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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