By Basil Tsiokos | Indiewire September 6, 2010 at 8:26AM
As Telluride heads into its fourth and final day, Thompson on Hollywood's Telluride critic Tim Appelo reviews Errol Morris' "Tabloid," calling it "the funniest farce of 2010, with a tragic core and absolute fidelity to the facts," and featuring Morris' "most astounding character ever" - impressive, given all the indelible subjects the documentarian has profiled over the years.
Also attending the Colorado festival, Todd McCarthy writes about 1960s cinema icon Claudia Cardinale, who starred in Fellini's "8 1/2," Luchno Visconti's "The Leopard," and dozens of other classics. The now 71-year-old actress, being celebrated by Telluride, reflects on her numerous leading men - a who's who including Mastroianni, Belmondo, Delon, and Lancaster - and working with directors like Leone and Herzog ("I love crazy people. Normal is boring.”).
Leonard Maltin, also enjoying Telluride, sent out a lovely tweet at the urging of his wife, recommending one of the films generating the most Oscar buzz.
Speaking of the Oscars, TOH's Anne Thompson and In Contention's Kris Tapley, covering Venice and Telluride respectively, still managed to have their Oscar Talk, covering Aronofsky's "Black Swan," wowing at both fests, among other hopefuls.
Finally, the indieWIRE presence at Telluride also includes Eugene Hernandez, who offers an appreciation for the "only in Telluride" moments found at the venerable cinephile's haven - "It’s the one-time-only events and screenings of movies you probably can’t see anywhere else on a big screen that make the festival worth the money and keep me coming back every year." His article covers the 3-D shorts/rarities program curated by Serge Bromberg (“Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno”), as well as a rare screening of Stanton Kaye's "Brandy in the Wilderness," a low-budget American independent film from the 1960s, which Hernandez describes as "a bit like an early version of a Mumblecore movie."
Meanwhile, covering Venice for iW, Shane Danielson offers his inimitable takes on a number of films: Alexsi Fedorchenko’s “Silent Souls" ("I watched it unfold in a state of rapt fascination; two days later, unable to get it out of my head, I went back to see it again"), Pablo Larrain's "Post Mortem" ("similarly extraordinary"), Sophia Coppola's "Somewhere" ("...the surfaces are uniformly sleek and covetable. The trouble is, the viewer never so much as scratches them, to see what might lie beneath"), Dennis Villeneuve's "Incendies" ("the standing ovation he received at its public premiere was entirely deserved"), Julian Schnabel's "Miral" ("a work of such staggering ineptitude in every aspect of its manufacture, that you wondered if its maker might have suffered some kind of stroke"), Pernilla August's "Beyond" ("it set out to shake and, to move - and it did"), Kelly Reichardt's "Meek's Cutoff" ("by 40 minutes in, I looked around, blearily, to find that almost everyone in my vicinity was fast asleep"), and Francois Ozon's "Potiche" ("the best thing he’s done since 'Sous le Sable'").
Also from Venice, Anne Thompson presents a video of the press conference for Sophia Coppola's "Somewhere," with a one-on-one interview with the helmer promised soon.
- Continuing with Venice news and reviews, The Wall Street Journal's Dean Napolitano covers the premiere of Casey Affleck's directorial debut, "I'm Still Here," the much discussed potentially not-completely-true documentary about his brother-in-law Joaquin Phoenix. While the pair claim in the press conference that the film is not a "hoax," questions remain. Napolitano's assessment: "The film is often funny and entertaining, but its scenes of full-front nudity, vomiting and other disturbing images will certainly turn away many viewers."
- Reuters reports on the surprise entry in the Competition, Chinese director's Wang Bing's "The Ditch," about forced labor camps in 1950s-'60s, which was greeted enthusiastically by critics today.
- The Independent's Geoffrey Macnab reviews Martin Scorsese and Kent Jones new documentary on still controversial director Elia Kazan, "A Letter to Elia," calling it "a deeply personal reflection on Kazan's career" and "as much about Scorsese as it is about Kazan."
- The Telegraph also writes about "Elia," praising it as "absorbing" and "an affectionate tribute to an enormous talent."
- Finally, In Contention's Guy Lodge offers his more lukewarm take on "Elia:" "a heartfelt, comforting if mostly unrevelatory valentine to Elia Kazan and his work that extends Scorsese’s night job as everyone’s most benevolent film studies professor."
- Lodge also weighs in on Francois Ozon's Catherine Deneuve/Gerard Depardieu-starrer "Potiche," which he describes as a "fizzy, silly, pop-brite comedy," but also adds, "with Deneuve having such contagious fun at the center of it, one is loath (not to mention a little scared) to complain."
- The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw shares a similar regard for "Potiche," acknowledging but embracing its wackiness: "It is impossible to watch [Deneuve], especially her scenes with the hefty Dépardieu, without a smile at all the engineered absurdity."
- Bradshaw concludes his Venice coverage with two standouts: Kelly Reichardt's "Meek's Cutoff" - calling it a "fascinating and tremendously well-made film" - and Pablo Larrain's "Post Mortem" - writing appreciatively that "it positively crackles with strangeness."
- Moving over to Telluride, the North American premiere of "The Black Swan" was hotly anticipated, given the critical response in Venice. In Contention, Deadline Hollywood, and Cinematical provide a sampling of reactions.
- Cinematical's Eric D Snider, a first-time attendee to the Colorado event, gives his humorous first impressions of the fest ("The roster is lean and fat-free, much like Coloradans themselves"), its altitude ("Every now and then I'll be walking around and get just a few seconds of mild, pleasant light-headedness… in small bursts it's quite refreshing"), and its gondola rides ("at some point I'll be stuck on the gondola with someone who's loud and offensive, or who's boring and won't shut up, or who's Harvey Weinstein, and I'll have to weigh the pros and cons of forcing the gondola door open and leaping to my death").
- Finally, covering Telluride for the LA Times, John Horn offers his thoughts on "Incendies," which also screened to a standing ovation at Venice and heads next to Toronto, concluding that the film, which still lacks a US distributor, "may soon find a deserving home."
- With the Toronto International Film Festival starting in just a few days, the Toronto Star surveys 22 "in-the-know festival goers" for their Toronto can't miss titles - including TIFF's own Cameron Bailey, Piers Handling, and Michele Maheux, as well as the Bell Lightbox's Noah Cowan, plus indieWIRE's Eric Kohn and TOH's Anne Thompson. Leading the poll is Herzog's "Cave of Forgotten Dreams," Aronofosky's "Black Swan," Bruce McDonald's "Trigger," Julian Schnabel's "Miral," and Charles Ferguson's "Inside Job," but the respondents have a nicely eclectic list of suggestions beyond these as well.