Telluride Film Festival: The features

Telluride Film Festival: The features

[click “Play”, Gary Meyer talks about this year’s films with Susan]

IMG_5479 The great sucking sound you hear is the air going out of the Telluride’s Film Festival’s competition. Among the world’s film festivals – and there are about 1,700 similar events – “The SHOW” is in a league of its own and bulletproof.

Film Festival directors (Tom Luddy, a co-founder, Gary Meyer and Julie Huntsinger) make no attempt to fill their shopping carts with fluff. The Telluride Film Festival is renowned for turning its back on The Industry, Hollywood shorthand for special effects and mind-numbing plots.

The blogosphere has been abuzz for months about which of about 30 full-length features made it to the program of the over 500 screened by Festival directors and several “curators.” Bets include Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours,” the director’s follow-up to “Slumdog Millionaire,” a sneak peek from 2008. “127 Hours” is about the climber trapped in the Utah mountains who sawed off his arm to save his life. But Aron Ralston, the film’s real life hero, was already a guest at Mountainfilm in Telluride. Will the Telluride Film Festival care that the real-life star has already been in town? One thing for sure: The Festival is predictably unpredictable. Until now. (“127 Hours”? Maybe a sneak peek. Never know for sure about sneak peeks. They arrive under the wire.)

Internet chatter also has Fox Searchlight, the distributor of “127 Hours” (also Telluride Film Fest hits “Slumdog,” “Juno,” and  “The Last King of Scotland”) showcasing Mark Romanek’s “Never Let Me Go” and Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan.” Both movies are scheduled for Toronto, a feed from Telluride. And the Twitterverse swears both movies are shoo-ins. (Right and maybe a sneak peek.)

What will Sony Classics bring to Telluride this year? Every one of the four films showcased in 2009 – “The White Ribbon,” “A Prophet,” “An Education,” and “Coco Before Chanel,” got Oscar nods. Will Woody Allen’s “You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger” be one of them? Other films by Allen have come in under the wire. (“Bullets Over Broadway” was a sneak peek.)

Has The Telluride Film Festival retained its Midas Touch? (Think “Slumdog Millionaire,” “Strictly Ballroom,” “Juno,” “The Lives of Others,” “Brokeback Mountain,” “The Crying Game,” “Blue Velvet,” and many more big winners.)

Well, today is the day the embargo is lifted and the cat is out of the bag.The recent buzz that singled out Stephen Frears “Tamara Drewe,”  Sylvain Chomet’s “The Illusionist,” Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech,” and “Never Let Me Go,” Peter Weir’s “The Way Back, Alejandro Inarritu’s “Biutiful,” Tom Hooper’s “The King’s Speech,” Mike  Leigh’s “Another Year. ” “Never Let Me Go,” turns out to be, well, ok, I can now say, RIGHT ON THE NOSE.

For more, listen to Gary Meyer’s interview.

For ongoing coverage of 2010 Telluride film Festival, see Catalog of 2010 Stories.

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