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Fall Festival Wishlist: The 50 Films We Hope To See in Venice, Toronto and/or Telluride

By Indiewire | Indiewire June 20, 2013 at 10:16AM

As Cannes came to a close last month, speculation and predictions immediately loomed for what was in store for the triad of major festivals of the very early fall (or, technically, the very late summer). The 70th edition of the Venice Film Festival will run August 28 to September 7th, while Toronto will celebrate its 38th edition September 5-15. And then of course there's Telluride, which goes down on Labor Day weekend.
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"Moebius"
(directed by Kim Ki-duk)
Fresh from his Venice Film Festival win for the grotesque family drama "Pieta," Korean provocateur Kim Ki-duk is back with another characteristically unsettling drama that revolves around incest. Already, the director has reportedly fiddled with 21 scenes from the movie after the Korean rating board gave the film a restricted rating. Despite Kim's tendency to push boundaries with extreme violence and sexuality, the director tends to take an artful approach to his subject matter that pushes it beyond pure shock value. "Moebius" is said to involve a man who sleeps with his mother after dealing with a frustrating upbringing -- and also involves the amputation of a certain very sensitive body part. Clearly not for everyone, "Moebius" is still certain to get people talking, as Kim's films tend to do. Those up for another dose of the old Kim ultraviolence are likely to be satiated with this effort. [Eric Kohn]


“The Monuments Men”
(directed by George Clooney)
Though it may seem somewhat unlikely George Clooney’s latest star-studded project makes a festival run before its December 18 release date, there is one bit of hope for those unable to wait for the Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett and Bill Murray-starring historical art caper. The film is backed by Smokehouse Pictures, the production company founded by Clooney and writing partner Grant Heslov, the same duo that sent “Argo” on a festival tour prior to its long theatrical run and eventual Best Picture victory. Perhaps they’ll follow the successful formula one more time and let us see “The Monuments Men” at Telluride or Toronto. [Ben Travers]


“A Most Wanted Man” (directed by Anton Corbijn)
Anton Corbijn seems eager to please after the critic-approved but audience-denied thriller “The American” failed to spark any box office or awards season fires. “A Most Wanted Man” is not just an adaptation of popular author John le Carre’s 2008 novel. It also sports a cast of likable and awards-friendly thespians including Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Willem Dafoe. The film is scheduled for a November 22 release in the UK, but has yet to land a date stateside. Could it get an awareness boost with a plum festival spot at VIFF, TIFF or Telluride? We can only wait and hope. [Ben Travers]

"Night Moves" (directed by Kelly Reichardt)
Reichardt has repeatedly delivered some of the most thoughtful American independent films in recent years, starting with "Old Joy," which followed with "Wendy and Lucy" and "Meek's Cutoff." Each movie starts with rather basic scenarios -- a weekend getaway, a missing dog, a minimalist western -- and develops them into profound explorations of personal yearning. While Reichardt has repeatedly worked with Michelle Williams, the trio of big names associated with this particular project certainly attest to her current clout, while the premise about a trio of environmentalists planning to blow up a bomb sounds exactly like the simple plots that Reichardt always manages to infuse with new life. Additionally, her films tend to be attuned to the relationship between man and nature, so the theme is a familiar one for fans of oeuvre. [Eric Kohn]

“Nymphomaniac” (directed by Lars von Trier)
It feels a little funny to include this on a “wish list,” considering Lars von Trier’s latest cinematic assault sounds a lot like art house porn, but the inflammatory director certainly knows how to build buzz around his films, hence the heightened interest. First came the announcement of the film’s taboo sexual material, followed by Shia LaBeouf’s implication that he would be performing the acts “for real.” Now we know the actual sex scenes will feature body doubles for the more intimate moments with the bodies of the actors and stunt doubles superimposed in post-production. The website for the two-part film has provided a chapter list for the film and is promising “more to come” on June 28. What “more” there is remains unclear, but you better believe von Trier will make it newsworthy. [Ben Travers]

“Oldboy” (directed by Spike Lee)
Not a scene has been seen of Spike Lee’s remake of Park Chan-wook's Cannes Grand Prix-winning 2003 thriller, yet expectations are fairly lofty considering the high regard film fans hold for the original (and who took over the remake). Lee has assembled an intriguing cast, including Josh Brolin in the lead role as a man kidnapped and imprisoned for 20 years (five longer than the original film), released freely into the world, and given no explanation for either. Elizabeth Olsen co-stars along with Samuel L. Jackson, Sharlto Copley (“District 9”), and Lance Reddick (“The Wire,” “Fringe”). Lee’s last two features opened at Sundance (“Red Hook Summer”) and TIFF (“Miracle at St. Anna”), so there’s a reasonable shot we’ll see “Oldboy” show at a festival before its October 25 release in the U.S. [Ben Travers]

“Out of the Furnace” (directed by Scott Cooper)
Christian Bale is searching for his younger brother in Scott Cooper’s star-studded thriller, “Out of the Furnace.” Casey Affleck, Zoe Saldana, Woody Harrelson, Forest Whitaker, Sam Shepard and Willem Dafoe round out the impressive cast in what will be the director’s second film. His first, “Crazy Heart,” earned his leading man an Oscar. Considering we haven’t seen one shot of Cooper’s flick, it’s impossible to say if Bale is primed to earn his second gold statue. But that’s all the more reason to hope it hits a festival sooner rather than later. [Ben Travers]

“Parkland” (directed by Peter Landesman)
The last star-studded JFK biopic to hit screens was Emilio Estevez’s “Bobby” in 2006. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival and then played at Toronto before its limited theatrical rollout in November. Despite clever, awards-baiting scheduling, “Bobby” was a critical and commercial flop. Surely Peter Landesman has higher hopes for “Parkland,” a film set at the Dallas hospital JFK was rushed to after being shot, his film may follow the same path to theaters. If it catches a couple of early fall festivals, it could hit theaters in time for the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination. [Ben Travers]

“Philomena” (directed by Stephen Frears)
It’s hard to tell what will happen with a Stephen Frears film. The Oscar-nominated director of “The Queen” and “High Fidelity” has seen the other side of the coin more recently with the critical and commercial flop, “Lay the Favorite.” Nevertheless, when Helen Mirren’s iconic performance carried her film to multiple Oscar nods in 2006, the journey of "The Queen" began at the Venice Film Festival. Will Frears’ latest effort mirror its path with its own Academy-friendly leading lady in Judi Dench? The drama co-starring and co-written by British comedian Steve Coogan seems like an odd fit for Oscar, but Dench has proven she can take just about anything and spin it into gold. [Ben Travers]

This article is related to: Festivals, Wish List, The Wolf of Wall Street , Twelve Years a Slave, Nymphomaniac, Captain Phillips, August: Osage County, Diana, Monuments Men, Labor Day, Knight Of Cups, Gravity, Oldboy (Remake)