Telluride Film Fest 2012 poster by Dave Eggers


Telluride Film Fest 2012 poster by Dave Eggers

Telluride Film Fest 2012 poster by Dave Eggers

Lights! Camera! Action!

The 39th annual Telluride Film Festival officially begins with the start of Labor Day weekend,  Friday, 8/31 – Monday, 9/3,when the legacy of Georges Melies parades all over town.

For those unfamiliar about the history of the medium (and for you trivia buffs), at the dawn of the 20th century Melies became the first filmmaker to realize the potential of Thomas Edison’s new technology, the motion picture camera, for telling stories, not just for record-keeping, the Lumiere brothers’ application.

Without a pass? Don’t pass: this year as every year there’s something for everyone at Film Fest.

In the roll-up the main event, enjoy the free films, sponsored by Ralph and Ricky Lauren, in the the Abel Gance Open Air Cinema in Elks Park,  just across the street from the Courthouse. The program begins at sunset, about 8:30 p.m. A word to the wise: Bring blankets, tarps and chairs and dress warm.

On Wednesday, August 29, the feature is the 21st film in the James Bond series, “Casino Royale, “(2006).

“Casino Royale” introduces James Bond (Daniel Craig) before he holds his license to kill. ( The plot is based on Ian Fleming’s first 007 novel, when the author was still discovering who the character was.) After offing two professional assassins in quick succession, Bond is elevated to his “00” status. “M,” (Judi Dench), head of the British Secret Service, sends the newly promoted 007 on his first mission. Destination: Madagascar, the Bahamas and eventually Montenegro to face the Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen), a ruthless financier under threat from his terrorist clientele, who is attempting to restore his funds in a high-stakes poker game at, you guessed it, Casino Royale.

“M” places Bond under the watchful eye of the Treasury official Vesper Lynda (Eva Green). At first skeptical of the value Vesper can provide, Bond’s interest in her deepens as they brave danger together.

Le Chiffre’s cunning and cruelty come to bear on them both in a way even Bond could never imagine, and he learns his most important lesson: Trust no one.

On Thursday, pull out your dancing shoes for “Rock ‘n Roll High School,” (1979).

(Other free films in Elks Park are announced in the Festival program, which is released Thursday.)

Set in 1980, Vince Lombardi High School keeps losing principals to nervous breakdowns because of the students’ love of rock ‘n roll and their disdain for education. Their leader, Riff Randall is the biggest Ramones fan at Vince Lombardi High School. She waits in line for three days to get tickets to see the band, hoping to meet Joey Ramone and give him a song she wrote for the band: yep, “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School.”

When Principal Togar takes her ticket away, Riff and her best friend Kate Rambeau have to find another way to meet their heroes by winning a radio contest. When Miss Togar and a group of parents attempt to burn a pile of rock records, the students take over the high school, joined by the Ramones, who are made honorary students. When the police are summoned, they demand the students evacuate the building, which leads to a literally explosive finale.

The musical was produced by Roger Corman, directed by Allan Arkush and featured the Ramones.

Other Telluride Film Festival freebies include:
• The noon Seminars in Elks Park
• The “Conversations” in the County Courthouse (although passholders are admitted first)
•  Filmmakers of Tomorrow programs
• Films at the Backlot, located in the Wilkinson Public Library (admittance on a first-come, first-served basis)

The Late Show Pass, the last film at each of two different theaters is a great bargain: four films for $60. (Keep in mind that individual film tickets cost $20 each.) Pick up your Late Show Pass at the Telluride Film Festival Hospitality Center @ Gondola Plaza, The Palm or the Chuck Jones (the Telluride Conference Center in Mountain Village) opening day, Friday, September 2.

All seven indoor theaters put individual tickets on sale 10 minutes before showtime if there are seats available after passholders have been seated. Best to try the larger venues: The Palm, the Chuck Jones and the Galaxy.

Visit Brigadoon during the Telluride Film Festival for a detailed handout of shows and tips or go to the Telluride Film Festival’s official website.

Editor’s note: Thursday at noon, when the embargo is lifted, Telluride Inside… and Out releases three different posts about this year’s Festival, including interviews recorded live with Festival co-director Gary Meyer about the features, the tributees, documentaries, shorts and special programs.

1 Comment
  • free movies
    Posted at 02:52h, 13 December

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about 39th annual
    Telluride Film Festival. Regards