Thursday, April 27, 2017

Jonathan Demme Remembered / Judging Cannes / Inarritu Talks VR in NY / 30th Telluride Film Festival Re-visited

It is Thursday, April 27, 2017...No s.


The news of Jonathan Demme's death yesterday was a shock.  He was 73, so I suppose, in terms of age, it isn't that anomalous but Demme always seemed so vital that he didn't seem to be 73.

Demme's best known work was the five Oscar winner Silence of the Lambs.  I was a huge fan of the Thomas Harris book long before it became a film and when it came out in 1991 I was skeptical that anyone could make the film version stand up to the novel.  I was pleasantly surprised.  It's one of those rare films that succeeds as well as its source material.  Demme (and screenwriter Ted Talley) proved me wrong.  

Demme won an Oscar for direction and the film won Best Picture as well as Adapted Screenplay, Actress (Jodie Foster) and Actor (Anthony Hopkins).  It became the first film since One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) to win the Big Five Oscars.

Demme also had other memorable efforts including Philadelphia and Something Wild.

In 1987 his documentary effort Haiti Dreams of Democracy appeared as a part of the 14th TFF screening on Telluride Community Television.

Indiewire marked Demme's passing yesterday with this profile and with this reminiscence from Barry Jenkins.


The official announcement of jurors for the Plame d'Or for the 70th edition of the Cannes Film Festival has been revealed.

We already knew that the jury would be presided over by Pedro Almodovar and it had slipped that actress Jessica Chastain would be a jury member as well.  The group was completed yesterday with the official confirmation of Chastain along with actor (and surprise choice) Will Smith as well as directors Maren Ade (Toni Erdmann), Park Chan-wook (The Handmaiden), Paolo Sorrentino (Youth).  Additional members of the jury are Fan Bingbing, Agnes Jaoui and musician Gabriel Yared.

As always, the jury composition is eclectic and varied.  Where will they land for the Palme.


Alejandro Inarritu's virtual reality project Carne y Arena is set to play at Cannes and this week the Oscar winning director was in New York as a member of a Tribeca Film Festival conversation focused on VR and his project.

I'd be very interested should TFF chose to invite Inarritu and present the project over Labor Day weekend but the challenges are interesting.  

Here's coverage of the Inarritu convo from Tribeca from Entertainment Weekly as well as from Indiewire.


MTFB's continuing project focused on the past programs from the Telluride Film Festival reviews the program from TFF #30 (Aug. 29-Sept. 1, 2003)

Here are the highlights:

TFF #30 Program-Aug. 29-Sept. 1, 2003
GUEST DIRECTOR: Stephen Sondheim
TRIBUTES: Toni Collette, Peter Brook, Krystof Zanussi

Alexandra’s Project
The Barbarian Invasions
The Battle of Algiers
The Beggar’s Opera
La Belle Equipe
Best of Youth
Carnet du Bal
Dans la Nuit
A Face in the Crowd
Fog of War
French Can Can
The General
Girl with a Pearl Earring
Horatio’s Drive
I’m Not Scared
Japanese Story
Lost in Translation
Love Me If You Dare
The More the Merrier
My Life Without Me
Noi Albinoi
Sexual Dependency
Shattered Glass
Song of the Little Road
Tell Me Lies
This Little Life
Touching the Void
The Triplets of Belleville
Wheel of Time

John Crowley
Errol Morris
Robert S. McNamara
Sarah Gavron
Budd Schulberg
Peter Bogdanovich
Kevin Macdonald
Chloe Sevigny
Peter Sarsgaard
Rolf De Heer
Peter Sellars
Werner Herzog
Ken Burns
Mark Ruffalo
Gus Van Sant
Paul Schrader

 That's a wrap for this Thursday.  See you on the other side of the weekend...


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