Ken Burns


Sidewalk Signings during Film Fest … an annual tradition!

Ken Burns

Ken Burns, filmmaker & author

What do a kick-ass director, the dust bowl, an ex-pat dog in Paris, and two criminal cases that captured the American psyche have in common? They are the lineup of book topics five authors will represent during Sidewalk Signings at BTC this coming weekend.

Quite the literary mash-up, no?

It’s hard to believe that Labor Day Weekend is upon us. It brings with it a new month, students back in the classrooms, and the Telluride Film Festival, a longtime celebration of the art of filmmaking and film restoration. In addition, the TFF weekend usually attracts an interesting mix of authors to feature throughout the weekend, the highlight culminating in a now traditional mid-morning authors’ event that takes place in front of Between the Covers Bookstore on Labor Day. Next Monday, September 3, is the day. The time is 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Mark all of your calendars—paper and digital—to meet the following diverse grouping of authors: Telluride’s current Chief Marshal James Kolar, children’s author and illustrator Jackie Hart Mancuso, author and filmmaker Sarah Burns and of course, the winner of our Repeat Attender Award, Ken Burns. Backtracking a day to Sunday, September 2, everyone’s favorite Columbia film professor Annette Insdorf will sign her titles at 1:15 p.m.

Sunday, Sept 2, 1:15pm

Annette Insdorf is a professor in the Graduate Film Program at Columbia University’s School of the Arts, as well as Director of Undergraduate Film Studies and she is the author of several cinema-themed books. In addition to “Indelible Shadows: Film and Holocaust” and “Francois Truffaut,” the highlight this year will be her newest book “Philip Kaufman” from the Contemporary Film Directors series. Kaufman directed and wrote the screenplay for several memorable films, among them The Unbearable Lightness of Being and The Right Stuff, which was nominated for eight Oscars and won four. He can also claim writer’s ink for the first Raiders of the Lost Ark. And remember Quills? Directed by Kaufman, too. The reward for writing and directing Henry & June? It was the first film to be given an NC-17 rating. Personally, I connect with his being the director of Hemingway & Gellhorn for HBO. (Martha has long been one of my favorite writers/correspondents to read and love/hate.) Back to Annette: On television, this petite powerhouse co-hosted Cannes Film Festival coverage for BRAVO/IFC with Roger Ebert, served as host for TeleFrance Cine-Club and Years of Darkness on PBS, and has appeared on 20/20, The Charlie Rose Show, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Good Morning America, and The Sundance Channel. If there are any books left, we’re hoping she’ll join us again on Monday. The more, the filmier!

Monday, Sept 3, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

James Kolar: Telluride’s current Chief Marshal and former lead investigator of the Ramsey case has penned “Foreign Faction: Who Really Kidnapped Jon Benet?” Breaking six years of silence, he blows the cover off the lone-intruder/sexual predator theory and reveals startling new evidence. Simple things like a cobweb and a child’s toy come to light in his analysis of the 60,000 pages of evidence, including photos and video that he had access to. Some had only a passing interest in the case, but we found that many are still as obsessed as they were that day after Christmas in 1996. Calls started coming in after The Daily Beast write-up.  If you or someone you know fits the description of “still extremely interested,” we suggest they read our local lawman’s take on this unresolved tragedy. It’s probably as close to closure as anyone will ever get.

Jackie Clark Mancuso: A little something for the kiddos too this year! “Paris-Chien: Adventures of an Ex-Pat Dog” is an adorably illustrated story about Hudson, a dog that moves to Paris with his owner and has to learn French in order to communicate with the dogs of that city. Not only will you fall in love with Hudson, you’ll learn a little French along the way. No movie tie-in, just a lovely book by a gal with ties to the Festival.

Sarah Burns: “The Central Park Five: A Chronicle of a City Wilding” … The New York Times called Sarah’s analysis of the Central Park Jogger case “an important cultural document, and unquestionably worth reading … proves herself an energetic researcher and gatherer, as well as a writer with a fine sense of organization and pacing. Her narrative is riveting … in light of its horrors.” And yes, she’s related to that guy that makes all of those PBS documentaries and the beautiful companion tomes we love to show off … We’re pretty sure he’s one proud Papa.

Ken Burns: BTC is thrilled to announce that this filmmaker and author’s latest PBS companion tome “The Dust Bowl: An Illustrated History” has been released five weeks early for our event. About the project from PBS: ” … the worst man-made ecological disaster in American history, in which the frenzied wheat boom of the ‘Great Plow-Up,’ followed by a decade-long drought during the 1930s nearly swept away the breadbasket of the nation. Vivid interviews with twenty-six survivors of those hard times, combined with dramatic photographs and seldom seen movie footage, bring to life stories of incredible human suffering and equally incredible human perseverance.” The series itself premieres on PBS Sunday, November 18 and Monday, November 19. Alongside “The Dust Bowl,” BTC will have a selection of most of Ken’s earlier books as well.

Can’t make it? No problem! Give us a call at 728-4504 with an inscription and we’ll make it happen. There’s not much else as thoughtful as an autographed book …

Sleigh bells ring, are ya listenin’?

Stay tuned next week for our write-up about Holli Pfau. Inspired by the lives, antics and talents of her six rescued or second-hand golden retrievers, this Durango-based dog lover wrote the book “Pure Gold” to support the efforts of Golden Retriever Rescue and other dog rescue and adoption programs. It’ll be a fundraiser for Telluride Animal Foundation (you know, the Thrift Store folks) since a part of book sale proceeds will benefit TAF. On top of that, Holli will bring one of her Goldens, and the Black Canyon Animal Sanctuary will show off a wonderful dog in need of a home.

Author event and an adoption-on-the-spot at the library on Friday, Sept 7, at 6:30 p.m. Woof!

See you in line … and remember, never judge a book by it’s movie!

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