The Telluride Film Festival is a festival built around buzz. In movie lines and on the streets friends and strangers share opinions and advice about weekend moviegoing. The festival functions like real-life social network fostering opportinities to make new friends who will be your lifeline to information about what to see. And word can spread quickly among the 2,000 or so passholders.
This year’s fest began for me yesterday evening with a 2-hour shuttle trip into Telluride, riding with Catherine Wyler from the High Falls Film Festival, Deborah McClutchy from Criterion, Mike Jones from Variety, 30 year fest vet Ruth Hayler from Landmark Theaters in Seattle and a pair of students who were here after winning a contest.
As we drove along the edge of Ralph Lauren‘s 22,000 acre Double RL Ranch (pictured), our driver told us about the region and eventually we warmed up and started to talk about the movies. Some in the van had read indieWIRE’s lineup story, others were arriving with no knowledge of the fest’s lineup. Once we hit town, fest veteran Ruth snagged a bunch of copies of Film Watch, the local newsprint publication that gives attendees an initial breakdown of what’s playing at the festival. The first tough choice after tonight’s annual opening night feed will be whether to go see Todd Haynes‘ “I’m Not There” (which was shown to staff last night), Julian Schnabel‘s “Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” Wayne Wang‘s “A Thousand Years of Good Prayers,” the tribute to Daniel Day Lewis (apparently with scenes from “There Will be Blood“), or a program of new short films (all from Mexico). And of course, as with all festivals, the first movie choice affects the second and so on. How do I also work in “Margot At The Wedding” at 9 p.m….
[iphone photo © eugene hernandez]