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.


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.


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.


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.


TWITTER @Gort2 (and follow me there as well)

FACEBOOK Message me on FB MTFB's Facebook Page


No comments: