Twenty six new films, a dozen classic titles and a selection of documentaries and shorts are on tap for this weekend’s Telluride Film Festival. The event is set to kick off tomorrow (Friday) in the small Colorado mountain town, running through Monday evening in its annual Labor Day weekend slot. Filmmakers are traveling from as far away as India and Australia for the event, a carefully curated showcase of films held each year for some 6,000 or so attendees.
Among the upcoming films making the roster, that is once again being unveiled just 24 hours before the start of the festival, is John Hillcoat’s “The Road” starring Viggo Mortensen. The actor will be honored with a tribute at this year’s festival and will be joined at the event by Hillcoat and co-star Kodi Smit-McPhee. Also set to be honored are actress Anouk Aimee and filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta, whose latest film, “Vision,” will be screened.
Other new films, making festival debuts include Werner Herzog’s “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans”; Anne Fontaine’s look at the fashion icon, “Coco Before Chanel,” starring Audrey Tatou; Christian Carion’s spy story, “Farewell”; Todd Solondz’s “Happiness” sequel, “Life During Wartime”; and the Red Riding Trilogy featuring films adapted from four novels and directed by Julian Jarrold, James Marsh and Anand Tucker. Calling the films, “one of the most ambitious works of 2009 or any other recent year,” in festival notes, David Thomson praised, “Anyone caught in the creeping infection of these films will recognize a tragic achievement that surpasses that of ‘The Godfather’.”
At least two, and maybe three, surprise sneak previews are on tap for this weekend, according to organizers (One of the sneaks is rumored to be Jason Reitman’s “Up in the Air”). Additionally, there are a number of films from this year’s Cannes Film Festival, including Michael Haneke’s Palme d’Or winner “The White Ribbon,” Jacques Audiard’s runner-up “A Prophet,” Jane Campion’s “Bright Star,” Andrea Arnold’s Cannes jury prize-winner “Fish Tank,” Marco Bellocchio’s “Vincere,” and Camera d’Or winner “Samson & Delilah” by Warwick Thornton.
The annual festival always offers a mix of old and new. Among the classics and repertory films slated for this year’s Telluride Film Festival are silent films and restored works. Marcel L’Herbier’s “L’Argent,” a French silent film from 1928, is described by the festival as, “an appropriate commentary to Wall Street crisis and global economic storm.” The screening will feature a new score performed by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra.
“This is a discovery that we are going to be hearing about for years to come,” touted festival managing director Julie Huntsinger, in a conversation with indieWIRE.
Bernhard Wicki’s 1961 German film, “Miracle of Malachias,” is another work that organizers are excited to introduce to audiences, calling it, “something of a miracle.” It’s described as the story of, “a well-meaning priest who causes a louche nightclub to be transported onto a chunk of rock in the North Sea, where it naturally becomes a trendy sensation.”
The festival will also present a number of documentaries, for free in the Backlot screening room, showcasing behind-the-scenes films and biographies of filmmakers and musicians.
Telluride’s organizers feel that it’s as important at a film festival to offer classics and repertory cinema as it is to debut new work. “For those of us who love movies,” explained festival director Gary Meyer, in a conversation with indieWIRE recently, “I don’t think that our world is limited to new movies. We often relate something we see to our past moviegoing experiences.”
An event that is revered by its fans, many of whom return year after year for the intimate festival, Telluride remains a stalwart supporter of cinema and its artistic value, presenting films and pushing an agenda of preservation and celebrating the big screen experience.
“People have a hard time seeing cinema as art,” agreed Julie Huntsinger, “I contend, and I think we all share the idea, that cinema is an art and there is a canon [that] audiences need to know what preceded the films that are out there.”
Among the other special events is a screening of Jean Renoir’s “Toni” along with a panel discussion about the late film critic Manny Faber, featuring panelists Greil Marcus, Jean-Pierre Gorin, Kent Jones, Robert Polito, Robert Walsh and Patricia Patterson.
Organizers faced financial challenges putting together this year’s festival, dealing with a drop in corporate sponsorship, but with the support of AMPAS and backing from patrons, they said they were able to maintain the quality of their event without having to cut corners. The drop in sponsorship also freed up a number of festival passes for sale, giving more people the ability to attend this year, Meyer and Huntsinger said. They added that there will be even more filmmaker guests than in recent years.
The Telluride Film Festival begins tomorrow and will continue through Monday in Colorado. Eugene Hernandez will be covering the festival all weekend for indieWIRE and Anne Thompson will be reporting for her Thompson on Hollywood site. Please check back all weekend for ongoing coverage.
— The full Telluride Film Festival lineup is available on the next page —
The complete Telluride Film Festival lineup:
New Films and Backlot
“A Prophet,” directed by Jacques Audiard
“An Education,” directed by Lone Scherfig
“Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans,” directed by Werner Herzog
“Bright Star,” directed by Jane Campion
“Coco Before Chanel,” directed by Anne Fontaine
“Farewell,” directed by Christian Carion
“Fish Tank,” directed by Andrea Arnold
“Gigante,” directed by Adrian Biniez
“Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno,” directed by Serge Bromberg and Ruxandra Medrea
“The Jazz Baroness,” directed by Hannah Rothschild
“The Last Station,” directed by Michael Hoffman
“Life During Wartime,” directed by Todd Solondz
“London River,” directed by Rachid Bouchareb
“The Miscreants of Taliwood,” directed by George Gittoes
“Red Riding: 1974,” directed by Julian Jarrold
“Red Riding: 1980,” directed by James Marsh
“Red Riding: 1983,” directed by Anand Tucker
“The Road,” directed by John Hillcoat
“Room and a Half,” directed by Andrey Khrzhanovsky
“Samson,” directed by Warwick Thornton
“Sleep Furiously,” directed by Gideon Koppel
“Terra Madre,” directed by Ermanno Olmi
“Vincere,” directed by Marco Bellocchio
“Vision,” directed by Margarethe von Trotta
“The White Ribbon,” directed by Michael Haneke
“Window,” directed by Buddhadeb Dasgupta
“14-18: The Noise and the Fury,” directed by Jean-Francois Delassus
“Against the Grain: The Film Legend of Bernhard Wicki,” directed by Elisabeth Endriss-Wicki
“Cool + 1959: The Year That Changed Jazz Forever,” directed by Anthony Hall and Paul Bernays
“Charlie Haden: Rambling Boy,” directed by Reto Carduff
“Disco and Atomic War,” directed by Jaak Kilmi
“It Came from Kuchar,” directed by Jennifer Kroot
“The Making of Samson & Delilah,” directed by Beck Cole
“Veit Harlan: In the Shadow of Jud Suess,” directed by Felix Moeller
“Waking Sleeping Beauty,” directed by Don Hahn
“We Who Lived ‘La Dolce Vita’,” directed by Gianfranco Mingozzi
“The Breaking Point,” directed by Michael Curtiz
“Daisan no Kagemusha: The Third Shadow Warrior,” directed by Inoue Umetsugu
“Day of the Outlaw,” directed by Andre De Toth (with “Rain,” directed by Stelios Roccos and James Burroughs)
“El Verdugo,” directed by Luis Garcia Berlanga
“L’Argent,” directed by Marcel L’Herbier
“La Ragazze di Piazza di Spagna,” directed by Luciano Emmer
“Les Nouveaux Messieurs,” directed by Jacques Feyder (with “Monkey’s Moon,” directed by Kenneth Macpherson)
“Lola,” directed by Jacques Demy
“Make Way for Tomorrow,” directed by Leo McCarey (with “The Perils of Priscilla,” directed by Carroll Ballard)
“Miracle of Malachias,” directed by Bernhard Wicki
“Toni,” directed by Jean Renoir
“Cake Countdown,” directed by PES
“Carpet Kingdom,” directed by Michael Rochford
“Cultures of Resistance–Battle for the Xingu,” directed by Iara Lee
“The Darkness of Day,” directed by Jay Rosenblatt
“David Lynch Presents Interview Project,” directed by Jason S. and Austin Lynch
“The Delian Mode,” directed by Kara Blake
“The Door,” directed by Juanita Wilson
“Firstborn,” directed by Etienne Kallos
“Hulahoop Soundings,” directed by Edwin
“Kid,” directed by Tom Green
“The Kinda Sutra,” directed by Jessica Yu
“The Last Mermaids,” directed by Liz Chae
“The Last Truck: The Closing of a GM Plant,” directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert
“Leonardo,” directed by Jim Capobianco
“Martina y la Luna,” directed by Javier Loarte
“Party,” directed by Dalibor Matani
“The Solitary Life of Cranes,” by Eva Weber.