TELLURIDE FILM FEST
Yesterday we published the first half of our long, in-depth interview with Never Let Me Go director Mark Romanek that Peter from SlashFilm and I conducted at the Telluride Film Festival. Today we have the second half of the interview, which you can read below, that covers a lot of details on shooting and filming Never Let Me Go as well as some interesting thoughts on his career as well as his brief time working on The Wolfman (this year's remake). Again, even if you're not too familiar with Romanek, I highly suggest reading through this interview - it's incredibly informative and you may become a supporter of Romanek by the end.
One of my favorite films from Telluride was Mark Romanek's Never Let Me Go, adapted by Alex Garland from Kazuo Ishiguro's bestselling novel. The film stars Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield & Keira Knightley, and is a emotional drama about a love story between these three set in a slightly dystopian England (without giving away too much). I loved the film, giving it a 9 out of 10 in my review, and I was very excited to speak with Romanek. Both Peter Sciretta and I interviewed Mark Romanek together and we ended up speaking with him for 45 minutes, so we decided to cut the full interview into two parts - the first of which is below.
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.
One of the most incredible and unforgettable experiences of the Telluride Film Festival was meeting and talking with Aron Ralston, the mountaineer whose real-life story is the basis of Danny Boyle's riveting new thriller 127 Hours, which has lots of buzz coming out of the fest. I first met him at a party Fox Searchlight held one evening and the following morning, Peter Sciretta from SlashFilm and I interviewed him on video. When you see the film (watch the trailer) you'll know why there's just something so amazing about meeting the guy that actually went through all of that and it's even more inspirational to hear from him personally.
Back in late 2003, I caught a wacky French animated film that had made its way to my local theater and was getting considerable buzz. It was called The Triplets of Belleville and was an amusing tale directed by French animator Sylvain Chomet. Seven years later Chomet is back with his latest film, The Illusionist, another amusing and wholly entertaining animated film about an illusionist stage entertainer at the end of his time. It's a wonderfully charming story adapted from a screenplay written by the late Jacques Tati and may even be better than The Triplets of Belleville. Or at least I will admit that I enjoyed watching this just a bit more.
Wow. Now I know who I'm going to be rooting for to win the Best Actress Oscar next year. I just stepped out of Black Swan, the latest movie from Darren Aronofsky (Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain, The Wrestler) up in Telluride, and it was phenomenal. I'm hesitant to really delve too much into a full-on review because this is only my initial reaction and I definitely need to see the film a second (or third) time to fully process everything in it, but I have to at least proclaim that it is a brilliant, psychologically intense film that takes the audience on a very operatic thrill ride. I truly believe Aronofsky has outdone himself once again.
I'm fighting with my own feelings. I love Danny Boyle and I admire everything he achieved in his newest film, 127 Hours, starring James Franco as the real-life mountaineer Aron Ralston, but I didn't love the film. It's great, but not amazing, in my honest and humble opinion, and I'm wrestling with why exactly I feel that way and why I didn't get pulled into the film like I wanted to. In fact, my partner in crime Peter Sciretta and I recorded a video blog debating our feelings (which you can watch at the end), because he loved it and I had problems with it. It is a great film, but I think it just wasn't exactly what I was hoping/expecting to see.
Earlier tonight I watched my very first film of this 30-day festival tour, attending the world premiere of One Hour Photo director Mark Romanek's newest film Never Let Me Go in Telluride. It's based on the beloved novel by Kazuo Ishiguro and it's kind of a period piece drama about a love triangle between three individuals growing up in England, but there is a lot more to it than just that. If you want to steer complete clear of any spoilers, then stop at the end of this paragraph, but I do want to say that I loved it. It's a beautiful film, full of fantastic performances and incredibly moving and emotional. It's not flawless, but it is a wonderful film.
If you haven't seen yet, the Telluride Film Festival announced its line-up yesterday, and the fest officially kicks off today. I'm currently sitting in line at the Palm Theater, the local high school auditorium converted into a start-of-the-art cinema, waiting to see my first film of this year - Mark Romanek's Never Let Me Go. The line-up this year has quite a few Cannes holdovers that the programmers decided to pull from that fest. At a press meeting earlier, they tried to claim that this year's Cannes line-up was strong, but if you read my coverage, I definitely can't agree. But at least one of my favorite flicks, Biutiful (read my review), is playing.
For the third straight year in a row, I'm embarking upon a massive 30-day non-stop film festival tour. I'm catching a flight this morning to kick things off starting at the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado (Sept. 3 - 6), then I'll be heading up to the Toronto Film Festival (Sept. 9 to 19), and finally I'll be heading back to Fantastic Fest in Austin at the Alamo Drafthouse (Sept. 23 - 30). It's a very long trip, but I love every second of it, I live for this stuff. My partner in crime is Peter Sciretta of SlashFilm, who will be joining me on this exciting, exhausting and entertaining adventure to some of the best fests the film world has to offer.