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TOPIC: 2001 Telluride Film Festival

2001 Telluride Film Festival 20 Aug 2000 17:28 #675

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The Telluride Film Festival starts on September 1st. I will be working my 11th film festival. Much as I did with Mountainfilm, I will be keeping a journal of sorts on my website. If you are interested I will mirror the information here as well, just like I did for Mountainfilm.

My viewpoint of the festivities can be a little skewed because I am a projectionist meaning that they keep me in a small dark room and feed me with bull....

Let me know if there is any particular information that you would like to know and I will do my best to ferret it out for you.

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Re: 2001 Telluride Film Festival 02 Sep 2000 19:42 #676

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I am working my 11th Telluride Film Festival. I am the Chief Projectionist at Minnie, the Festival’s smallest theatre. We may be small but we take the most risks with programming. If you are brave enough to go see a film with no buzz, in a language that confounds you and with an enigmatic subject matter, Come to the Minnie.

We have two Century projectors. New this year is Dolby Digital with no subwoofer. We have a Digital Projection 8SX video projector to show material other than film.

Only 50 people showed up to the Opera House to view part 1 of Ken Burns, opus JAZZ, causing Bill Pence to declare a victory because everybody that wanted to see it, got in. FYI the Opera House seats 250. I had 28 people for part 2 at midnight and 7 people stayed for part 3 at 2:00 AM. I wasn't one of them. My relief tells me that there were only two people left at 4:00 AM, The usher and her boyfriend who was asleep. They should have presented JAZZ on a big TV in a lounge somewhere.

They had a near riot at the Nugget Theatre when 150 Patrons, the ones who pay $2,500 for their pass, went to see Dinner Rush. They had to turn away 130 pass holders.

Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is brilliant. It has a bar scene that out does Star Wars. They have had two sold out shows so far. I’ll bet that this well be the highest grossing, foreign language film this year. It is a marshal arts movie, but it is also a film about women. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a perfect date movie.

Chinese Coffee with Al Pacino was sold out at the Max but that is perhaps because Al Pacino is here. Reports from friends tell me that this film is mostly all talk. Those that have seen it, like it.

They didn't quite sell out Shadow of the Vampire at the Max even though Willem Dafoe is here. I still think Shadow of the Vampire will do well commercially. We are showing it with Nosferatu and the Alloy Orchestra.

One day in September didn't sell out either, proving to me that Genghis Blues should have won that Oscar. I saw a bit of On Day in September at the Masons Hall. (I was going to Masons Hall to socialize.) It looks like standard documentary fare. It does show the Germans in command as idiots. The let three terrorists go in the end.

The Endurance packed them into Elks Park for the first outdoor, video presentation. I'm told that there is a 35mm print available. It will be a video transfer. The video looked impressive and they sat through the rain to watch it. Just setting the scene.

Ingrid liked The Widow of St. Pierre more than Woman on a Bridge. It is also by Patrice Leconte who is here. It stares Daniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche. It is a costume drama that might appeal to our older patrons. I got to ask Patrice Leconte a question at Conversations. I asked him what he thought the state of French Cinemas was today? He responded that he thought they were in trouble because there were too many films of low quality. He states that a typical French film is 'A man a a woman meet, fall terribly in love, then they run out of Nestcafe and it ends tragicaly.' He said that for the same 50 francs the French can see Titanic or Gladiator and they do. He said that the French produce about 350 films per year. He would like to see that number reduced, but not at the expence of his next film.

Chopper, which is about the true story of a deranged Australian killer who wrote a best selling novel in Australia. It is quite gruesome but did sell out the Max at midnight.

There is a documentary about Chuck Jones that is quite good. It is shot on DV, was presented on video and will probably go straight to cable.

I am showing Innocence tonight. Innocence is a heartwarming tale of two people rediscovering the love of their youth 50 years later. It is the best old peoples film since On Golden Pond.

I will not be running JAZZ tonight, as I will be attending the 8th annual Benevolent Order of Retsina Drinkers meeting. Better known as B.O.R.D. it is annual assault on our livers and a good chance at embarrassing ourselves. Wish me luck for my morning shows and back to the booth.

Yahoo is a major sponser of the Film Festival this year. You may be able to learn more about the films I mention here by visiting http://movies.yahoo.com/telluridefilmfestival/
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Re: 2001 Telluride Film Festival 05 Sep 2000 15:38 #677

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Large Ian; you missed your calling! You're a reporter/film critic with more sputz than Ain't-it-cool-news Harry! Keep it up! Write on! Where's that digital camera??????
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Re: 2001 Telluride Film Festival 05 Sep 2000 18:00 #678

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Tuesday, September 05, 2000

Well the Festival is over and I am trying to catch up on my sleep. The Minnie is now the High School climbing Gym again. The Max is the Basketball and Volleyball court again. Here is a capsule of the films I either saw or heard things about.

Ken Burns Jazz series continued to draw small crowds at Minnie at midnight.

I saw Boesman and Lena. It is a collaboration of three former Telluride Medallion recipients. It stars Danny Glover and Angela Bassett. It is about two black people in South Africa who are kicked out of there home in the Black Township. It addresses homelessness and racism. In spite of such lofty goals it is written for the stage and suffers for stage like delivery. There are simply too many words. I was disappointed.

Dinner Rush is written and directed by one of New York’s largest restaurant owner. It stars Danny Aiello, Sandra Bernhard and Summer Phoenix. I can’t tell you what the movie is about because that would ruin the surprise. Let me just say that the film was loved by me and everybody else. It was repeated many times so I hope it will do well in theatres. It does as patience from the audience and is shot in a different style. It takes place in a restaurant and over the course of one evening. You hear fragments of dialogue and eventually you can tell what is going on. Mark Margolis is one of the stars and he was here. You may remember him as the DJ on Northern Exposure. He attended our Retsina party and it is rumored that he didn’t go home alone.

We had a tribute to Stellan Skarsgard. He has been in such films as Amistad, Good Will Hunting, Ronin, and Time Code. I didn’t see the Tribute but everybody loved it. I will say that one of our not so young ladies was so taken by him that she invited him to our Retsina party and received a kiss on the forehead for her troubles. He has been happily married for the past 7 years.

I started to watch The King is Alive but was unable to finish it. It is the latest Dogma 95 film and is in English. A group of people is lost in the Desert because their bus took a wrong turn. While trying to survive in the desert they practice King Lear to keep their mind off of their troubles. Catchy concept but I was unable to get to the King Lear part. I was jut too tired. I hope it is better than it started out. I did discover that when the Dogma 95 rule say that the film should be film in Academy Flat, they mean that it should have a film ratio of 1.37.1 and be presented in that fashion. This film was shot on DV and transferred to film.

Another Australian film was called Better than Sex. It is quite funny and explores the thoughts that course through our brains while we are having sex. It stars a cute Australian girl named Susie Porter who is mostly naked throughout the film. So in my indomitable style I was chatting her up before the screening. I invited her and the director to our Retsina Party.

It doesn’t seem to be Telluride anymore if we don’t have an Iranian film. This year’s Iranian film is A Time of Drunken Horses. It deals with the 25 million Kurds that live on the Iranian, Iraqi, and Turkish border. It stars a lovable child with a handicap, as do most Iranian films that make it out. It is quite good and I feel might do well in the film market.

I didn’t see the only gay film in this year's Fest. It is called Our Lady of the Assassins and stars a gay man who goes home to Medelline Columbia after a long absence. He quickly picks up a boyfriend and then has to deal with Medelline’s culture of Drugs and Violence. I didn’t hear much about this film.

The Pordenone Festival brought a film called Hell’s Heroes that was filmed in 1929. We had a piano and a choir for the film. I hear it was quite powerful. I did see the short. It is a lost Buster Keaton short called The Cook (1918). They found it in the Netherlands. It is hilarious and also stars “Fatty” Arbuckle as the cook. It is not complete but can hopefully be saved. The Cook would have been the perfect short to put on Dinner Rush.

I didn’t see it but I hear that Quills is quite debauched. It stars Jeffery Rush as the Marquis de Sade imprisoned in the Charenton asylum. Philip Kaufman directs it. Kate Winslet is in it as is Joaquin Phoenix and Michael Caine as the jailor. It starts out funny but soon turns brutal. It should be a big hit with the art crowd. It helps to know a little history before viewing this film.

Pixar brought a short called For The Birds. It is funny and short. Perhaps it will be included on a Disney film.

Our guest director was Edgardo Cozarinsky. He brought three old films and the series was called Displaced Filmmakers. The first film called Rapt (1933) is the story of rivalry and vengeance among peasants from opposite sides of a Swiss Mountain. Native Son is the story of a black chauffeur who accidentally kills a white woman. It was shot in Buenos Aires but it looks like Chicago. Stranger on the Prowl (1951) is a typical American man-on-the-run story. It looks like Film-noir but it was filmed in Italy.

This year we had a Not the Retsina party where Retsina was served and t-shirts were available. We had a Retsina party where we had no Retsina. And there was a calm closing night party. The Not the Retsina Party was just a few close worker friends as it should be. After I invited the cute girl from Better than Sex to the Retsina party she and 15 of the powerful Australian contingent showed up just as we ran out of alcohol. They left as my dream of scoring with a film star evaporated. I consoled myself with dancing, alcohol and the affections of a fellow co-worker.
We were all well behaved at the wrap party, which was a disappointment to me. They did have the most outstanding food though.

It is 4:30 on Tuesday. It has stopped raining and I think I will drag my poor abused body up the hill one last time to look for dinner companionship and good film. Thanks for reading and lets do it again next year.

I didn't get a chance to take pictures this year, I was too buisy. Sorry about that.

Check out http://www.roughcut.com/today/hot.button/index.html for another view of the festival complete with photos.


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Re: 2001 Telluride Film Festival 06 Sep 2000 11:13 #679

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Ian: Love your reports both on Telluride and the Mountain film festival. Thanks a bunch from those of us who couldn't attend. I'm hoping someone will do this on ShoEast, since once again I will be unable to go. Thanks. Linda
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Re: 2001 Telluride Film Festival 07 Sep 2000 20:46 #680

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I would be happy to write reports from ShowEast. Send me. Unfortunatly I have to stay here.

Some of my tech friends tell me that there will be some interesting things at ShowEast this year.

I hope someone tells us about them.
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Re: 2001 Telluride Film Festival 08 Sep 2000 07:31 #681

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Sorry, but if I could send someone, it would be me!
I also hope someone will send reports, but they have a tough act to follow after your reports.
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