Monday, July 31, 2017

More Thoughts About Venice and Toronto / Telluride Time Tunnel: TFF #21 / Indiewire Looks to the Fall / Ken Burns on His Vietnam Doc

Welcome back from the weekend.  Here's today's MTFB.


As we move through the next few weeks we'll continue to be able to gather information from the Venice and Toronto (as well as New York and London) fests that will allow us to make educated claims about the TFF #44 lineup.

In the coming days Venice will announce their actual schedule which becomes a great source of information.  The schedule combined with things we already know can point to other films that may cross the Atlantic.

Things we think we know about Venice:

7-8 films will play both places.
Wormwood is the only non-World Premiere among films announced for Venice.
TIFF announcements make us believe that we'll see Venice films: Downsizing, The Shape of Water.
Reporting from Deadline and Ioncinema have added the likelihood that we'll see Human Flow and Ex Libris: The New York Public Library.

That's five from if the if all of these assumptions are correct, then the films scheduled early for Venice need to be scrutinized closely as we try to determine the other 2-3 films that might make the trip.

Toronto will continue to make announcements for the next four weeks.  Each time their information will likely eliminate or confirm films for Telluride.  Those announcements have traditionally come on Tuesday so look for that tomorrow.

The New York full lineup announcement should include a premiere status for each film and that will further allow us to cross films off or add films to the TFF #44 list.

As it is, we think we have relative certainty now on 13-14 films for Labor Day.


My review of past TFF's has been on the back burner for about three weeks as the focus on information on Toronto and Venice film fests has dominated my thinking and subsequently the blog but we return today with a look at the 21st Telluride Film Festival which ran Sept. 2-5, 1994.

Guest Director: John Simon

Tributes: Harriet Andersson, Judy Davis, Ken Burns


Arizona Dream
Bab El-Oued City
Black Daisies for the Bride
Bullets Over Broadway
Casque D'Or
Dedee D'anvers
Dust of Life
The Easy Life
Ed Wood
Glen or Glenda
Ladybird, Ladybird
Memories and Dreams
Muriel's Wedding
Music for the Movies
The New Age
Once Were warriors
One Fine Day
Plan 9 From Outer Space
Room at the Top
Silences of the Palace
Strawberry and Chocolate
Swimming with Sharks (aka The Buddy Factor)
They Shoot Horses Don't They
The Transformation of the World Into Music
The Unforgettable Summer
Vanya on 42nd Street
We, The Children of the 20th Century
The Wooden Man's Bride


Harriet Andersson
Ken Burns
Judy Davis
Faye Dunaway
Andre Gregory
Werner Herzog
Chuck Jones
Louis Malle
Errol Morris
Sydney Pollock
Wallace Shawn
Kevin Spacey
Frank Whaley
Treat Williams
Michael Winterbottom

I also note that a future Dr. Who, Peter Capaldi seems to have had his directing debut, the short Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life play in the fest.


Indiewire's Anne Thompson and Eric Kohn are back with their latest podcast and they discuss the films headed into fall festivals and theaters.  You can get an earful here.


I continue to believe that we'll have a chance to see at least parts of Ken Burns' latest documentary effort that focuses on the U.S. involvement in The Vietnam War.  The documentary is set to begin airing on PBS on Sept. 17th.

Burns recently sat down with The San Francisco Chronicle to talk about the project.  That interview is here.

There's your Monday...


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Friday, July 28, 2017

Ten Bets #5 / Another Venice Doc Confirmed? / Wonder Wheel Rolls Off the T-ride List / Parsing the Announcements This Week...

Good Friday to you  It's been a busy week for tracking down Telluride films for 44th edition of The SHOW...


Here's your weekly guess at films that will play Telluride this Labor Day weekend.  Last week's list looked like this:

1) Wonderstruck
2) Downsizing
3) Visages/Villages
4) Loveless
5) Battle of the Sexes
6) The Florida Project
7) You Were Never Really Here
8) A Fantastic Woman
9) The Other Side of Hope
10) The Current War

Other possibles: 120 BPM, The Shape of Water, The Rider, Loving Vincent, mother!, Happy End, Redoubtable, The Death of Stalin, Ken Burns Vietnam

With the Toronto and Venice information this week we think these films are probably playing TFF #44:

1) Wonderstruck
2) Downsizing
3) Battle of the Sexes
4) A Fantastic Woman
5) The Shape of Water
6) The Rider
7) Hostiles
8) Lady Bird
9) First They Killed My Father
10) Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool***

Additionally other detective work seems to be indicating Darkest Hour, Loving Vincent, Human Flow (see below) and Wormwood are likely for  Telluride.

Other films that could still play Telluride: Visages/Villages, The Other Side of Hope, Lean on Pete, Mektoub My Love Canto Uno, First Reformed, The Leisure Seeker, Ex Libris, Our Souls at Night, First Reformed, Sweet Country and La Camera Insabbiata, You Were Never Really Here, The Florida Project, Happy End, Loveless, Ken Burns' Vietnam and Mary Magdalene.

***Assuming I have this right on Film Stars, it would almost certainly play without star Annette Bening in attendance as she is presiding over Venice's Golden Lion jury.


In its coverage of the Venice announcement yesterday Ioncinema confirms that AiWeiwei's documentary,  Human Flow will play Telluride and seems to also indicate that Frederick Wiseman will also play T-ride with Ex Libris: The New York Public Library.

Here's a screenshot of the relevant section:

So add Ex Libris to our growing list of films we're relatively confident about making the journey to southwest Colorado.


Earlier in the week I had a mild buzz of excitement as news was leaking that Woody Allen's Wonder Wheel would close the New York Film Fest.  The reason for the excitement: no news story about the selection was including the film's premiere status.  That led me to believe that there was the slimmest possibility of a play somewhere else.

Alas, not so much.  Official word came yesterday that the film would indeed close NYFF and that it would be the film's World Premiere.  So endeth the speculation.

The official announcement form NYFF is here.


Variety's Kristopher Tapley wrote yesterday about this week's reveals in terms not only of what's going where but also in his capacity as chief awards guru for that publication.

Tapley also concludes, as I have here, that Battle of the Sexes, First They Killed My Father, Darkest Hour, Lady Bird and Hostiles will play (and first screen) at Telluride.

It's a good look at the general lay of the land as we come to the end of this crazy, crazy week.

Take a look at it here.

That's it for Friday.  Have a great weekend!


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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Venice Announces / Rebounds and Ramifications / SPC Picks Up Bening Film

Good Thursday to everyone...


Venice announced its lineup this morning and because it is largely filled with world premieres, it's still interesting.  Of more use will be the actual schedule which can also help to give clues about which films might make the trip from Italy to T-ride or vice versa.

Here's the lineup from Venice:


Human Flow
The Shape of Water
La Villa
Lean on Pete
Mektoub My Love, Canto Uno
The Third Murder
Jusqu'a La Garde
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri
Ammore E Malavita
Angels Wear White
Una Famiglia
First Reformed
Sweet Country
The Leisure Seeker
Ex Libris-The New York Public Library

Out of Competition (Fiction):

Our Souls at Night
Il Singor Rotpeter
Victoria and Abdul
La Melodie
Outrage Coda
Loving Pablo
La Fidele
Il Colore Nascostco delle Cose
The Private Life of a Modern Woman
Brawl in Cell Block 99

Out of Competition (Documentaries)

Cuba and the Cameraman
My Generation
Piazza Vittorio
The Devil and Father Amorth
This Is the Congo
Ryuichi Sakamoto
Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond. The Story of Jim Carrey, Andy Kaufman and Tony Clifton
Happy Winter

Out if Competition (Special Events)

Casa D'Altri
Michael Jackson's Thriller 3D
The Making of Michael Jackson's Thriller


Nico 1988
Especes Menacees
The Rape of Recy Taylor
Les Bienheureux
Brutti E Cattivi
The Cousin
The Testament
No Date, No Signature
La Nuit Ou J"ai Nage
West of Sunshine
Gatta Cenerentola
Under the Tree
La Vita in Commune

Cinema Del Giardino:

Nato A Casal di Principe

Venice Virtual Reality:

La Camera Insabbiata
The Last Goodbye
My Name is Peter Stillman
Alice, The Virtual Reality Play
Arden's Wake
Greenland Melting
Nothing Happens
The Dream Collector
Snatch VR Heist Experience
In the Pictures
The Argos File
Gomorra VR
Draw Me Close
The Deserted
I Saw the Future
Separate Silences
Free Whale

Films expected to miss Telluride from this list are: Suburbicon, Three Billboards, mother!, Victoria and Abdul.

Films thought to be playing Telluride: Downsizing, The Shape of Water and perhaps Human Flow.

Films most likely to be Telluride bound: Lean on Pete, Mektoub My Love Canto Uno, First Reformed, The Leisure Seeker, Ex Libris, Our Souls at Night, Wormwood, First Reformed, Woodshock, Sweet Country and La Camera Insabbiata.

No Darkest Hour or First They Killed My Father or Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool which flies in the face of some of the stories addressed below.

A couple of notes:  Venice has been known to add films after this official announcement and here's coverage from:


The Playlist


LATE BREAKING:  THR story says Errol Morris' Wormwood is only non-World Premiere at Venice. Strongly indicating that it will play Telluride first and then travel to Venice.


48 hours removed from Toronto's opening announcement and there are some interesting points and side notes that have emerged.

Start with Pete Hammond's/Deadline analysis posted yesterday which suggests that Darkest Hour, Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, The Shape of Water, First They Killed My Father and Downsizing look to all be playing Venice first and then Telluride and that is probably not all the films that will be making that journey (see the Ramin Setoodeh/Variety story below.

Hammond also concurs with my assessment that Battle of the Sexes (see the Jeremy Kay/Screen Daily story below), Hostiles and Lady Bird will all debut at T-ride.  He also reminds us that Wonderstruck and Loving Vincent are expected to play.

Hammond also guesses that Christian Bale (Hostiles) and Angelina Jolie (First They Killed My Father) might be in line for a Telluride Tribute.  You might recall that Jeff Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere has already claimed that one of the tributes will be for cinematographer Ed Lachman (Wonderstruck).

Loyal MTFB reader Christopher Schiller pointed out yesterday the Screen Daily article that is important to Telluride fans as it lists Battle of the Sexes as both a North American Premiere (in the text of the story) but as an International premiere in the list of films.  This in an article that mentions correcting the premiere status of some of the TIFF announced films.

As of this morning, Battle was still listed on the TIFF website as an International Premiere...which should mean a TFF #44 play.  Here's my screen grab from the TIFF website:

Finally, the Variety piece talks about the tension between fests.  This particular "story" seems to be repeated every year.  The focus here, however largely on Telluride and Venice.  It reveals a number of interesting tidbits:

1) Setoodeh implies that the Ai Weiwei documentary Human Flow will be playing Telluride.

2) The article suggests that there will seven or eight films that will play both fests.  As you will note from above, we think we know four: Downsizing, First They Killed..., Darkest Hour and Film Stars Don't Die.  Adding in Human Flow, if it happens, means that there are still two or three films that would make the trip.  What are they?

3) Intriguingly, Setoodeh says that "at least one high profile drama is scheduled to show in Telluride before Venice".  My speculation is that references a film not listed above as the lack of certainty regarding its premiere status is, presumably, not reflected by Toronto's announced lineup. So, what could it be?


Amid the speculation that Annette Bening's Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool will play Telluride comes the story from yesterday that Sony Pictures Classics will be acquiring the film.  The SPC connection strengthens the case that the film will play TFF  #44.

Deadline's Mike Fleming, Jr. reported the SPC story.

But this new thought:  Bening is president of the Venice competition jury.  So, is there any way her film could play Telluride and she serves in that position?

Seems like that would be very difficult.

There's your Thursday.  More tomorrow including a new Ten Bets list that integrates what we've learned this week.


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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Wednesday Special: Toronto Breakdown / Late Breaking: Wonder Wheel at NYFF...But...

Welcome to a special Wednesday post of MTFB all about yesterday's announcement of films for the Toronto International Film Festival...


TIFF announced 47 titles yesterday 14 Galas and 33 Special Presentations.

As I have written before, parsing TIFF announcements is about a film's premiere status.  A quick reminder:

World Premiere and North American premiere means no Telluride unless someone has it wrong or is employing secrecy.  The last film I can recall breaking this taboo was Escobar: Paradise Lost in 2014 which TIFF had listed as a World Premiere but was a sneak preview at TFF.

Canadian Premiere usually means a Telluride play unless a film has already played somewhere else in the U.S. i.e. Sundance.

International Premiere means that a film has already and only played in its country of origin prior to a play at Toronto.

So, using those guidelines, I believe that we now know that the following films will play at TFF #44:

Battle of the Sexes
Darkest Hour
Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool
A Fantastic Woman
First They Killed My Father
Lady Bird
The Rider
The Shape of Water

It would appear that Battle of the Sexes, Lady Bird and Hostiles will all screen for the very first time at Telluride.

Films that will NOT be at Telluride:

Mary Shelley
The Mountain Between Us
Untouchables (the now untitled Bryan Cranston/Kevin Hart film)
Call Me By Your Name
The Current War
The Guardians
I, Tonya
The Square
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri
Victoria and Abdul

My personal take:  Very excited about Battle of the Sexes, Hostiles, Lady Bird, The Rider, Darkest Hour and The Shape of Water.

Most disappointed about: Suburbicon. Three Billboards, The Current War, BPM and mother!

Other notes:

1) Pretty clearly no Sundance/Telluride crossover unlike last year's Manchester by the Sea.  The two most likely players-Mudbone and Call Me By Your Name (as well as Novitiate) won't play T-ride.

2) For the fourth straight year the Cannes Palme d'Or winner will not be appearing at Telluride.  Ruben Ostlund's The Square will miss TFF #44.  The last Palme winner at TFF was Blue is the Warmest Color in 2013.

3) Couple of other films we're pretty sure will play Telluride that weren't mentioned yesterday: Wonderstruck and Loving Vincent.

4) Of the ten films that we are thinking were announced for TIFF that are likely to play TFF #44 three were on the latest Ten Bets list: Downsizing, The Battle of the Sexes and A Fantastic Woman. Also on the list of "other possibles": The Shape of Water and The Rider.

5) Of those ten films, four were on the original Ten Bets list at the end of June: A Fantastic Woman, The Battle of the Sexes, The Rider and Downsizing.

6) The only film nuked from last week's Ten Bets list by the TIFF news was The Current War and from the original Ten Bets list: BPM.

So, what excited you?  Disappointments?  Shoot me a comment or tweet at me on Twitter @Gort2.

Many, many films were not announced at all leaving them still in play for a Telluride slot (remember that I'm completely discounting Phantom Thread, The Papers and Blade Runner 2049).  Among them are:

Wonderstruck (which we think is at TFF because of its status announced when NYFF picked it)
Loving Vincent
Happy End
The Florida Project
Mary Magdalene
Death of Stalin
Final Portrait
The Silent Man (which has a new title... Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House)
Molly's Game
The Meyerowitz Stories
The Snowman
Lean on Pete
L'amant Double
You Were Never Really Here
The Other Side of Hope
Our Souls at Night
and...Woody Allen's Wonder Wheel...see below...


Woody Allen's Wonder Wheel was announced as the closing film for the New York Film Fest yesterday.  BUT...I can't find any story that covers that that mentions the film's premiere status. Seems to me that if it was a world premiere they'd be saying that.

Perhaps tomorrow's Venice announcement will clear that up.  Or subsequent Toronto announcements. Or a clarification from NYFF.

Or maybe...

Coverage from:


The Hollywood Reporter


More tomorrow...stay tuned.


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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Toronto...Clarity Soon / Indiewire Speculates / My Own Private Wish List

Hello on this Tuesday...


I am publishing this post about half a hour before the Toronto International Film Festival announces its first wave of films.  That list along with the information TIFF provides should give us some serious notions about what will play in The SHOW this year.

I will be tweeting during and after the live announcement which you can stream live here.  Follow along on Twitter @Gort2.

Tomorrow I will have a special Wednesday post up that gets down to deeper analysis about what we know and what is still unknown.

That said, you might want to take a look a Pete Hammond's piece from yesterday that, among other things says he's pretty solid on five films for Telluride: Wonderstruck, Downsizing, A Fantastic Woman, Battle of the Sexes and Loving Vincent.  Four of five of those are on last Friday's Ten Bets and the other is in the "Other Possibles" list.

By way of is last Friday's Ten Bets and Other Possibles again:

1) Wonderstruck
2) Downsizing
3) Visages/Villages
4) Loveless
5) Battle of the Sexes
6) The Florida Project
7) You Were Never Really Here
8) A Fantastic Woman
9) The Other Side of Hope
10) The Current War

Other possibles: 120 BPM, The Shape of Water, The Rider, Loving Vincent, mother!, Happy End, Redoubtable, The Death of Stalin, Ken Burns Vietnam.

You can watch the live announcement from Toronto here.


 There was a big post yesterday from Indiewire of 56 films that they  "want to see" at the fall film festivals.  The article is co-written by Anne Thompson and Dana Harris.  Of course Anne has a terrific relationship with Telluride so maybe take that into account.

The article specifically mentions Telluride in the context of eight films/programs (in the order they appear in the article):

Brad's Status
Battle of the Sexes
Lean on Pete
Wormwood (from Errol  Morris)
Ken Burns' Vietnam
Mary Shelly.

Any number of other Telluride possibilities also appear without a specific reference to The SHOW such as The Florida Project and Wonderstruck.


Yup.  I have films that I want to make the list of programs for TFF #44.  

Of course I wish we could somehow see Paul Thomas Anderson's Phantom Thread (or whatever it is eventually called) starring Daniel Day Lewis in what is purportedly his final role and Spielberg's The Papers and/or Villenueve's Blade Runner 2049.  Those won't be at Telluride and probably won't play at any festival.

So...what do I pine for?  What films do I want at Telluride that realistically could make that journey. Here they are in alphabetical order:

Battle of the Sexes
The Death of Stalin
Darkest Hour
The Florida Project
Molly's Game
The Shape of Water
The Snowman
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri

Of this list of ten, there are three that I feel fairly confident about...maybe four.

That's today's MTFB.  Check back tomorrow for the special Wednesday post about Toronto and follow the Twitter account today @Gort2


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Monday, July 24, 2017

Pre-Venice Tea Leaves / What We Can Expect Tomorrow / Holding Some Cards Close to the Vest

Good Monday to all you Telluride Film Fest Maniacs... We're getting closer...


Over the weekend Variety was up with a post that named a slew of titles expected to be announced for the Venice Film Fest on Thursday.  As diviners for Telluride's lineup, we need to pay attention to titles, directors, distributors premiere status and dates of play.  All of those factors can provide clues for those of us trying to puzzle out T-ride's slate of films.

Variety's piece gives us some of those factors...if we assume, of course, that it's 100% accurate.

Titles Variety claims for Venice (beyond the previously announced opener: Alexander Payne's Downsizing) that the article says will be World Premieres:

George Clooney's Suburbicon
Guillermo Del Toro's The Shape of Water
Stephen Frears' Victoria and Abdul
Paolo Virzo's Ella ad John/The Leisure Seekers
Paul Schraders' First Reformed
Andrew Haigh's Lean on Pete
Lucrecia Martel's Zama

As frequent readers of MTFB know, Clooney, Del Toro, Frears, Schrader and Haigh have all been involved in past TFFs.  If Variety has all this right, you'll need to pay attention to when these films are scheduled for their Venice World Premiere.  Early enough in the Venice lineup means a T-ride play is possible.  Venice runs from Aug. 30th- Sept. 9th.

The Variety post also claims that Martin McDonagh's Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a likely lock for the Biennale but doesn't flat out claim it would be a World Premiere...which is interesting.  In the same vein is the suggestion that Abdelatif Kechiche's Mektoub is Mektoub will play Venice bit doesn't say it will necessarily be a World Premiere.  That leaves the door open for both films to play at Telluride first and then screen at Venice in the second half of that festival.

And then there is the mention of Ritesh Bakta's Our Souls at Night starring Jane Fonda and Robert Redford.  They'll World Premiere in Italy and Fonda and Redford will be honored. The timing of that is central to the question of whether the film and those stars cross the Atlantic to make Labor Day in the San Juans.

Also of note is the absence of Darren Aronofsky's mother! and Denis Villenueve's Blade Runner 2049.

The Variety article is linked here.


The Toronto International Film Festival announces a portion of their lineup tomorrow morning at 10am EDT.  When that happens, it will NOT be their complete lineup.  More films will be announced in subsequent weeks and we need to pay attention to each of those announcements.

Tomorrow's announcement and all subsequent announcements for 2017 WILL include a film's premiere status.  That's crucial information for those of us trying to parse what will play at T-ride over Labor Day weekend.

The TIFF reveal is expected to be live streamed at

I will be on the road somewhere in Utah/Colorado when this all goes down but I do expect to be able to be in on what is happening via Twitter.  I will also be posting a special edition of MTFB on Wednesday with a breakdown of what we know and don't know so look for that.

Bring it on Toronto!


One of the things that I find remarkable about this nine year journey is that I do, on occasion, get some inside dope.

As I write this I am sitting on three film titles that I fully expect will play Telluride but...the sharing of those titles has been confidential and until I can string a case together for their inclusion that I arrive at independently, I will keep them close.

I will say least one of the titles has appeared in this post above.

Appetite whetted?

That's it for today.  More tomorrow and you might check my Twitter feed @Gort2 for Toronto/Telluride news. Additionally, there will be a special Wednesday post this week with the TFF/TIFF breakdown.


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Friday, July 21, 2017

Ten Bets #4 for TFF #44 / Wonderstruck Reveals a Trailer / mother! Has a New Date / And We End Where We Began

Welcome to Friday everyone...


Here's my last "Ten Bets" before the clarity that will descend next week as Toronto and Venice begin to announce their lineups.  As the rest of the summer unfolds into early fall Toronto will continue to add film selections weekly and we'll add to that selections from New York and London and end up with a fairly comprehensive and largely correct listing of films for Telluride's 44th edition.

As a reminder here's last week's Ten Bets:

1) Wonderstruck
2) Visages/Villages
3) Loveless
4) The Florida Project
5) A Fantastic Woman
6) Battle of the Sexes
7) 120 BPM
8) The Other Side of Hope
9) You Were Never Really Here
10) Downsizing

And this week's:

1) Wonderstruck (with a trailer out yesterday...see below)
2) Downsizing
3) Visages/Villages
4) Loveless
5) Battle of the Sexes
6) The Florida Project
7) You Were Never Really Here
8) A Fantastic Woman
9) The Other Side of Hope
10) The Current War

Other possibles: 120 BPM, The Shape of Water, The Rider, Loving Vincent, mother!, Happy End, Redoubtable, The Death of Stalin, Ken Burns Vietnam

On Monday...MTFB's "Telluride Wish List"...yes, there are films that I wish for.


Todd Haynes film based on Brian Selznick's novel has been sitting on top of the MTFB Ten Bets for the last two weeks.  It opened the first "Ten Bets" at #3.  Suffice to say that I strongly believe it will play TFF #44.  So I was excited yesterday evening to discover that the Cannes competition film dropped a trailer.  Here it is from YouTube:

Wonderstruck trailer release coverage from:

The Film Stage


Entertainment Weekly

mother! HAS A NEW DATE

I'm not sure what it portends but Darren Aronofsky's mother! has been scheduled for anew release date a full month earlier than it had been originally planned.  The film was set for an Oct. 13th date but that changed yesterday with a move up to Sept. 15th.

Variety pointed out that it could still mean a play for the film at Telluride, Venice and even Toronto.

Aronofsky's Black Swan played Venice, Telluride and Toronto in 2010 but that was with a December release date.  Black Swan earned five Oscar nominations including a win for Natalie Portman for Best Actress and nominations for Best Picture and Best Direction.

The film stars Oscar winners Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem.

In other mother! news...word is that a trailer appeared in some theaters that were playing Dunkirk yesterday which means we could expect to see it soon.

Gotta tell you, I kind of think it might show up at The SHOW now.

Further coverage of the move for mother! is here from:



We started this week with the awful news of the passing of George Romero and Martin Landau and it only feels right to end there as well.

Former TFF Co-director Gary Meyer put together a fantastic reminder, reverie and recognition of the two men at Eat, Drink, Films.  Check it out here.

That's all for this Friday.  Enjoy your weekend...I'm in Salem, Oregon through Sunday night at The Salem Art and Festival.  If you're around, drop by and say hello.


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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Lady Bird Flies to A24 / Trailers from The Shape of Water and The Snowman / Three Billboards Inside Toronto?

Good Thursday to all...


Gerwig and Ronan from Indiewire

I loved Greta Gerwig in Frances Ha in 2012 when it played the fest and have been tracking her move into directing with interest.  Her first attempt is Lady Bird which I have had as a slight possibility until yesterday when its chances increased with the announcement that distributor A24 had acquired the film and plans a fall release.

That creates the impression that A24 wants it to be a part of the awards season consensus which leads one to think that Lady Bird might be a serious consideration for T-ride.

The film satsr Osccar nominee Saorise Ronan.

Bring it on, I say.  Here are stories about the acquisition from:



The Playlist


Fox Searchlight has four films that could conceivably make the lineup for TFF #44: Battle of the Sexes, Goodbye Christopher Robin, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (see story below) and Guillermo Del Toro's The Shape of Water.  The buzz has been that Battle of the Sexes has the best shot at playing Telluride but FS may be high on "Shape's" Oscar chances and if so, that make make it a real TFF possibility.

"Shape" stars Doug Jones, Michael Shannon, Michael Stuhlbarg and Telluride favorite Sally Hawkins.   FS dropped the first trailer for "Shape" yesterday.  Here it is from YouTube:

The Shape of Water opens on Dec. 8th.

And then there's the first trailer for Tomas Alfredson's The Snowman starring Michael Fassbender as detective Harry Hole.  It looks, sounds and feels a lot like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo which isn't a bad thing.  Here's its trailer from YouTube:

And coverage here from Variety, Entertainment Weekly, FirstShowing and The Wrap.


Jeff Wells shared what I find dispiriting news yesterday in a post on Hollywood Elsewhere and that is his belief that Martin McDoangh's Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri is more likely to premiere at Toronto than play Telluride.

Wells doesn't make an absolute claim to that end but he clearly believes that's the most likely scenario.

Here's the link to the complete post: Hollywood Elsewhere
If true, it bums me it as Three Billboards is/was very high on my Telluride wish list for 2017.  That trailer is impressive and Frances McDormand may already be the Best Actress Oscar leader.

Who knows?  Maybe it plays both places.

That's your news for TFF #44 for today.  More tomorrow including a last Ten Bets before Toronto's first wave announcement and also Venice's announcement on July 27.


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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

TIFF in a Week / The Usual Suspects 2017 / Mr. Osiason Says... / Redford and Fonda at Venice

Good Tuesday everyone...


The word is that the Toronto International Film Festival will have their first announcement of films for their fest a week from today.  For those of you that have been reading this space for a long time, you know what that means.  For those of you that are new or have been casual readers, here's why that's important:

TIFF will announce each film complete with its "premiere status".  (Venice will too).  When they do that [as we have seen with New York's announcement that Last Flag Flying is a world premiere, so it will not be seen at Telluride] that will tell us some things that allow us in many cases to determine whether a film will/won't or could play TFF #44.  New York's recent announcement that Todd Haynes' Wonderstruck will be its Centerpiece as a "New York" premiere indicates an almost certainty of a Telluride play.

Fort example, if George Clooney's Suburbicon is announced as a World Premiere next Tuesday at TIFF that means it will not play Telluride.  If it's a North American Telluride.

If a film is an International premiere...that depends on where else it has already played or will be announced to play. If it's a Canadian Premiere and didn't play Sundance or's almost certainly headed to Telluride.

Toronto won't announce it's whole lineup but it's crucial to note that the overlap between Toronto and Telluride is historically impressive.  Last year the fests shared 22 titles.  That level of crossover may not quite happen this year owing to TIFF's announcement earlier that they will program 20% fewer titles this year so that should mean a bit less of an overlap.

TIFF will  have other announcements each week as we wind down the summer and we'll need to pay attention to each just as we'll need to scrutinize announcements from Venice, New York and London.

But don't sweat figuring that all out...That's what MTFB is here for.  I'll probably have a special Wednesday edition next week to analyze the TIFF announcement.


As I do each's a look at some of the people that often have projects that land at Telluride, what this year's project is and an assessment of that project's chances of making the TFF #44 lineup:

Ken Burns: Vietnam documentary...25%
Werner Herzog-Exec. Prod. on A Gray State...10%
Alexander Payne-Downsizing...80%
Paul Schrader-First Reformed...10%
Wim Wenders-Submergence...20%
Todd Haynes-Wonderstruck...85%
Alejandro Inarritu-V.R. Installation Carne y Arena...30% (if I could believe that Telluride could find a suitable venue...)
Michael Haneke-Happy End...50%
Stephen Frears...Victoria and Abdul...30%
Lynne Ramsay-You Were Never Really Here...50%
Errol Morris-The Lure...35%
Agnes Varda-Visages/Villages...70%
Ritesh Bakta-Our Souls at Night...20% (see below)
Aki Kaurismaki-The Other Side of Hope...35%
Sebastain Lelio-A Fantastic Woman...40%


Jason Osiason is a friend of MTFB and a cinephile to make note of.  He digs as deep as anyone I know with regard to film world so when he makes a practice of sussing out/predicting what will happen there, you'd do well to take note.

Jason has been posting his predix for Telluride choices this summer and, in a spirit of providing my readers with as big a picture as possible, here are his latest comments re: TFF #44:

Jason also added Scott Cooper's Hostiles as a possible and You Were Never Really Here as "hard to believe these don't go".


The Venice Fest announced yesterday that Robert Redford and Jane Fonda will be honored there and their film Our Souls at Night from director Ritesh Bakta will World Premiere there on Sept. 1.

MTFB friend Kenny Miles points out that, despite the WP at Venice, that the film could play there and make the jump to Telluride for Sunday and Monday screenings.  He also makes the point that the film was filmed in Colorado which he believes boosts its chances for a SHOW spot.  That point is very well taken.

My original response was to think that the Venice announcement made the film's TFF #44 appearance unlikely but Mr. Miles analysis makes some sense.  So, I'm not ruling out the film's chances for a T-ride play.

Here's the story of the Venice selection from The Wrap.

That's your Tuesday...more will be here on Thursday...


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Monday, July 17, 2017

Goodbye George and Martin / Downsizing Will Open Venice and ??? / Twitter Revelations

Welcome back from the was a rough ending...


George Romero

Martin Landau

It was bad enough that I was going to need to write a bit about the passing of George Romero when I got that news yesterday but then later last night, to add insult to injury, I got the news that Oscar winning actor Martin Landau had died as well.


Romero...though it is often said after someone dies that they changed the game, there are a lot of times when that's hyperbole.  Not here.  George Romero changed the game.  For all practical purposes he created a film genre and did it for next to nothing and in a ridiculously small amount of time.  Night of the Living Dead was a revelation and a revolution.  It's difficult to overstate its impact on films that would follow.

Landau...I can remember seeing him in Mission Impossible on T.V. when I was a kid (I was maybe 8 or 9)  and even then recognizing how good he was.  I also remember being awed by hos Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood and how pleased I was that he won his Oscar for that performance.

Sad to hear that they are both gone.


Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig from Downsizing

We found out on Friday that Alexander Payne's Downsizing will open the Venice Film Festival on Aug. 30th.  That news put to rest concerns that the film wouldn't be ready in time for a Telluride play.
And though it doesn't guarantee a TFF #44 berth, a lot of people smarter than I am think that it's high;y likely now.

That scenario makes a ton of sense to me as I have been thinking that Payne would bring the film to Telluride if at all possible.

It seems likely that Downsizing will probably follow the same trail that La La Land, 12 Years a Slave and Gravity established with a Venice play followed by a TFF set of screenings.

Take a look at the coverage from:



The Playlist


Hollywood Elsewhere


Julianne Moore from Wonderstruck

Jeffrey Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere posted a piece yesterday in which he writes that there will be no Sundance/Telluride crossover for Luca Guadagnino's Call Me By Your Name.

Wells has been a big fan of the film since its debut in Park City and expressed his unhappiness that it won't be included on the TFF #44 bill of fare.

So, we can take it off the table.

But also...if you read the piece, you will also have noticed that Wells confirms that Todd Haynes Wonderstruck will be playing and that cinematographer Ed Lachman will be getting a tribute as a part of that.

I tumbled to that as a result of a tweet from friend Jason Osiason.

That also led to a Twitter exchange that included Variety's Kristopher Tapley in which he says that Ruben Ostlund's The Square is off the table for The SHOW.

I'll have more from Mr. Osiason tomorrow.

Sooo...learned quite bit over the weekend...Wonderstruck and Downsizing...probably a yes.  The Square and Call Me By Your Name...nope.

That'll do for a Monday.  More to come...


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Friday, July 14, 2017

TFF #44 Ten Bets #3 / The Playlist Has 50 Films They Want to See / The Darkest Hour Trailer

It's finally Friday...


And so because it's Friday, it's time for the third iteration of MTFB's Ten Bets for Telluride.  It's my weekly attempt to guess what will play at this year's fest ranked in order of what I believe their likelihood to be.

Last week's Ten Bets looked like this:

1) Wonderstruck
2) Loveless
3) Visages/Villages
4) Battle of the Sexes
5) Downsizing
6) The Florida Project
7) A Fantastic Woman
8) The Other Side of Hope
9) 120 BPM
10) You Were Never Really Here

This week's Ten Bets...

1) Wonderstruck
2) Visages/Villages
3) Loveless
4) The Florida Project
5) A Fantastic Woman

6) Battle of the Sexes
7) 120 BPM
8) The Other Side of Hope
9) You Were Never Really Here
10) Downsizing

Others to consider: The Shape of Water, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, Our Souls at Night, The Rider, Lean on Pete, Loving Vincent.


Earlier this week The Playlist put up their annual "50 Films We Want to See" at fall film fests.  As a part of that listing the crew there make some predictions about where they think films are likely to appear/premiere.

They specifically mention Telluride in the context of six films (seven if you count a reference from their "other" films beyond the 50 they highlight.  They are:

Battle of the Sexes
The Current War
The Death of Stalin (MTFB comment...yes, please)
Mary Magdalene
Under the Silver Lake
and Breathe which is mentioned outside their 50

Among others of their 50 films that I have been following as potential T-ride players, here is that list and The Playback's notes regarding where they think the film will screen and/or premiere (and even in the case of these films, a play at any of the fests that are listed doesn't mean that the film would not also play at Telluride):

Blade Runner 2049-Venice (you might remember my comment yesterday about BR2049 maybe not playing any fest)
The Darkest Hour-Venice/TIFF (see below)
Disobedience From the director of A Fantastic Woman (which I think is likely for T-ride)-Venice/TIFF
Downsizing-all they say is that a "fall a lock" which would almost certainly be Telluride I would think but there is still buzz concerning whether it will be ready.
Lady Bird-TIFF
Lean on Pete-Venice/TIFF
Molly's Game-AFI
Roman Israel, Esq-TIFF/AFI
The Shape of Water-TIFF
The Snowman-Venice

Suburbicon-The Playlist says' We hear this already has a major festival slot lined up" but they don't speculate about which one.  They do say to expect an announcement sooner rather than later which would mean that whatever it is, it's not Telluride.  That doesn't preclude a T-ride play, however.
Three Billboards-Venice/TIFF
Wonder Wheel-Venice/NYFF


We saw yesterday that we would get a trailer for Joe Wright's Darkest Hour.  The big buzz has been about Gary Oldman's performance as Winston Churchill.  Here's the newly released trailer:

The film is being distributed by Focus Features and is set to be released on Nov. 22nd.  

Here are a couple of stories about the film and its trailer release from:

There's your MTFB for Friday, July 14th.  More to come next Monday.


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