Take a close look at the Telluride Film Festival lineup: These are films you'll be hearing a lot about over the next few weeks during a fall festival swing that begins in Venice, travels to Telluride and continues through to big-city fests in Toronto and then New York. For many movies on the roster, the journey even dates back to Cannes in May.
Saving its lineup announcement for just 24 hours before the festival begins, today Telluride organizers unveiled its plans for the 38th edition of their annual cinematic summer camp over Labor Day weekend. Among the highlights: George Clooney and Tilda Swinton will be honored with in-person tributes, Glenn Close's passion project "Albert Nobbs" will debut and audiences will be the first to see new works from Alexander Payne and Werner Herzog, with David Cronenberg's and Steve McQueen's latest films screening minutes after their Venice Film Festival premieres.
Telluride programmers have been hoping to bring Swinton to the fest for years and she will be saluted alongside Lynne Ramsay's latest, "We Need To Talk About Kevin," a provocative adaptation of Lionel Shriver's acclaimed novel. The film debuted this spring in Cannes, where it stirred early awards season talk for Swinton.
"People will want to talk about it and talk to her about it," said Telluride's Gary Meyer, who shares Telluride's director title with Tom Luddy and Julie Huntsinger.
Clooney will wing his way to the festival from Venice, where his own "The Ides of March" opened the festival last night. At Telluride, he'll be in Colorado with Payne's "The Descendants" before that movie heads to Toronto next week.
Organizers noted that Clooney's "Ides of March" won't be one of the two surprise screenings that they have planned for attendees in the coming days.
During the conversation with indieWIRE earlier this week, Meyer echoed his excitement at being able to include Steve McQueen's anticipated "Shame" in this year's festival. Starring Michael Fassbender as a sex addict, Meyer said the film is a last-minute entry that will show in Telluride Sunday afternoon, just an hour after its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival.
Cronenberg's adaptation of John Kerr's novel "A Dangerous Method," also starring Fassbender (as well as Keira Knightley and Viggo Mortensen), will travel the exact same route, starting in Venice before hitting the Telluride, Toronto and then New York fests this month.
Rodrigo Garcia's "Albert Nobbs" will bring additional star power to the mountain town. Close bends her gender as an Irish hotel butler, reprising the award-winning role she performed for the stage. She'll be at the festival this weekend and will talk about her turn as a man during one of the many free Q&As at the local County Courthouse.
A number of new films are arriving in Telluride with heat generated by recent festival appearances: Among them is Mia Hansen-Love's "Goodbye First Love," which drew strong buzz at the recent film festival in Locarno.
From Cannes, there's Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne's "The Kid With A Bike" (winner of the Grand Prix prize), as well as Joseph Cedar's best screenplay award-winner "Footnote" and acting award winner "The Artist," directed by Michel Hazanavicius and starring Jean Dujardin. Also on tap from the French fest are Aki Kaurismaki's "Le Havre," and Christian Jimenez' "Bonsai," a discovery from Chile.
Many of the biggest films from the Berlinale will also be in Telluride. Asghar Farhadi's "A Separation," winner of the Golden Bear best picture prize, also won both acting awards honoring the male ensemble and the female ensemble from the acclaimed Iranian. There's also Bela Tarr's "The Turin Horse," winner of the Silver Bear, and Joshua Marston's screenplay award-winner, "The Forgiveness of Blood."
Meanwhile, a Berlin fest discovery that Gary Meyer touted during the conversation earlier this week was Alexander Zeldovich's "Target." He highlighted it as a film that may not easily secure U.S. distribution, but praised the filmmaker for his resourcefulness. "[He is] someone that doesn't have money, but has a vision."
Among the non-fiction films are Martin Scorsese's look at the life of George Harrison, "Living in the Material World," as well as Micha Peled's "Bitter Seeds," about biotechnology in the food industry and its impact on a village in India as well as Jon Shenk's "The Island President," following the rise of The Maldives charismatic leader Mohamed Nasheed.
Also on tap is Werner Herzog's "Into The Abyss: A Tale of Death, a Tale of Life," a look at a small-town triple murder case in Texas. And sure to be popular are the screenings of Wim Wender's 3-D film, "Pina," a performance driven movie about the late dancer and choreographer Pina Bausch.
Eryk Rocha's "Passerby" is a new film that blurs the line between fact and fiction. "It's a film that cannot be categorized," said Meyer. He also singled out Viviana Garcia Besne's "Perdida," a look at the Calderon family, a cinema dynasty in Mexico.
The festival will also showcase Mark Cousin's "The Story of Film" and offer a branded "Spotlight on Style" with two new documentaries, Shannah Laumeister's "Becoming Bert Stern," about the famed photographer and Lisa Immordino-Vreeland's "Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel," about the late fashion editor.
Of course, Telluride wouldn't be what it is without a sizable program cinema's past. The festival will welcome Brazilian musician Caetano Veloso and his program of six classics. And Telluride will salute Pierre Etaix, a screen star once praised as "the French Buster Keaton." An assistant director to Jacques Tati, Etaix won the Oscar for best short for "Happy Anniversary" in 1962. That film, as well as his movies "The Suitor" (1963) and "Yo Yo" (1970) will also screen. Etaix will be on hand to receive a medal and participate in an on-stage conversation.
Among the other cinematic classics are Karl-Heinz Martin's "From Morning to Midnight" from 1920. The Alloy Orchestra will perform a live score for the German Expressionist film. "It includes imagery that I've never seen before," said Meyer, strongly urging that attendees put the film on their schedule. "You are in for something that is unlike anything you've seen before."
The 38th Telluride Film Festival opens tomorrow, September 2, and will continue through Labor Day. indieWIRE will report from the festival this weekend.
[Eugene Hernandez, director of digital strategy at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, is a co-founder and former editor-in-chief of indieWIRE.]
For the full list of the 2011 Telluride Film Festival lineup, please go to page 2.
The list of new films screening at the 38th Telluride Film Festival (credits provided by the festival):
ALBERT NOBBS (d. Rodrigo Garcia, U.S., 2011)
THE ARTIST (d. Michel Hazanavicius, France, 2011)
BECOMING BERT STERN (d. Shannah Laumeister, U.S., 2011)
BITTER SEEDS (d. Micha X. Peled, U.S., 2011)
BONSÁI (d. Cristián Jiménez, Chile, 2011)
A DANGEROUS METHOD (d. David Cronenberg, U.K.-Switzerland-U.S.-Canada, 2011)
THE DESCENDANTS (d. Alexander Payne, U.S., 2011)
DIANA VREELAND: THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL (d. Lisa Immordino-Vreeland, U.S., 2011)
FOOTNOTE (d. Joseph Cedar, Israel, 2011)
THE FORGIVENESS OF BLOOD (d. Joshua Marston, U.S.-Albania-Denmark-Italy, 2011)
GOODBYE FIRST LOVE (d. Mia Hansen-Løve, France, 2011)
LE HAVRE (d. Aki Kaurismäki, Finland, 2011)
HOLLYWOOD DON’T SURF (d. Greg Macgillivray, Sam George, U.S., 2011)
IN DARKNESS (d. Agnieszka Holland, Poland, 2011)
INTO THE ABYSS: A TALE OF DEATH, A TALE OF LIFE (d. Werner Herzog, U.S., 2011)
THE ISLAND PRESIDENT (d. Jon Shenk, U.S., 2011)
THE KID WITH A BIKE (d. Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Belgium, 2011)
LIVING IN THE MATERIAL WORLD (d. Martin Scorsese, U.S., 2011)
PASSERBY (d. Eryk Rocha, Brazil, 2011)
PERDIDA (d. Viviana García Besné, Mexico, 2011)
PINA (d. Wim Wenders, Germany, 2011)
A SEPARATION (d. Asghar Farhadi, Iran, 2011)
SHAME (d. Steve McQueen, U.K., 2011)
THE STORY OF FILM: AN ODYSSEY (d. Mark Cousins, U.K., 2011)
TARGET (d. Alexander Zeldovich, Russia, 2011)
THE TURIN HORSE (d. Béla Tarr, Hungary, 2011)
THE WAY HOME (d. Dr. Biju, India, 2010)
WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN (d. Lynne Ramsey, U.K., 2011)
Director Caetano Veloso's 'Guest Director Program':
ANICETO (d. Leonardo Favio, Argentina, 2008)
THE APARTMENT (d. Billy Wilder, U.S., 1960)
BLACK GOD, WHITE DEVIL (d. Glauber Rocha, Brazil, 1964)
LE GRANDES MANOEUVRES (d. René Clair, France, 1955)
NORDESTE: CORDEL, REPENTE E CANÇÃO (d. Tânia Quaresma, Brazil, 1975)
VIVRE SA VIE (d. Jean-Luc Godard, France, 1962)
Additional Film Revivals:
FROM MORNING TO MIDNIGHT (d. Karl-Heinz Martin, Germany, 1920) – Brand new original score performed live by the Alloy Orchestra.
HAPPY-GO-LUCKY (d. Vasili Shukshin, Russia, 1972)
THE HOUSE ON TRUBNAYA SQUARE – (d. Boris Barnet, USSR, 1928) – A score by Dennis James, commissioned by the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley for its 25th Anniversary, will be performed by its composer and his Filmharmonia Ensemble.
SPOTLIGHT ON MARCEL PAGNOL – Two films will screen in celebration of the great French filmmaker: HARVEST (France, 1939) and MERLUSSE (France, 1938) introduced by Nicolas Pagnol and Alice Waters.
A TRIP TO THE MOON AND BEYOND – Serge Bromberg returns to Telluride with Georges Méliès’s famous 1902 “moon with a rocket in the eye” completely restored by Lobster Films and the Groupama Gan and Technicolor Foundation. Along with other surprises from attics and flea markets, Bromberg accompanies it all with live piano and stories.
AVENTURERA (d. Alberto Gout, Mexico, 1950)
DOCUMENTARY REVOLUTIONS: featuring two hour-long documentaries THE DOCUMENTARY FILM MOB (d. Chris Durlacher, U.K., 2011) and THE CAMERA THAT CHANGED THE WORLD (d. Mandy Chang, U.K., 2011)
I AM MY FILMS, PART 2… 30 YEARS LATER (d. Christian Weisenborn, Germany, 2011)
IN THE TRACKS OF GEORGE DELERUE (d.Pascale Cuenot, France, 2011)
MONDO LUX – DIE BILDERWELTEN DES WERNER SCHROETER (d. Elfi Mikesch, Germany, 2011)
NOTES FOR AN IMAGINARY BIOGRAPHY (d. Edgardo Cozarinsky, France, 2011)
SARRIS, SILENTS AND SOUNDS: a collection of short films including ANDREW SARRIS: CRITIC IN FOCUS (d. Casimir Nozkowski, U.S., 2011); SERGEI PROKOFIEV (d. Julia Titova, Russia, 2011); NIGHT HUNTER (d. Stacy Steers, U.S., 2011); and ODE TO THE DAWN OF MAN (d. Werner Herzog, U.S., 2011)
SODANKYLÄ FOREVER (d. Peter von Bagh, Finland, 2011)
TROPICÁLIA (d. Marcelo Machado, Brazil, 2011)