Another day, another trio of films in Telluride… Kevin Macdonald‘s “The Last King of Scotland,” Doug McGrath‘s “Infamous” and the silent classic, “Lonesome“. “Last King” is one of the more engrossing historical/political thrillers to come along in quite some time. The lead performances by Forest Whitaker and James McAvoy are top notch, leading the story of a young Scottish doctor who travels to Uganda, only to become a primary advisor to dictator Idi Amin. Meanwhile, Paul Fejos‘ 1928 film “Lonesome” which screened today with live accompanient by the Alloy Orchestra, drew a standing ovation as some viewers choked back tears. Despite a rather straightforward plot, its the story of a young man and woman living lonely lives in New York City, unaware that love is closer than they think. As Bill Pence said accurately during the introduction today, the ending will “send you soaring.”
Finally, for the past week or so I’ve been reading Christine Vachon‘s upcoming memoir, A Killer Life, and today after seeing Doug McGrath’s “Infamous” I just had to jump ahead to the chapter entitled “A Tale The Two Trumans” – it looks at the experience of making “Infamous” amidst the subsequent success of last year’s “Capote.” I watched the movie today and found myself entirely unable to judge it. As polished as the film is, with a tone that is completely different from that of “Capote,” I am sorry to say that I found it impossible to watch without recalling the previous movie. The film examines the same exact period in Capote’s life as the other film, even including a number of strikingly similar scenes. Its a terribly unfortunate position to be in and the “Infamous” cast/crew deserve kudos for getting through what clearly was a very tough situation. Perhaps, down the road after another viewing I will be able to watch it with a clearer head.