Telluride Lineup No Longer a Surprise; Fest Unveils List for 30th Year
by Eugene Hernandez
While families and friends are sitting on the beach or grilling burgers at the park this Labor Day weekend, a select group of filmmakers, industry-types, critics and movie aficionados will be watching an array of new films at the 30th Telluride Film Festival in Colorado. The lineup for the event is an annual surprise that is revealed to attendees on the morning of the first day of the festival. It is being announced this morning by festival directors Bill Pence and Tom Luddy as participants settle in for four days of movie-going.
This year's Telluride Film Festival is dedicated to experimental filmmaker Stan Brakhage, who died earlier this year. He was an attendee at the very first Telluride in 1974 and a regular attendee year after year.
Feature films set to screen in Telluride this year include Peter Webber's "Girl with a Pearl Earring," an adaptation of the novel, which stars Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth. Johansson also stars in Sofia Coppola's "Lost in Translation" with Bill Murray, which will also be at the festival (from Focus Features). Hayden Christensen stars as disgraced magazine writer Stephen Glass in "Shattered Glass," while Nicole Kidman stars in Lars Von Trier's "Dogville," both from Lions Gate. Telluride will also screen Cannes Palme d'Or winner "Elephant" by Gus Van Sant. The film, about a pair of teenagers who plan a killing spree at their high school, will be released this year by HBO Films and Fine Line.
"Intermission," an Irish heist film with Colin Farrell, from IFC Films, will screen, as will Christopher Boe's Cannes winner "Reconstruction" and Dagur Kari's Iceland film, "Noi Albinoi," both from Palm Pictures. Telluride will offer Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Cannes winner "Uzak" as well as Siddik Barmaq's "Osama" from United Artists, while the festival will also screen the popular Italian epic "The Best of Youth," directed by Marco Tullio Giordana, from Miramax. The company will also present Gabriele Salvatores' "I'm Not Scared." Other films on tap include Yann Samuel's "Love Me If You Dare" from France and Rolf de Heer's "Alexandra's Project" from Australia, and Ruth Mader's "Struggle."
To honor the memory of Stan Brakhage, the festival will present a number of films from his Telluride friends, including Werner Herzog's latest, "Wheel of Time," Ken Burns' "Horatio's Drive" and Priyanka Kumar's "Song of the Little Road," which explores the work of filmmaker Satyajit Ray, whom Brakhage admired.
Guest director Stephen Sondheim has curated a retrospective of work from French filmmaker Julien Duvivier, including "The More the Merrier," and a tribute to Polish director Krzysztof Zanussi.
Ted Turner will receive the Silver Medallion at this year's Telluride Film Festival, while Toni Collette will be in the spotlight, including the North American premiere of her latest film, Sue Brooks' "Japanese Story." Docs on tap include Errol Morris' "Fog of War," a portrait of Robert S. McNamara, and Kevin McDonald's "Touching the Void" which re-creates two British mountain climbers battle to survive a descent in the Andes. The festival will also honor Peter Brook for his stage and screen work, including a screening of his son Simon Brook's doc, "Brook by Brook." Additionally, the festival will present a look at an acclaimed writer, "Budd Schulberg: A Contender."
Classic films on tap for this year's Telluride Film Festival include Buster Keaton's "The General," Charles Varnel's "Dans La Nuit," Jean Renoir's "Franch Cancan," and Gillo Ponecorvo's "The Battle of Algiers."
Six conversations will take place during the festival, featuring Stephen Sondheim who will be interviewed by Elvis Mitchell, and Gus Van Sant who will be interviewed by Paul Schrader. The festival will also look at the work of emerging filmmakers in a program dubbed, "Filmmakers of Tomorroow," and offer educational seminars and outdoor screenings. Gary Larson has been tapped to design this year's festival poster.