TELLURIDE FILM FEST
Telluride Film Festival Comes to a Close - Another Solid Year!
by Alex Billington
September 7, 2010
I say solid, but not great, because I'm not sure if I can actually state it was a great year for me, but we'll get into that later. The 37th Telluride Film Festival has come to a close after a rather quick four days, and even though I didn't get to see as many films as I wanted, I still had a wonderful time. I love this festival, I love coming to Colorado and traveling into the mountains to see films with other cinephiles, and most of all I love the people who frequent this fest. As the first stop in my massive 30-day festival tour, it's a honestly much quieter way of kicking off the awards season, but boy was it a hell of a year for awards caliber films.
Just like last year, I'm starting a big list of films that I've seen on this festival trip and will be providing an instant reaction to each to give you guys a quick look at my thoughts on anything I see (since I won't be able to review everything). My top highlights from this fest are Mark Romanek's Never Let Me Go and Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan, and I'm looking forward to seeing Danny Boyle's 127 Hours again, possibly up in Toronto. Last night I caught two wonderful films to end the fest: Sylvain Chomet's The Illusionist (which I reviewed) and Charles Ferguson's economy documentary Inside Job, which was riveting, fascinating, and infuriating, but a doc I highly recommend. It's not about the quantity, but rather the quality of what I see.
One of many things that keeps me coming back every year is the people. Not only did I get to meet Aron Ralston, Mark Romanek and Andrew Garfield, but it's the attendees, too - film lovers young and old. At one show I talked with the husband and wife sitting next to me who have been attending the fest for 30 years, which is actually longer than I've even been alive. There are a few first-timers who always have a smile on their face, but the fest is mostly full of return attendees who come back every year to discover great films, meet wonderful people, and enjoy the mountain air. I know I'll be back every year for those same reasons.
This year I was only able to catch six films (listed below), which is a bit lower than I was hoping, but that's partially my own fault (it's hard to keep up with work and screenings). But I do have to complain about the schedule being a bit too tightly packed, as there were numerous times where I'd try to make it to another film but wouldn't have the time to do so because of other engagements that all too often conflicted. I hope they can tweak the schedule a bit next year to allow for more flexibility, but of course it's also my own issue to fix. The two big ones that I heard very good buzz about but missed seeing were Peter Weir's The Way Back and Tom Hooper's The King's Speech, which is getting major Oscar buzz coming out of the fest.
I guess the reason why I say it was a solid year is because the films I did get to see I thoroughly enjoyed, but besides that I'm not sure I feel like the line-up was strong enough for me to really regret missing that much besides those other two aforementioned films. As I mentioned briefly in the kick off post, a handful of the movies were holdovers from Cannes (and I loved Biutiful, so that's another good pick) most of which are either just not something I'm interested in or are, to be completely honest, fairly forgettable and unexciting films. I wanted more but this is what we got this year and I'm satisfied, but not amazed, leaving Telluride.
As one fest comes to a close, the next one is already starting. I'm currently catching a series of flights from the mountains of Colorado up to Canada where the Toronto International Film Festival will be starting in just a few days. The good news is that The King's Speech is also playing up there along with a whole bunch of other films I'm considerably excited about seeing. Its been a great start so far and I'm expecting it to only get better, so stay tuned for the latest reactions, reviews, interviews and plenty more right here on FS.net.
Note: From now until October 1st I will be keeping a running tally on all the films I've seen across all three of the film festivals. You can find this list below updated in every new blog post, with links to any reviews.
Telluride Film Festival:
1. Never Let Me Go (dir. Mark Romanek) - Loved It
2. 127 Hours (dir. Danny Boyle) - Liked It
3. Of Gods and Men (dir. Xavier Beauvois) - Just Okay
4. Black Swan (dir. Darren Aronofsky) - Loved It
5. The Illusionist (dir. Sylvain Chomet) - Loved It
6. Inside Job (dir. Charles Ferguson) - Loved It