Prepping for Telluride

Posted by · 4:38 pm · September 2nd, 2009

36h annual Telluride Film FestivalTomorrow morning I’m on a plane at 10:30 to the mountains of Colorado and the 36th annual Telluride Film Festival.

This will be my first trek to the fest, which has always been, by many accounts, the most coveted detour of the fall festival season.  They keep it small.  The vibe is meant to be intimate, definitely an antidote to Cannes or Toronto, where the media frenzy stretches on for a week and a half.  Here we get four days in the refreshing thin air, and there are a number of films I’m looking forward to.

The line-up used to be a tightly guarded secret.  It was a leap of faith.  You land, get the schedule, and then you know.  But news travels fast in a town like this, so more and more, the secrecy of Telluride’s schedule has leaked out over the years.  This year is no different on that front.

“Up in the Air” from director Jason Reitman is way at the top of my list.  Something about the project is tugging at me, and that USA Today interview with the director yesterday did a lot to fan the flames.  Reitman had great success with “Juno” when he took it to Telluride in 2007, so he’ll be looking to duplicate that again as Paramount primes its Oscar pony.

Next up is “The Road,” which I’ve already seen (review on the way).  That will serve as a nice centerpiece for a Viggo Mortensen tribute scheduled for this year’s fest.  The actor will arrive fresh from Venice over the weekend.

“The White Ribbon” is another hotly anticipated film, from director Michael Haneke.  It took the top prize at this year’s Cannes fest and could continue to shake up the festival scene.  Also screening from the Sony Classics stable will be “Coco Before Chanel,” “An Education” and “A Prophet.”

Werner Herzog will be on-hand with “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans,” a fascinating project from the moment it was announced.  Elsewhere, “Bright Star,” which I’ve already seen, will be looking to carry the Cannes love across the Atlantic, while Todd Solondz will debut “Life During Wartime,” his first feature in five years.

And of course, Alexander Payne, the fest’s guest director, will be around for a series of personally selected films that will no doubt be enticing.

Maybe there are a few surprises left in store, I don’t know.  But I’m looking forward to taking in what I can as we push into the season.  And the cross-postings from Guy and myself should make this a nice one-stop festival shop for the next week or so.  Then it’s all about Toronto.




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17 responses so far

  • 1 9-02-2009 at 4:59 pm

    Loyal said...

    I’m still waiting to be impressed by Reitman. I did enjoy Thank You For Smoking but Juno, well, the less I say the better.

    That said, I’m looking forward to hearing reactions on Up In The Air. The whole corporate downsizing expert who’s life is interrupted by love seems a bit thin on paper.

  • 2 9-02-2009 at 5:43 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    It’s so much more than that, though. Did you read the USA Today story? Reitman seems to be intrigued by the notion of a person’s responsibility to engage in a society rather than be an island unto himself, etc. These are intriguing concepts in this day and age.

  • 3 9-02-2009 at 6:04 pm

    david said...

    I agree with Loyal…Reitman hasn’t really impressed me in the past either.

    I’m more anxious to read your review for “The Road” and get your thoughts on Herzog’s new film.

  • 4 9-02-2009 at 6:05 pm

    RichardA said...

    Oh, take the free gondola rides and then you’ll be up in the air. But the movie is sounding like an afternoon after school special–i hope it doesn’t veer in a very special blossom episode.
    Can’t wait to see the hype still.

  • 5 9-02-2009 at 6:26 pm

    AmericanRequiem said...

    Ok Kris give us just a little something on the road, amazing, great, good, ok, decent, subpar, misfire, bad, awful. PLEASEEEEE Ive been waiting for this for so long, I thought it would take best picture last year, though i dont think it has a chance this year, so anything you have to say would be apreciated, a viggo vehicle for best actor perhaps?

  • 6 9-02-2009 at 6:28 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Of those adjectives, the most applicable would be misfire, but there’s no nuance to that. More later.

  • 7 9-02-2009 at 6:33 pm

    AmericanRequiem said...

    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, damn, ok but better or worse then inglorious in your opinion?

  • 8 9-02-2009 at 8:20 pm

    Brooke C. said...

    I leave tomorrow for Telluride as well!!! I am sooooooooooooo excited that “The White Ribbon” being there….Number one anticipated of the year!!

    Tribute to Viggo Mortenson???? Yeah….not so much.

  • 9 9-02-2009 at 9:26 pm

    Dan said...

    I LOVE Telluride! I got engaged on a gondola there! Beautiful town, great food, fantastic scenery. Wish I were going…

  • 10 9-02-2009 at 11:34 pm

    red_wine said...

    Wow! The White Ribbon and A Prophet within a space of 2 days? Those are my 2 most anticipated films of the year.

  • 11 9-03-2009 at 12:14 am

    david said...

    Kris…is the new Jean Pierre Jeunet film screening in Toronto??

  • 12 9-03-2009 at 2:04 am

    Chris said...

    You need to see “A prophet”, I saw it two days ago, and it’s such an amazing film. I don’t know if this makes any sense, but I’m predicting it to be on Guy Lodge’s top 10 of the year, just so you know what kind of film it is. ;)

  • 13 9-03-2009 at 5:47 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Am I that predictable? Now I’ll have to hate it just to prove you wrong … and with an Audiard film, that’s going to be really hard for me ;)

  • 14 9-04-2009 at 7:14 am

    Loyal said...

    Variety reported Up in the Air isn’t showing. Any updates?

  • 15 9-04-2009 at 7:41 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    That’s because it’s a secret. The official line-up does not include the film but there are a handful of TBA surprises. One of them is indeed Up in the Air.