FESTIVAL: Lineup for the 2002 Telluride Film Festival
[Descriptions and information provided by the Telluride Film Festival]
This year’s program includes films that examine issues and personalities that resonate in day-to-day life as well as the world of cinema:
BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE (North American Premiere)–In the first documentary in 46 years to be selected for competition in Cannes, Michael Moore sets out to investigate why so many Americans own guns and why so many use them on each other.
LOST IN LA MANCHA (North American Premiere)–Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe’s making-of documentary follows infamous filmmaker Terry Gilliam as he battles against ever increasing odds to reproduce the hallucinatory vision of Cervantes’ novel Don Quixote; the same task once unsuccessfully attempted by Orson Welles.
WILLIE NELSON: STILL IS STILL MOVING (World Premiere)–Steven Cantor’s documentary incorporates heartfelt homages from fellow musicians and fans, a visit to Nelson’s hometown and concert footage to celebrate a musician who after 35 years on the road sounds like America itself.
IRREVERSIBLE (North American Premiere)–Gaspar Noe’s film explores the effect an act of extreme sexual violence has on a woman and her boyfriend.
BLIND SPOT (North American Premiere)–In this documentary Traudi Junge, Adolf Hitler’s personal secretary from 1942 until 1945, shares her recollections of her experiences with Hitler for the first time.
KEN PARK (World Premiere)–Well-known cinematographer Ed Lachman (Erin Brockovich, Virgin Suicides) in his directorial debut, co-directs with Larry Clark in this study of teenage suburban angst.
Samantha Morton stars in Lynne Ramsey’s MORVERN CALLAR (North American Premiere), a film that follows a shopgirl from a provincial Scottish town struggle to come to terms with her boyfriend’s suicide.
Writer-director Alexei Balabanov explores the savagery, vagaries and corruption of the Russian war in Chechnya as well as the nobility of an ordinary Russian soldier caught in the moral quagmire in THE WAR (North American Premiere).
In MY MOTHER’S SMILE (North American Premiere) director Marco Bellocchio explores the perverse ties that bind family, church, show business and the bourgeois world.
To celebrate the seminal 1936 British documentary Night Mail, poet-filmmaker Tony Harrison created NIGHT MAIL II (North American Premiere) retracing the journey of London-to-Scotland mail train through poetry. Sharing the program is Kevin Brownlow and Christopher Bird’s study of the connection between Charlie Chaplin and Adolf Hitler, THE TRAMP AND THE DICTATOR (North American Premiere).
CUCKOO (North American Premiere)–In this World War II era story, a Finnish soldier conscripted into the German army and left behind to die by his unit and a Russian soldier accidentally strafed by his own bombers are nurtured by a Lapp woman. Written and directed by Alexander Rogozhkin
CITY OF GOD (North American Premiere)–Directors Fernando Meirelles and Katia Lund examine the horrors of 20th-century urban poverty in Rio de Janeiro.
Two pre-adolescent boys race around a Sicilian Island making no distinction between work and play until their games and adventures overlap with the island’s superstitions and rituals in RESPIRO (North American Premiere), winner of the Grand Prize at the 2002 Cannes’ Critics Week.
In OLD BELIEVERS (North American Premiere) director Jana Sevcikova follows a devout group of Russian Orthodox adherents in a Romanian village who live in isolation from the modern world. Sharing the program is Adam Guzinski’s ANTYCHRYST (North American Premiere) the story of a young boy–a self-proclaimed demon–who terrorizes and thrills his friends but takes the game playing too far.
In addition, several Telluride Film Festival veterans have returned to debut their new films:
Bertrand Tavernier’s SAFE PASSAGE (North American Premiere) is a large historical canvas examining screenwriter Jean Aurenche and assistant director Jean Devaivre and the world of filmmaking in Occupied France. Also included in the schedule is LE CORBEAU, a 1943 film by French master of suspense Henri-George Clouzot that is discussed in Safe Passage.
Godfrey Reggio spent 13 years creating NAQOYQATSI (World Premiere); his vision of the effects of humanity’s most expansive and consequential battle–between the natural and the technological–which does not include the utterance of a single word. The score, composed by Philip Glass, includes a performance by cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
RUSSIAN ARK (North American Premiere), the latest film from Alexander Sokurov (a 1998 Telluride tributee) is a dream journey through St. Petersburg’s Hermitage guided by a French Marquis, interacting with historical figures and responding to the dreamer’s incredulous reactions–all accomplished in one take through HD video technology.
The program also features North American debuts of new films from internationally renowned filmmakers:
David Cronenberg brings SPIDER (North American Premiere), an examination of a man who battles his mental demons as he attempts to interact with fellow occupants of a halfway house, starring Ralph Fiennes.
TALK TO HER (North American Premiere) is director Pedro Almodovar’s latest enquiry into the laws of desire; this time focusing on masculine romantic and erotic ardor. The blend of comedy, tragedy and coincidence is reminiscent of Shakespeare’s late romances.
In RABBIT-PROOF FENCE (North American Premiere), Philip Noyce tells the story of three Aboriginal girls in the early 1930’s, taken from their families to be placed in a government sponsored retraining program and their determination to return home. The film stars Kenneth Branagh as the bureaucrat responsible for the program.
THE MAN WITHOUT A PAST (North American Premiere) directed by Aki Kaurismaki, received three awards at the Cannes Film Festival, including Best Actress for Kati Outinen. The film follows a man who comes back to life after being pronounced dead but with no memory of his past experiences or his name.