Daily
Clayton Davis/Awards Circuit
Jason Osiason/Fantastic Film Fans
Greg Ellwood/The Playlist
Steve Pond/The Wrap


CATCHING UP ON TRAILERS: WONDERSTRUCK, FILM STARS, FACES PLACES












LOOKING AHEAD



It won't surprise any of you that I constantly save articles and posts about upcoming films that I think may be Telluride players at some future fest.  I email myself all the time and store them in a file call "Future Telluride".

Every now and then I clean it as events overtake what has been collected.  For example, I dumped articles on Friday that I had collected on TFF #44 films Battle of the Sexes, Downsizing, Lady Bird First Reformed and Darkest Hour.

But there are plenty of films that live there too that I think might show at The SHOW and then don't like: Happy End, The Current War, Molly's Game, The Snowman, Our Souls at Night and The Leisure Seeker.

And those were all from 2016 or earlier.

So, you might ask, what's still in there?

Here are the top ten film projects that have a least three articles still living in my "Future Telluride: file:

1) First Man-Damian Chazelle on Neil Armstrong with Ryan Gosling
2) Widows-Steve McQueen with Viola Davis, Carrie Coon
3) The Man Who Killed Don Quixote-Terry Gilliam's passion project for the last million years or so
4) Roma-Alfonso Cuaron
5) This Above All- Focuses on the Westboro Baptist Church
6) Black Money-Maybe a Coen Brothers project
7) The Irishman-Scorsese gets the old band back together: DeNiro, Pacino,Keitel, Pesci
8) The Front Runner-Jason Reitman telling the Gary Hart story with Hugh Jackman as Hart
9) On the Other Side-Carey Mulligan
10) The Death and Life of John F. Donovan-Xavier Dolan...a film many thought might be making the rounds this fall.  It's now dated for a January release in Italy...but I wouldn't rule out a play at Berlin or Cannes.

I have 46 other films in the hold.


THE EARTHQUAKE IN MEXICO



I had a couple of different sources point me in the direction of the story of film preservation nin Mexico endangered by the aftermath of the recent earthquake.

First, here's the explanation from Viviana Garcia Besne, director of the Permancia Volunatria Film Archive:

Dear family, friends and collegues, I am writing on behalf of the PERMANENCIA VOLUNTARIA FILM ARCHIVE -- the only independent film archive in Mexico specializing in the collection and preservation of popular films. Our collection focuses on the works of the Calderón and García Besné family, pioneers in important film genres such as the Rumberas, Luchadores and Ficheras. Our archive also houses other unique materials that cannot be found anywhere else, including movie posters, documents and promotional items. As you know, on September 19 a terrible 7.1 magnitude earthquake shook Mexico City, Puebla, and Tepoztlán (Tepoztlán, home of the archive, was right on the epicenter.) We are a small town, our buildings are heavily damaged, and we lack the money, means, and manpower to repair the extensive damage wrought by the earthquake. Today an engineer confirmed that the space where the archive is located and its microcinema, our BATICINE, are safe to rebuild. By order of the local government we cannot access the second floor of the archive, as a window and part of a wall are completely damaged. It will be inaccessible until we bring an engineer and a construction team to start rebuilding. To date we are unable to take photos and assess the damage to the second floor. This is especially worrying because we are entering the rainy season, and with every passing day we will be at risk of extensive water damage if we do not work to repair this area quickly. We need emergency assistance. Another big concern is that a major water line has been compromised at this location. The pipe is not currently leaking as Tepotzlán has no running water, but when the city manages to resume water services our archive will flood. We cannot wait for the government to assist us in preventing water damage, and we currently do not have the resources to fix the crack. This is particularly alarming as 80% of our storage racks were damaged in the earthquake, and most of our artifacts are littered on the ground at extreme risk. With the proper assistance we will be able to move the films and purchase the necessary hardware and protective materials to keep them safe. We cannot underestimate the severity of this situation. As you know, these antique film reels are irreplaceable and priceless, and with every passing moment we are at risk of losing everything. Our Baticine, the community movie theater that we manage which showcases the works of local filmmakers and popular films for all audiences, has also been destroyed. We have months of work ahead of us to fix this beloved community space, but our priority is the restoration of the archive. The devastating earthquake not only destroyed the roof of the archive, but it damaged the films, which will need additional longer term assistance to be rehoused and cleaned, and has undone most of our cataloguing and organizational efforts. The scope of this project is beyond our means and we cannot do it alone. We will be beyond grateful for any assistance you can offer in regards to the preservation of our Archive.

Warm regards,
Viviana Garcia Besne
Director Permanencia Voluntaria Film Archive

BANK DETAILS

SWIFT
MENOMXMTXXX
Banco Mercantil del Norte SA
Monterrey, NL. México
BANCO IXE/ BANORTE
VIVIANA ALEJANDRA GARCIA BESNE GARCIA
CLABE: 072 180 00016748735 9
No. de CUENTA: 0016748735

The wire need to be processed though one of the following US banks:

CHASUS33XXX(ABA 021-000-021)JP Morgan Chase BankNew York, NY. USA BOFAUS6SXXX(ABA 121-000-358)Bank of America NASan Francisco, CA. USA PNBPUS33XXX(ABA 026-005-092)Wells Fargo BankNew York, NY. USA
SCBLUS33XXX(ABA 026-002-561)Standard Chartered BankNew York, NY. USA


And the Go Fund Me link from archivist Peter Conheim.


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


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

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Telluride History Book: TFF #19 / More on Harry Dean Stanton / Cambodia Choses Jolie's Film, Israel Will Foxtrot / Trouble in Iran

Hello to all on this Thursday...


TELLURIDE HISTORY BOOK: TFF #19-1992



My retrospective of the history of Telluride Film Festival continues today as I resume after a six week hiatus with a look at the 19th TFF.  Now that TFF #44 has concluded, I'll get back to this project with the hope that I can conclude it episodically between now and the Oscar ceremony on Mar. 4th.

Here's a look at TFF #19:

Guest Direct: C. Cabrera Infante

Tributes: Harvey Keitel, Elmer Bernstein, Cy Endfield

SHOWS:

Bad Lieutenant
The Chosen One
Close to Eden
The Cranes Are Flying
The Crying Game
The Donner Party
El Mariachi
Feed
The Firm
From Hollywood to Hanoi
The Godless Girl
Homeland
I Am Cuba
I Want to See Angels
La Virgen de la Caridad
Laughter
Leolo
Lessons of the Darkness
The Letter That Was Never Sent
Life in Shadows
The Long Day Closes
The Loveless
Made in Britain
The Magnificent Seven
Momento Mori
Nail in the Boot
The Oak
Olivier Olivier
Peter's Friends
Reservoir Dogs
Road
The Sound of Fury
Strictly Ballroom
Tous Les Matins Du Monde
Victim of Sin
Visions of Light


Guests:

Kathryn Bigelow
Werner Herzog
Chuck Jones
Michael Moore
Gary Oldman
Robert Rodriguez
Tim Roth

1992's lineup seems amazing to me as it included: Reservoir Dogs, The Crying Game, Bad Lieutenant, El Mariachi and Strictly Ballroom.  Mike Leigh also had his short film A Sense of History at the fest.


MORE ON HARRY DEAN STANTON



I wrote in Monday's post about the loss of the great Harry Dean Stanton.  Yes...I am the one man campaign for a Best Actor nomination for him this year for Lucky.

But I also pointed out that I wasn't certain that Stanton was in Telluride for the screening of Wim Wenders' Paris, Texas in 1984.  I couldn't confirm or deny based on the official program from that year.  I asked for further information from MTFB readers and my request was rewarded.

Long time Telluride Film Festival staffer Jim Bedford confirmed via email that Stanton was, in fact, in Telluride in 1984.  From Jim's email:

From 1973-1983 I ran the Sheridan Opera House for Bill Pence's small chain of Denver and ski town theatres. In the early years Bill would do the programming from Denver and give us three-month schedules with three films a week, two for three days each and an art film on Wed only. Anything that worked would be brought back (think THE KING OF HEARTS, CHINATOWN, MCCABE, etc.) for rep runs. Boy, did I see a bunch of great movies during those years.

In 1975 we showed RANCHO DELUXE which our Telluride audience fell in love with and my love of Harry Dean Stanton (which was reinforced by Stella Pence, who was also a fan) continued from that time on. My guess is that we showed RANCHO at least a half dozen times over those years and it never failed to draw a quite pleased audience. Our little town embraced this film's quirky ethic, great one-liners and indelible characters (including clearly HDS).

In 1981 when Bill, Stella, Tom Luddy and Bill Everson did the second year of the Santa Fe Film Festival as a tribute to the Western Film and I convinced Bill that RANCHO was a Modern Western, a perfect foil for the real end of the Old West (sort of an anti-THE WILD BUNCH). It was included in the program and I got to present it at the Lensic Theatre and give Santa Fe Festival sterling silver belt buckles to Tom McGuane and Harry Dean on stage (pictures are available).

Two years later at the TFF, HDS was certainly in town for PARIS, TEXAS. Bill had also scheduled a by-then out-of-circulation REPO MAN in 16mm in the Community Center (it had premiered  in Berlin earlier that winter and died after a short March release). (Meanwhile, the TFF early arrival staff had screened REPO MAN on 16mm on the TFF office wall two weeks before so we were all nuts about it already.)

It was my job to get Harry Dean from the New Sheridan Hotel to the CC for the screening so I picked him up and we walked up the hill while I think he smoked 2-3 cigs on the way. It was a packed show at the CC that included Roger Ebert. After the screening Roger talked to HDS and later that week gave REPO MAN (which he had not seen or reviewed yet) a 3.5 star review. Universal then gave the film another release and the rest is history; REPO MAN became one of the great Cult Films from then on.

(PARIS, TEXAS wasn't bad either. I got to watch its premiere sitting on the SOH floor and then watch Wim Wenders take the stage after the film joined by Kit Carson, Hunter Carson, Nastassja Kinski, Dean Stockwell [a surprise visitor up from Santa Fe], and of course, Harry Dean.) 

Jim also kindly included two photos.  A still of Stanton from Telluride as well as one from the ceremony at the 1981 Santa Fe Fest:





CAMBODIA CHOOSES JOLIE'S FILM, ISRAEL WILL FOXTROT



Since my last post on Monday there have been some moves from various nations to put forth their films for consideration for the Foreign Language Film Oscar.  Cambodia jolted the race and the calculations with regard to nominations by announcing that their choice is Angelina Jolie's First They Killed My Father.

Jolie holds citizenship in Cambodia.

The film ranked # 10 on MTFB's Composite Ratings of Telluride films with a decent 7.05 combined rating.

Coverage is here from:

Variety

The Hollywood Reporter and

Deadline



Meanwhile, Israel's Ophir Awards have determined that Foxtrot will be their entry in the FLF Oscar sweepstakes.  The Samuel Maoz directed film dominated the Israeli "Oscars" winning 8.

Coverage from Variety.


TROUBLE IN IRAN



Though it didn't receive enough ratings from wither the Pros or the People to establish a rating last week, Mohammad Rasoulof's A Man of Integrity seemed to be well received by the TFF patrons that I ran into and that had seen it.  The film also won the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes last May.

Rasoulof was detained by Iranian authorities this past week as he returned to Iran from Telluride.  The film maker had to surrender his passport and has been ordered to court.

Here's the story from The Hollywood Reporter. 


That's your MTFB filing for Thursday, Sept. 21st.  I'll have more on Monday.

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

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Monday, September 18, 2017

The Composite Telluride / Goodbye Harry Dean / Toronto's Audience Award / Trailers for Film Stars and Faces Places / Post Fest Overviews

Welcome back from the weekend.  Hope you had a good one.

THE COMPOSITE TELLURIDE



Here it is for TFF #44.  The composite mash-up of ratings from both the People and the Professionals.  The Composite Telluride combines the ratings for films that came from both sets of Telluride attendees that I canvas immediately after the fest.

I began doing The Composite in 2013 and in each year the film that has finished at the top has gone on to win the Best Picture Oscar.

Here's a quick look at the top five Composite films for each year since I started:

In 2013 the top five composite films were:

1) 12 Years a Slave (9.25)
2) Tim's Vermeer (8.97)
3) Gravity (8.75)
4) Nebraska (8.38)
5) All is Lost (8.26)

In 2014 the top five were:

1) Birdman (9.18)
2) Foxcatcher (8.83)
3) The Imitation Game (8.79)
4) Wild Tales (8.43)
5) '71 (8.15)

In 2015 the top five were:

1) Spotlight (8.86)
2) Son of Saul (8.74)
3) Beasts of No Nation (8.62)
4) Steve Jobs (8.17)
5) Carol (8.13)

In 2016 the top five were:

1) Moonlight (9.19)
2) La La Land (8.91)
3) Manchester by the Sea (8.13)
4) Arrival (8.01)
5) Maudie (7.89)

And so, here are the results of this year's Composite Telluride (with their composite score and ratings position each had from The People and then The Pros):



1) The Shape of Water (8.72-2-1)
2) Lady Bird (8.58-1-5)
3) Faces Places (7.96-5-2)
4) Darkest Hour (7.90-3-8)
5) Hostiles (7.78-4-9)
6) The Rider (7.63-10-2)
7) Battle of the Sexes (7.62-6-7)
8) First Reformed (7.32-13-6)
9) Lean on Pete (7.16-7-12)
10) First They Killed My Father (7.05-15-10)
11) Loving Vincent (7.00-12-11)
12) Wonderstruck (6.68-10-13)
13) Downsizing (6.17-16-14)
14) Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool (6.16-8-15)

There was some substantial disparity between The People and The Pros this year as no less than half of the films that were rated by enough members of both groups had a rank disparity of five spots or more.  The three most divisive films were The Rider and First Reformed which The Pros favored much more and also Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool which The People preferred considerably more than The Pros.

A couple of other notes...based on what past Telluride ratings have told us it looks to me like The Shape of Water, Lady Bird and Darkest Hour look like solid Best Picture nomination contenders.  Battle of the Sexes, as I said in my last post, might be in some serious jeopardy in as far as Best Picture is concerned.  I know some Oscar predictors think it's in good shape but these results suggest that it might be a stretch.

Additionally, the results also look grim for Best Picture chances for Wonderstruck, Downsizing, First They Killed My Father and Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool.

Finally, I have opined that TFF #44 seemed to me to have a bunch of good films but maybe didn't have a great film and , again, the ratings might provide some evidence for that as no film from 2017 cracked the all time (well since 2013) Telluride Composite ratings list.  This year's highest rated composite film, The Shape of Water and its 8.72 rating missed making the top ten by 2/100ths of a point.

So the top ten continue to be:

1) 12 Years a Slave (9.25) 2013
2) Moonlight (9.19) 2016
3) Birdman (9.18) 2014
4) Tim's Vermeer (8.97) 2013
5) La La Land (8.91) 2016
6) Spotlight (8.86) 2015
7) Foxcatcher (8.83) 2014
8) The Imitation Game (8.79) 2014
9) Gravity (8.75) 2013
10) Son of Saul (8.74) 2015


GOODBYE HARRY DEAN



Harry Dean Stanton was an "all timer".  A GOAT, if you will.  The long time character actor was in everything and great every time:

Partial list of films:

Cool Hand Luke
The Missouri Breaks
Straight Time
Alien
Escape from New York
Repo Man
Paris, Texas (TFF 1984)***
Red Dawn
Pretty in Pink
Wild at Heart
The Straight Story
The Green Mile
and coming on Sept. 29th...Lucky.

***TFF's old timeline that used to be on the official website said that Stanton was present in Telluride that weekend.  The official program from 1984 only lists Wim Wenders as being with the film.  If anyone out there knows for sure one way or the other, drop me a line.

Stanton died on Friday at the age of 91.

Just recently we saw him back in David Lynch and Mark Frost's Twin Peaks: The Return on Showtime resurrecting the character that he had played in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me.  It was a reminder of what an authentic and honest presence he was on screen.

Saturday, on Twitter, I suggested that I wanted to get the ball rolling on a Best Actor Oscar movement for Harry Dean's Lucky performance...and why not?

Most of my friends that are Oscarologists have suggested that the Best actor Oscar field isn't as over loaded this year and the critical response to Lucky from its festival screenings-beginning with South by Southwest back in March and has included a slew of domestic and international fests including: Nantucket, Indianapolis, Locarno, Melbourne, Helsinki and will soon include The Harry Dean Film fest as well as the BFI London Fest.

Variety's Joe Leydon writes: "Everything in his career, and his life,  has brought Harry Dean Stanton to his moment of triumph."

Indiewire's David Ehrlich said "Harry Dean Stanton gives a performance for the ages."

Brian Tallerico for RogerEbert.com wrote that Stanton is "giving one of the best performances of his remarkable career."

So...readers of MTFB...that's my drumbeat for Oscar for this year.  Harry Dean Stanton for Best Actor (OK, I'm also all about Richard Jenkins for Supporting Actor in The Shape of Water).

Here's the trailer:



Indiewire's retrospective of Stanton's best performances is here.

TORONTO'S AUDIENCE AWARD



The Toronto International Film Festival named its prize winners yesterday afternoon and it's a rare year in that there was almost no Telluride/Toronto crossover.  Faces Places won the Audience Award for Docs which is the only instance that I could find.  TIFF's feature award went to Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, First Runner-up was I, Tonya and Second Runner-up was Call Me By Your Name.

I had thought that either The Shape of Water or Lady Bird would/could take the award.

The win for Three Billboards may underscore how unsettled the awards landscape is even after the Telluride/Venice/Toronto triumvirate.

TRAILERS FOR FILM STARS AND FACES, PLACES

Take a look at trailers for Paul McGuigan's Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool starring Annette Bening and Jamie Bell:




as well as for Agnes Varda and JR's Faces Places:




POST FEST OVERVIEWS



In the afterglow of Telluride, Venice and Toronto, a number of film and Oscar pundits are beginning to get serious about what we've seen and what's still to be seen.

The Hollywood Reporter posted a piece this weekend assessing their "Best of the Fall Fests" which included this TFF #44 fare:

Battle of the Sexes
Downsizing
Foxtrot
Hostiles
Lady Bird
Lean on Pete
The Shape of Water


THR's complete listing is here.



Meanwhile, Sasha Stone at Awards Daily analyzes Best Actress Oscar prospects of a number of films from a post-T-ride/TIFF/Venice perspective.

Her top five include these TFF #44 players:

Best Actress: Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water), Emma Stone (Battle of the Sexes) and Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird).  She also suggests that Rosamund Pike might be a possibility for Hostiles.

Sasha's complete State of the Race article is here.



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