It's Time to Watch More Great Films - The Fall Festival Season is Here
by Alex Billington
August 29, 2017
Yep, it's already that time of year again. The summer is over, the leaves are starting to change. You know what that means right? It's the fall film festival season! And also the beginning of the awards season. The Venice Film Festival and Telluride Film Festival both kick off this week, and as always, we're in for a treat with all the new films coming up this fall (it seriously looks like a stacked season). Just a few weeks later in September, the Toronto Film Festival continues festival mania with hundreds of films showing. And the month ends with the beloved Fantastic Fest in Austin, showing the best genre films from around the world. I'll be covering the Venice Film Festival this year, and watching for reports from the other fests.
Consistently for years, the Telluride Film Festival has been the main place where the Best Picture winner first premieres. Even last year, both Moonlight and La La Land premiered there. This is the moment where it all begins. And I'm not just talking about awards buzz, I'm talking about the fall season, where we get to see all these excellent films that have been waiting for audiences. As of yet, we don't know the Telluride line-up (it gets announced very last minute) but we do know the Venice Film Festival line-up and these two fests usually screen many of the same films. Darren Aronofsky's Mother!, Alexander Payne's Downsizing, Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water, George Clooney's Suburbicon, as well as Martin McDonagh's Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri seem to be the most anticipated in the Venice selection.
There's plenty of other treats in the Venice line-up that I'll be checking out: John Woo's Manhunt, Ritesh Batra's Our Souls at Night (starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda), Andrew Haigh's Lean on Pete, Abdellatif Kechiche's Mektoub, My Love (director of Blue is the Warmest Color), Ai Weiwei's Human Flow, Samuel Maoz's Foxtrot, Paul Schrader's First Reformed, Vivian Qu's Angels Wear White, and Frederick Wiseman's documentary about the New York Public Library called Ex Libris – The New York Public Library. As I always say, I hope that we discover something exciting and find some gems among the other films showing. Follow along on Twitter for the latest buzz, and watch for reviews here on the site.
While there will be plenty of discussion about who should/will/needs to win awards, let's focus on the films. Let's keep our attention focused on what's good (and bad), what's amazing (and abysmal), what's exciting (and terrifying). There's always great films that never get any attention during the awards season, but that doesn't mean they should be ignored. I'm already seriously rooting for Sean Baker's The Florida Project, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival (I totally loved it - read my review), in hopes that at the very least Willem Dafoe gets recognized for his performance. I'm hoping to fall in love with some unforgettable movies, that leave me in awe, even if they're frightening. So let's down get to the cinema and start watching.
Stay tuned for updates from the fall festivals, including the Venice Film Festival. Follow me @firstshowing.