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TELLURIDE ’08 | Leigh, Fincher, Schrader, and Youssou Ndour in Telluride Spotlight; Hollywood & Ind

TELLURIDE '08 | Leigh, Fincher, Schrader, and Youssou Ndour in Telluride Spotlight; Hollywood & Ind

An even greater emphasis on new foreign language films and international classics marks the official lineup for the annual Telluride Film Festival which kicks off tomorrow in Colorado. While the festival frequently offers unannounced sneak previews of higher profile titles, this year’s main program lacks the sort of star-drived, studio specialty division, Oscar-oriented titles that have been a staple of the fest’s programming in recent years. “It was a funny year,” noted Telluride Film Festival co-director Tom Luddy in a conversation earlier this week previewing the roster. Citing the recent closure of companies such as Picturehouse, Warner Independent and New Line, Luddy reiterated, “The landscape changed a little bit.” The festival continues through Monday in the rather remote Colorado mountain town.

Among the new films from U.S. filmmakers are Paul Schrader‘s “Adam Resurrected,” a black comedy (and international co-production) starring Jeff Goldblum as well as Tim Disney‘s “American Violet,” a drama starring Will Patton, Tim Blake Nelson, Alfre Woodard, Charles Dutton and Michael O’Keefe. Notable international filmmakers will include Mike Leigh with his upcoming “Happy-Go-Lucky,” a hit at this year’s Berlinale. Meanwhile, among the film’s from this year’s Cannes Film Festival are: “Gomorrah,” directed by Matteo Garrone, “The Good, The Bad and the Weird,” directed by Kim Ji-Woon, “Hunger,” directed by Steve McQueen, “Tulpan,” directed by Sergei Dvortsevoy, and “Waltz With Bashir,” directed by Ari Folman.

“There are not a lot of Hollywood films that we were shown [for consideration], maybe not as many as last year,” Luddy continued, when asked about the apparent downturn in films from Hollywood and Indiewood company. “Maybe because of the writer’s strike there are not as many films in that kind of category. Many we passed on, others we didn’t get to see.” But, festival-goers and industry observers should keep an eye on fest coverage as surprise showings emerge this weekened. Luddy teased, “The sneaks may be a little bit more American.”

Recent Telluride Lineup articles from indieWIRE:
2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004

Instead of honoring an Oscar contending actor, the fest has showcased both Daniel Day Lewis and Penelope Cruz in recent years. This year Telluride will honor David Fincher (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” Other honorees will include filmmaker Jan Troell (“The Emigrants,” “The New Land”), actress Jean Simmons (“Black Narcissus,” “Uncle Silas,” “Hamlet,” “Guys and Dolls”), and film critic, author and documentary filmmaker Richard Schickel. This year’s guest director is Slavoj Zizek.

Of the new films, one showcases an internationally acclaimed star: Youssou Ndour. The Senegalese musician is the subject of Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi‘s documentary “Youssou Ndour: I Bring What I Love.” The film follows the artist’s Grammy-winning “Egypt” album, focusing on Islam. Traveling to Telluride with Ndour are a group of musicians who will perform a live concert after each screening of his film. “We want to give people their money’s worth when they make the big effort to come to Telluride,” Tom Luddy noted. “For some people he will be one of the biggest stars ever to set foot in Telluride.”

Luddy is also quite excited to present fest honoree Jan Troell‘s 1966 debut feature, “Here Is Your Life.” “Ingmar Bergman wrote that this was the film that he screened every year for thirty-five years — he thought that it was one of the greatest Swedish fims,” Luddy praised, during the conversation with indieWIRE. “Any film that Ingmar Bergman would watch every year for thirty-five years, people in Telluride should go see. It’s not coming from me, it’s coming from Ingmar Bergman.”

The poster for the 35th Telluride Film Festival, designed by Laurie Anderson

In addition to the consistently large roster of classics and silent work, the Telluride’s Backlot Theater returns in 2008 as a free venue. While last year the programming was mostly films about filmmakers and filmmaking, this year the roster also extends to areas of the main program. Organizers will screen the past work of “Tulpan” director Dvortsevoy, as well as a number of films from Jan Sikl, two segments from Richard Schickel‘s look at Warner Bros. and Kimberly Reed‘s “Prodigal Sons,” a personal documentary about Reed and her relationship with an estranged brother who is a grandson of Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth.

“I am happy with the overall balance,” Luddy concluded, “And I hope you are too after you see the films.”

Complete Telluride Feature Film Lineup:

Features:

Adam Resurrected,” directed by Paul Schrader

American Violet,” directed by Tim Disney

Everlasting Moments,” directed by Jan Troell

Firaaq,” directed by Nandita Das

Flame & Citron,” directed by Ole Christian Madsen

Gomorrah,” directed by Matteo Garrone

Happy Go Lucky,” directed by Mike Leigh

Helen,” directed by Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor

Hunger,” directed by Steve McQueen

I’ve Loved You So Long,” directed by Philippe Claudel

Kisses,” directed by Lance Daly

Learning Gravity,” directed by Cathal Black

O’Horten,” directed by Bent Hamer

Pirate for the Sea,” directed by Ron Colby

Private Century,” directed by Jan Sikl

Revanche,” directed by Gotz Spielmann

The Good, The Bad and the Weird,” directed by Kim Ji-Woon

The Rest is Silence, directed by Nae Caranfil

Tulpan,” directed by Sergei Dvortsevoy

Waltz With Bashir,” directed by Ari Folman

With A Little Help From Myself,” directed by Francois Dupeyron

Youssou Ndour: I Bring What I Love,” directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi

Classics:

Innocence Unprotected,” directed by Dusan Makavejev

Lola Montes,” directed by Max Ophuls

Nightmare Alley,” directed by Edmund Golding

On Dangerous Ground,” directed by Nicholas Ray

Philanthropy,” directed by Nae Caranfil

Pirosmani, directed by Giorgi Shengelaya

Private Century,” directed by Jan Sikl

Seconds,” directed by John Frankenheimer

The Fall of Berlin,” directed by Mikhail Chiaureli

The Great Sacrifice,” directed by Veit Harlan

The Italian Straw Hat,” directed by Rene Clair

The Last Command,” directed by Josef von Sternberg

Backlot:

12 Canoes,” directed by Rolf de Heer

A Low-Level Flight,” directed by Jan Sikl

A Stroke of Butterfly Wings,” directed by Jan Sikl

A Pervert’s Guide to Cinema,” directed by Sophie Fiennes

Bread Day + In the Dark,” directed by Sergei Dvortsevoy

Daddy and Lili Marlene,” directed by Jan Sikl

King of Velichovky,” directed by Jan Sikl

Mary Pickford: The Muse of the Movies,” directed by Nicholas Eliopoulos

Paradise + Highway,” directed by Sergei Dvortsevoy

Prodigal Sons,” directed by Kimberly Reed

See You in Denver,” directed by Jan Sikl

Small Russian Clouds of Smoke,” directed by Jan Sikl

Statuary of Granddad Vinda,” directed by Jan Sikl

With Kisses From Your Love,” directed by Jan Sikl

You Must Remember This,” directed by Richard Schickel (2 segments)

Tribute Films:

Elmer Gantry,” directed by Richard Brooks

Here Is Your Life,” directed by Jan Troell

So Long At The Fair,” directed by Terence Fisher

The Emigrants + A New Land,” directed by Jan Troell

Zodiac: The Director’s Cut,” directed by David Fincher

indieWIRE’s Eugene Hernandez will be reporting all weekend from the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado.

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