Brian Selznick, author/illustrator in Telluride October 6 – 8

Brian Selznick, author/illustrator in Telluride October 6 – 8


Young People’s Literature and Art Festival & Exhibit features Brian Selznick

Selznick Poster Connect the dots and what becomes apparent is a certain symmetry between the Telluride Film Festival and Telluride’s five-star Wilkinson Public Library, whose upcoming Cinematheque – stay tuned for exact dates and films – is one of the most popular events of Telluride’s fall/winter season.

Martin Scorsese’s “Living in a Material World,” about the life and times of Beatles “dark horse” George Harrison screened at the Film Festival over Labor Day weekend as did a Serge Bromberg’s painstaking and beautiful restoration of George Melies’s silent film masterpiece, “A Trip to the Moon,” which Bromberg once described as “the ‘Avatar’ of its day. Scorsese’s next big project and his first dive into a film for children is “Hugo,” a project formerly known as “Hugo Cabret.” (Apparently focus groups nixed the longer name).

“Hugo” is based on a graphic novel entitled “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” by award-winning author and illustrator Brian Selznick. One of the main characters in Selznick’s book is none other than George Meleis, whose physical inspiration is Remy Charlip. Remy is also an author and illustrator (of more than 38 books) and a former dancer (for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company). Remy, alive and well at 82, now lives in San Francisco. 

Brian Selznick, New York Times best-selling author, is coming to Telluride for a three-day event, “The Young People’s Literature Festival and Exhibit.” The momentous happening takes place Thursday, October 6 – Saturday, October 8, 2011 and is sponsored by Telluride’s Library in collaboration with the Ah Haa School for the Arts and Between the Covers Bookstore.

Throughout the weekend, Ah Haa hosts an exhibition of the art of Brian and Remy. The show’s (soft) opening is Thursday, October 6, part of Telluride Arts’ First Thursday Art Walk.

Weekend activities also include keynote speech at the historic Sheridan Opera House on Friday, October 7, when Brian plans to talk about his special relationship with Remy and show a sneak peek of “Hugo,” scheduled for release around Thanksgiving. 

At 1 p.m. Saturday, Between the Covers bookstore hosts Brian for a book signing of your favorite Remy Charlip and Brian Selznick works. In fact, Brian is releasing his latest book, “Wonderstruck” in mid-October and Telluride is the ONLY appearance he is making in the region to start spreading the news.

Brian’s “The Invention of Hugo Carbet” brought critics to their knees. His masterpiece tells the story of a 12-year-old orphan named Hugo who lives in the walls of a Parisian train station, where he tends to the clocks and filches what he needs to survive. Hugo’s recently deceased father, a clockmaker, worked in a museum where he discovered an automaton: a human-like figure seated at a desk, pen in hand, as if ready to deliver a message. After his father shows Hugo the robot, the boy becomes just as obsessed with getting the automaton to function like the man his father had been. Before the book comes to an end, Brian hints at the toymaker’s hidden identity – inspired by an actual historical figure in the film industry, Georges Méliès – through meticulous pen kkljhgdrawings that grow or shrink against black backdrops in pages-long sequences. The images display the same item in increasingly tight focus or pan across scenes the way a camera might. (The plot ultimately has much to do with the history of the movies.)

Brian Selznick was born in 1966 in New Jersey. He studied at The Rhode Island of Design. After graduation, he worked at Eeyore’s Books for Children in the Big Apple, where he learned all about children’s books from his boss, Steven Geck, now an editor. Brian’s first book, “The Houdini Box,” was published in 1991.

To learn about Brian and Remy, click the “play” button and listen to my interview with Brian Selznick.

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