Thursday, March 30, 2017

Downsizing and Suburbicon at CinemaCon / Cannes #70 Poster Features Claudia / Will Hazanavicius Return? / And from the Hopes and Dreams Dept.

Good Thursday to you.  Here's some film stuff that may or may not have anything to do with TFF #44:


George Clooney and Matt Damon at CinemaCon this week (via The Hollywood Reporter)

Both Alexander Payne's Downsizing and George Clooney's Suburbicon have been well received after the Paramount presentation at CinemaCon in Las Vegas this week.

Check here for the reactions coming out of Vegas for these two films which both feature Matt Damon and which could both find the Telluride program in September.

Suburbicon will be released Nov. 3rd.  Downsizing will be released Dec. 22nd.


The Hollywood Reporter

Here are reactions to the footage of both films that was screened at CinemaCon:

The Hollywood Reporter

The Playlist

The Wrap



There it is.  The official poster for the 2017 edition of the Cannes Film Festival.  The poster features Cannes favorite Claudia Cardinale.  Telluride fans may remember that Cardinale was a tribute recipient in T-ride in 2010.

Here's coverage of the poster selection and reveal from The Film Stage.

Cardinale in Telluride in 2010 (via Getty Images)


Louis Garrel as Jean-Luc Godard in Redoubtable

His last film, The Search, played Cannes and was drubbed critically and resulted in a rather quiet disappearance and certainly no berth at Telluride but his latest, Redoubtable, which focuses on a real life love story from the life of film pioneer Jean Luc-Goddard has been getting significant pre-Cannes buzz.

Just this last couple of days, we began seeing stories focusing on the film, including some pics (see above).  That indicates to me that Redoubtable is a likely Cannes selection.  We'll find out, in all likelihood, on April 13th when the bulk of the Cannes lineup is announced.

Check out the french teaser  and other details here from Indiwire and here from The Playlist.


PTA via The Film Stage

Here's the latest...Paul Thomas Anderson's new film set in the world of high fashion and starring Daniel Day Lewis has been dated for release on Dec. 25th.  The Film Stage reports that its working title is Phantom Thread.

Insert obligatory note here about its unlikelihood for Telluride (for a number of reasons) as well as the expected wish that it would magically screen there.

Here's the story from The Film Stage.

That's a wrap for this Thursday.  Have a good weekend and come back for more on Monday.


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Monday, March 27, 2017

The Croisette Speculation Continues / Wakefield Wakes / The Scent of Rain and Lightning

Hope you had a nice spring weekend...But now it's Monday.


Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig in Downsizing (from The Daily Mail)

As we are three weeks prior to the official announcement of the competition (and most other) films for the 70th Cannes Film Festival, the insider dope and speculation continues to come forth.  This week it was The Playlist's turn to offer up thoughts about the films that may be included in the April 13th reveal.

Here's the skinny from that Kevin Jagernauth piece in as far s films that we have been batting back and forth as potential Telluride selections as well.

Jagernauth flat out declares that Wim Wenders Submergence and Alfonso Cuaron's Roma are out for Cannes.

Among the films that he lists as "Possibly in the Mix" are:
George Clooney's Suburbicon
Alexander Payne's Downsizing
Lynne Ramsay's You Were Never Really Here
Andrew Haigh's Lean on Pete
Andrey Zvyagintsev's Loveless

And among those he lists as "Strong Contenders":

Michael Haneke's Happy End
Todd Haynes' Wonderstruck
Michel Hazanavicius' Redoubtable
Abdellatif Kechiche's Mektoub is Mektoub

There are several other films listed as "Strong Contenders"  The entire Jagernauth/Playlist piece is here.


One of the joys of TFF #43 was getting to sit in a room and listen to Bryan Cranston talk about film. Cranston's Wakefield (also starring Jennifer Garner and directed by Robin Swicord) played to a middling response.  The People's Telluride gave it a 3.59/5 rating to be 12th of 21 films rated but The Professionals had it at 2.67/5  to be the 13th of 14 films rated.

We got news this week that the film has a distributor-IFC Films and a release date for the U.S.-May 19th.

Here's the story from The Wrap.


Film maker and friend of MTFB Casey Twenter and his writing partner Jess Robison are at it again.  The duo who wrote and produces Rudderless, which closed Sundance in January of 2014 have a new film that is out in the world soon.

The Scent of Rain and Lightning is their adaptation of a novel by Nancy Pickard and premiered at the Atlanta Film Festival this past weekend.  The film will also play soon at the Cleveland International Film Festival, the Newport Beach Film Festival and the Kansas City FilmFest.

Blake Robbins directed and the film stars the red hot/rising actress Maika Monroe.

Robbins penned this "nuts and bolts" descriptive piece for that appeared this week.

It might be added that a certain blogger has seen a a screener of the film and it very well done.

Congratulations and good luck to Casey, Jeff, Blake and the whole Rain/Lightning crew.

That's your MTFB for this Monday.  I'll have more later in the on Thursday.


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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Battle of the Sexes Has a Date / Politics, The NEA and Telluride / One More Big Cannes Spec Piece / More from The Other Side

Welcome to the first Thursday of spring friends.


It's a film that has been on the MTFB radar for many months.  The film is the Dayton/Faris' Battle of the Sexes which centers on the story of the tennis match for the ages between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs and starsEmma Stone and Steve Carell.  I believe I first noted it in this space in June of 2014.

Now Fox Searchlight has dated it for a Sept. 22nd release which means it could play Telluride (and/or Venice and Toronto).  Although, that doesn't seem to me to be a prime release window if you play Telluride (Black Mass and Sully both landed close to that date the last couple of years). Nevertheless, it keeps the film in play as a TFF #44 possibility.

Here's coverage of the release date announcement.

Fox Searchlight Press Release


The Hollywood Reporter

Entertainment Weekly

The Wrap


I usually stay away from politics in this space but I noted this week an Indiewire post about the possible effect on film festivals should the Trump budget come to pass complete with its gutting of the National Endowment for the Arts.  It seems that a number of film festivals would take a hot including the Telluride Film Festival.

That seemed to me to be worthy to pass along to my readers.  Here's the story From Indiewire .


Variety posted an extensive piece yesterday with informed Cannes lineup guesswork.  Notable films mentioned among the possible titles included Todd Haynes' Wonderstruck,

Of as much interest is a paragraph about two Paramount films: Alexander Payne's Downsizing (which has been on any number of Cannes lists within the last month) and George Clooney's Suburbicon.  The reporters suggest that Payne may not be ready to bow in France in May but that Clooney might be.  Considering how hot the expectation has been that the Payne film would likely play, this is a bit surprising.

Other notable strong contenders are said to include Michael Haneke's Happy End, Michel Hazanavicius' Redoubtable, Abdellatif Kechiche's Mektoub is Mektoub.

Here's the complete piece from Elsa Keslassy and Peter DeBruge of Variety.


As you have surely noticed, I am taking a keen interest (and have been for some time now) in the ongoing process to complete Orson Welles "final' film, The Other Side of the Wind.  The negatives are currently in Los Angeles and work is said to have begun.

Earlier this week, Indiewire posted a fairly detailed account of how and where this all came about.  If you haven't already immersed yourself on the details, their story is a good way to get up to speed.

Indiewire posted the story earlier this week.

That'll be a wrap for today.  More on Monday.


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Monday, March 20, 2017

Some Serious Cannes Possibilities / The Other Side's Work Has Begun / Tom Luddy Honoroed

Welcome to Monday...if you got a spring break, I hope you enjoyed it..


During the past week Deadline and Screen Daily each dropped a large article commenting on film titles that they feel have serious Cannes potential.  As a matter of fact, they're the two deepest Cannes spec pieces that I've seen thus far.

As regular readers know, we parse the Cannes potential lineup to begin to glean thoughts as to which films might also be presented in September at T-ride.

So, lets's dive in beginning with the Screen Daily post which breaks down possibilities by various geographic regions.  From those lengthy lists, I have highlighted some films that seem like candidates for TFF:

France: Mektoub is Mektoub, Redoubtable, The Guardians
UK/Ireland: Lean on Pete, You Were Never Really Here
Germany: Submergence
North America: Wonderstruck
Latin America: Roma
Eastern Europe: Loveless

The complete Screen Daily article is here.

Meanwhile. Pete Hammond posted a big Cannes piece on Wednesday that includes hard core speculation about:

Michael Haneke's Happy End
Alexander Payne's Downsizing
George Clooney's Suburbicon (though Hammond suggests a fall fest is, perhaps, more likely...Venice?)
Todd Haynes' Wonderstruck
Lynne Ramsay's You Where Never Really Here

Hammond also pours cold water on the Cannes spec of a number of films that we've been keeping an eye on this spring.  Films that Hammond says will NOT be Cannes bound include: Wim Wenders Submergence, Stephen Frears' Victoria and Abdul, Alfonso Cuaron's Roma.

French films that Hammond suggests are in play for a berth include Mektoub is Mektoub, Redoubtable and The Guardians.

Other titles that Hammond highlights that stand out to me as having a shot at Labor Day in the San Juans include: Loveless, The Venerable W,

The complete Deadline post is here.


The people behind the effort to restore, edit, finish Orson Welles' final film The Other Side of the Wind have wasted no time getting right into the work.

We told you last week that Netflix had come on board with money and that all the legal ins and outs had been satisfied for the project to move forward.  We also re-posted a photo of the thousands of feet of film arriving in Los Angeles for work to begin.

Now we have a clip of film as the film was readied and packaged for the delivery to L.A. this week. Yahoo had the film to begin with and Indiewire re-posted it.

Here's that story with the film included.


Telluride Film Festival co-founder and continuing director Tom Luddy was announced as the recipient of The San Francisco Film Festival's Mel Novikoff Award. The award "acknowledges an individual or institution whose work has enhanced the filmgoing public's knowledge and appreciation of world cinema."

Luddy will receive the award in San Francisco on April 9th.

From The 60th SFIFF, here is the press release announcing the honor.


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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Cuaron Has Wrapped / Ten Films For 2018 Best Pic Oscar-Whipp, Wells and Telluride / The Other Side of the Wind-Update / Late Breaking: New Cannes Spec

Hello all on this Spring Break Thursday...


Alfonso Cuaron

Oscar winning director Alfonso Cuaron made his Telluride debut in 2013 with Gravity which went mano a mano with Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave from T-ride all the way through Oscar night.

We've been waiting for the next Cuaron joint since then and, as of today that's closer.  The Playlist reported yesterday that Cuaron has wrapped production on his very secretive Roma.  Cuaron would have to really push to have it ready for Cannes but a Venice/Telluride play seems possible.

The film is described as having a much more small-indie sensibility than Gravity which probably doesn't hurt its chances in terms of fall fest prestige plays.

The film doesn't have domestic distribution at this point but is produced by Participant Media who has featured Telluride plays recently with Neruda (2016), Spotlight, Beasts of No Nation and He Named Me Malala (2015), Merchants of Doubt and The Look of Silence (2014).

It's a film we need to keep an eye on for TFF #44.

Here's the story from The Playlist.


Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour

Glenn Whipp of the Laos Angeles Times published an article this week naming 10 films that he thinks are likely Best Pic Oscar players a year from now.  Jeff Wells/Hollywood Elsewhere responded with his own analysis of the ten.  Of interest to MTFB, of course, is which of those might make a stop at The Zog or elsewhere on Labor Day weekend:

The Whipp List: The Big Sick, Dunkirk, Untitled Kathryn Bigelow Detroit Riot Project, Darkest Hour, Downsizing, Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Project, Call Me By Your Name, Mudbound, Wonderstruck, Untitled Adam McKay Dick Cheney Project.

The two films with Telluride pedigrees would be Alexander Payne's Downsizing and Todd Haynes' Wonderstruck.  Beyond those other film screams Telluride.  Maybe Darkest Hour?  Would love the PTA...

Here are the separate analyses from:

Whipp at the L.A. Times

and Wells/Hollywood Elsewhere.


The Other Side of the Wind arrives in L.A. (via Wellesnet)

You've read about it here before...the ongoing project to complete Orson Welles' last film The Other Side of the Wind.  In fits and starts this has been floating around for a couple of years.  Now comes news that Netflix is in for financing and that the deal has been struck.  Further, Wellsnet reports that the film...all of the film...and it's a lot of film, has been collected in Los Angeles for editing.

We're closer people and the Netflix involvement makes the likelihood that it will become something we actually see someday much greater.

Now, does it mean it could make the Telluride 2017 lineup?  Not impossible.  Netflix and Telluride have become a thing the past couple of years and Peter Bogdonavich who is the primary figure pushing the project forward has had a terrific connection with Telluride for many many years.  He's still listed, as of the last year's program, is still listed as a member of the fest's Esteemed Council of Advisors.

Additionally, Frank Marshall is also involved.  Marshall was the line producer for the project back in the day and is also on the TFF Esteemed Council.

Still, six months is a tight window for as much film as needs to be sifted on this project.

Stay tuned...

Here's the report from Wellesnet.


Pete Hammond at Deadline posted a big speculation on possible selections for Cannes late last night. Here is the link to that story.

I'll detail some thoughts about it in Monday's post.

That's it for a Spring Break Thursday...from Santa Fe, NM!

More on Monday...


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Monday, March 13, 2017

More Thoughts on the Cannes Lineup / Some Tidbits about Moonlight and La La Land / Big News from Film Land This Week


The Playlist published its 21 film Cannes wish list this week and. as you might expect, I'm parsing their expertise for hints, clues and desires as regards the films that could double up between Cannes and Telluride.

From their list:

Michael Haneke's Happy End
Todd Haynes' Wonderstruck
Lynne Ramsay's You Were Never Really Here
Andrew Haigh's Lean on Pete

From the concluding section of their article...what they label as "Honorable Mentions":

Andrey Zvyagnistev's Loveless
Lazlo Nemes' Sunset
Alexander Payne's Downsizing
Ari Folman's Where Is Anne Frank
Michel Hazanavicicus' Le Redoubtable
Matteo Garrone's Pinocchio
Wim Wenders" Submergence
George Clooney's Suburbicon
Stephen Frears' Victoria and Abdul
Xavier Beauvois' Le Gardiennes
Ziad Doueiri's L'Insulte

The complete post from The Playlist is here.


During each Oscar season in the rush to get material posted in the midst of the non-stop deluge of stories, posts, articles and releases, some things get shuffled to the bottom of the pile.  Not because they're inherently less informative or useful but mostly because of the limits of time and space.

With the horse race that Oscar #89 turned out to be between Berry Jenkins' Moonlight and Damian Chazelle's La La Land. the following stories stayed in my inbox but never made it into the blog.  So I'm correcting that here and now:  Here are a few posts regarding Moonlight:

Barry Jenkins other film festival from The Playlist

How I Write-Barry Jenkins' video from The New York Times

Jenkins' student short film Josephine via The Playlist.

Musical homages/references video in La La Land from Indiewire.


A couple of announcements that probably don't mean anything in terms of TFF #44 but were interesting to film lovers, I suspect.  Terry Gilliam has confirmed that filming has begun on his long gestating passion project The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.  He's been after this for years...and has begun filming in the past.  Here's hoping that he can get all the way to the end...and that it is more cohesive than many of his past efforts have been.

And...Stephen Spielberg has shelved  The Kidnapping of Edgardo Motara which was supposed to be his next project in favor of a quickly developing project titled The Post based on The Pentagon Papers case and how it was handles by The Washington Post in the early '70's.  Tom Hanks is set to play Post editor Ben Bradlee and Meryl Streep is on board to play Post owner/publisher Katherine Graham.  The word is that will begin filming in May and be released THIS

Terry Gilliam/Don Quixote story from The Playlist.

Speilberg Switches Projects from Awards Watch

That'll do for this Monday.  More on Thursday...


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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Berlin Titles of Note / Cannes Speculation 2017 / Awards Circuit's Best Picture Picture

It is Thursday in most jurisdictions...Welcome to Michael's Telluride Film Blog


The Berlin Film Festival ran from Feb. 15-23.  That fest, as I have noted here, seems to have become a staple for films that then find their way into the Telluride lineup six and a half months later.  Now that our Oscar fever has broken, I thought I'd take one more quick look at the Berlin lineup and isolate films that might replicate the experience of films such as Taxi, Fire at Sea, Gloria and The Counterfeiters.  Over the last few years the average of Berlin Fest to Telluride films has been 2-3 films.

I have posted articles from Variety, Indiewire and The Film Stage that inspect this year's Berlin crop and here what seem to be the most likely candidates foe T-ride inclusion:

A Fantastic Woman-Sebastian Lelio (produced by Pablo Larrain) Film Stage and Variety

The Other Side of Hope-Aki Kaurismaki Film Stage, Indiewire and Variety

On Body and Soul-Ildiko Enyedi (Golden Bear winner) Indiewire, Variety

Spoor-Agnieszka Holland-Variety

The Party-Sally Potter-Variety

And here are the links to those articles:

The Film Stage




So...Oscar's over, Sundance is over, Berlin is over...South by Southwest takes off starting tomorrow so that can only mean that it's time to get into some serious speculation about the films that will be a part of the Cannes Film Festival.

As I have written on many occasions the Cannes-Telluride connection is substantial and averages a crossover of 7-8 films per year with most of those titles coming from the Palme d'Or competition slate.  Anyone who is serious about trying to puzzle out the Telluride lineup has to take note of the films that are possible for and then do make the lineup of Cannes.

So buckle up friendo...

I took a look at Cannes speculation from recent posts in The Hollywood Reporter and Cineuropa and compiled the following list of a dozen films that could play Cannes and have potential to make the trip to Telluride.

Making both lists:

Les Gardiennes-Xavier Beauvois

Happy End-Michael Haneke

Wonderstruck-Todd Haynes

Le Redoubtable-Michel Hazanavicius

Mektoub is Mektoub-Abdellatif Kechiche

Loveless- Andrey Zvyaginstev

From the THR article:

Victoria and Abdul-Stephen Frears

Submergence-Wim Wenders

From the Cineuropa article:

Downsizing-Alexander Payne

You're Not Really Here-Lynne Ramsay

Roma-Alfonso Cuaron

Here are links to the Cannes spec posts:

The Hollywood Reporter



And finally, continuing to cast a predictive gaze toward films that might comprise the TFF #43 program, Awards Circuit, one of the Oscar prediction outlets that I follow, has posted its first take on possible Best Picture candidates for Oscar #90.  Clayton Davis lists 40 films (plus some additional possibilities) and so I cast my eyes there in the search to discern what plays at the 2017 edition of The SHOW.

Among the Top Ten:

#5 Battle of the Sexes
#6 The Current War
#8 Downsizing

From 12-20:

#16 Wonderstruck

From 21-40

#24 Lean on Pete
#29 The Shape of Water
#37 You Were Never Really Here

Hopes that might not be completely crazy:

#2 Suburbicon
#14 Molly's Game

Here's the link to the first forecast of Oscar players from Awards Circuit.

That's all for this Thursday.  I'll have more on Monday.


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Monday, March 6, 2017

Trailers for TFF #43 Films: Maudie and Norman / For Fun / And Speaking of La La Land

Hello on a Monday...


Within the last ten days or so, we got trailers for two films that made a splash at last year's Telluride Film Festival.  Some folks were talking animatedly about Sally Hawkins performance in Aisling Walsh's film.  The film is slated for release on June 16th.


Here's the trailer from YouTube:

I have also linked coverage of the trailer from:

The Film Stage


Also making a recent appearance was a trailer for Joseph Cedar's Norman...which we saw at Telluride with the rather more lengthy title: Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer. Richard Gere stars.  Norman opens on April 14th.   Here's that trailer:

And coverage from:


And speaking of trailers, I couldn't resist linking readers to a couple of "trailers" that appeared within the last week just for fun.  The first comes from Late Night with Seth Meyers and is called "Oscar Bait".  As you might guess from the title, it lampoons a certain type of film...

Seth Meyers Oscar Bait

And, this mash up appeared last week as well.  It envisions Damian Chazelle's La La Land as if directed by David Lynch.  It's fantastic:


Winner of six Oscars including Best Direction, this video has been making the rounds and shows Chazelle doing the prep for that terrific opening number "Another Day of Sun":

La La Land Opening Number Rehearsals

Here are stories about that process from:

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Looking Ahead / Oscar Post Mortems / And for Fun

Good Thursday People...

Over your Oscar hangover yet?


What an Oscar night for the Telluride Film Festival..  Between Moonlight, La La Land, Manchester by the Sea, Arrival and The White Helmets it was an extraordinary night for TFF #43.  Count 'em up...13 Oscars between the aforementioned films including Moonlight's Best Picture surprise win (BP at Telluride for the seventh straight year and eight of the last nine):

La La Land-6
The White Helmets-1

But Oscar night is behind us and that can only mean one thing and that is that it's time to put away The Film Awards Clearinghouse and go back to the business of Michael's Telluride Film Blog...trying to determine the lineup possibilities for TFF #44...

To that end, you might note that I bought my pass yesterday.  I'll be applying for press accreditation within the next month or so...with the notion of bringing you the best coverage possible in the run-up and then presentation of the 2017 iteration of TFF.

So...let's get serious.

Awards Circuit has posted their 50 Most Anticipated Films and let's parse that list for possible Telluride titles for Labor Day.

#39-The Current War- Alejandro Inarritu protege Alfonso Gomez Rajon directs Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon as Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse battling over electricity.  From The Weinstein Company, I could see this film as the Weinstein's return vehicle for Telluride.

#38-Downsizing- Matt Damon stars in an Alexander Payne film.  That could be sufficient to get it a berth at TFF

#27-Suburbicon-George Clooney directs a script co-written by the Coen Brothers and with a stellar cast: Damon (again), Josh Brolin, Oscar Isaac and Julianne Moore...oh my.  This might be a hope more than a real Telluride play. but I've thought since Clooney was a tribute recipient in 2011 that he would return and this could be the vehicle for that to happen. Paramount is distributing (this as well as Downsizing) so let's have a Matt Damon double feature.  Maybe a Damon tribute?

#24- Battle of the Sexes- Billy Jean King vs. Bobby Riggs in the person of Emma Stone and Steve Carell.  They've both been to T-ride.  Bring 'em back say I with this film that I think I've had on the radar for a couple of years.  It could mark the return to Telluride of Fox Searchlight.

#17-Wonderstruck-Todd Haynes directs.  Does he return after Carol's play a couple of years ago.  Julianne Moore stars (as mentioned above, she's also in Suburbicon)  A Moore tribute?  Yes please.  From Amazon...which made a splash at Telluride in 2016 with Manchester by the Sea.

#10-Molly's Game-Aaron Sorkin directs Jessica Chastain in his directing debut.   Maybe more a desire than a realistic possibility...but...

These seem to me to be the best shots.  Take a look at the entire 50 film list plus some other titles here;

Awards Circuit's 50 Most Anticipated Films


Here's a link or two to podcast coverage of the Oscar ceremony from Sunday night:

Oscar Podcast #52 from Awards Watch

Awards Daily Podcast


Here is the "Honest Trailer" take for the nine films nominated for Best Picture this year.  It's entertaining:

Entertainment Weekly Honest Best Picture Trailers

More on Monday...


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