Telluride Film Festival: No Pass? Don’t Pass! – Harry Potter, “Crazy, Stupid, Love” & More

Telluride Film Festival: No Pass? Don’t Pass! – Harry Potter, “Crazy, Stupid, Love” & More

“If it seems to exist on a higher plane, this is not just a matter of altitude. Mostly it is the kind of place where, for one long weekend, all anyone wants to talk about is movies. There are no prizes, and therefore no juries; no market, no press screenings, no red carpets or paparazzi photo calls. The ethos is open and egalitarian.,” A.O. Scott, The New York Times, about the Telluride Film Festival, which he attends annually.

Scroll down for more on the first two free films in Elks Park. The screenings, which take place through the weekend in the open air, start Wednesday, August 29.

“Egalitarian” in this context, means there’s something for everyone over the Telluride Film Festival weekend – even if you do no have a pass.

Lights! Camera! Action!

The 45th annual Telluride Film Festival officially begins with the start of Labor Day weekend, Friday, 8/31 – Monday, 9/3, when the legacy of Georges Méliès will be parading all over town.

For those unfamiliar about the history of the medium (and for all you trivia buffs), at the dawn of the 20th century Méliès 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 Lumère brothers’ application.

Without a pass? Don’t pass. Here are your options.

Abel Gance Open Air Cinema:

In the roll up to 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 court house. The program begins at sunset, about 8:30 p.m. A word to the wise: Bring blankets, tarps and chairs  –and dress warm. First up is on Wednesday, August 29, is “Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban.”

Plot summary (in case you’ve been living under a rock):

Harry Potter’s (Daniel Radcliffe) third year at Hogwarts starts off badly when he learns deranged killer Sirius Black (Gary Oldman) has escaped from Azkaban prison and is hell bent on murdering the teenage wizard. While Hermione’s (Emma Watson) cat torments Ron’s (Rupert Grint) sickly rat, causing a rift among the Muskateers, a swarm of nasty Dementors is sent to protect the school from Black. A mysterious new teacher helps Harry learn to defend himself, but what is his secret tie to Sirius Black?

“Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban” was originally released in June 2004.

A review of the movie directed by Alfonso Cuaron, follows:

“Not only is this dazzler by far the best and most thrilling of the three Harry Potter movies to date, it’s a film that can stand on its own even if you never heard of author J.K. Rowling and her young wizard hero. Director Alfonso Cuaron, taking the reins from Chris Columbus, who made a slog of the first two films, scores a triumph by bringing lyricism, laughs and dark magic to the party. Cuaron’s 1995 A Little Princess was a favorite of Rowling’s. But others wondered what the Mexican director of the erotic road movie Y Tu Mama Tambien would do with Harry (Daniel Radcliffe, 14), Hermoine (Emma Watson, 14) and Ron (Rupert Grint, 15) on the road to puberty. Snap out of it, freaks. Screenwriter Steve Kloves, ever faithful to Rowling, doesn’t mess with overt sex, though it must be something of an in-joke that Harry is first discovered under bedcovers playing with his wand. Cuaron knows how to loosen up his pubescent wizards as they head for their third term at Hogwarts. They dress and sass like modern teens with hormones raging. It’s irresistible fun watching them grow up onscreen. Radcliffe comes into his own as Harry, giving the role scrappy humor and surprising depth. With the help of his pals and Professor Lupin (the excellent David Thewlis), Harry must cope with an escapee from Azkaban prison (a haunting Gary Oldman) who may have been involved in the murder of Harry’s parents. Everyone in this film has secrets (deep, dark Freudian ones) that rival the scary effects, which include a killer tree and soul-sucking creatures called Dementors. Like the book, the movie is long and occasionally long-winded, but it’s also a great, twisty ride,” raved Peter Travers of RollingStone (May 27, 2004).

Check out the trailer here:

“Crazy, Stupid, Love” follows Harry on Thursday, August 30:

At 40-something, straight-laced Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) is living the dream: good job, nice house, great kids and marriage to his high school sweetheart. But when Cal learns that his wife, Emily (Julianne Moore), has cheated on him and wants a divorce, his “perfect” life quickly unravels.

Worse, in today’s single world, Cal, who hasn’t dated in decades, stands out as the epitome of un-smooth. Now spending his free evenings sulking alone at a local bar, the hapless Cal is taken on as wingman and protégé to handsome, thirty-something player Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling).

In an effort to help Cal get over his wife and start living his life, Jacob opens Cal’s eyes to the many options before him: flirty women, manly drinks and a sense of style that can’t be found at Supercuts or The Gap.

Cal and Emily aren’t the only ones looking for love in what might be all the wrong places: Cal’s 13-year-old son, Robbie, is crazy about his 17-year-old babysitter, Jessica, who harbors a crush on Cal. And despite Cal’s makeover and his many new conquests, the one thing that can’t be made over is his heart, which seems to keep leading him back to where he began.

“Crazy, Stupid, Love” was originally released in July 2011.

“Crazy, Stupid, Love” is, on balance, remarkably sane and reasonably smart. Directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, this movie, packed with appealing stars, is a smooth blend of modern comic genres with a surprising undercurrent of dark, difficult emotion. Essentially a study in the varieties of masculine sexual confusion, it travels the circuit from bromance to a kind of Y-chromosome weepie that might be called male-odrama, with a detour into the briar patch of adolescent awkwardness.

Steve Carell, who on the big screen often impersonates sweet, anxious guys dutifully holding their inner Michael Scott firmly in check, plays Cal Weaver, an everyman with a family, a nice suburban house and an office job. He also has a bad haircut and terrible fashion sense, as he will be told by Jacob (Ryan Gosling), a pickup artist who volunteers his services as coach in the game of seduction.

Cal accepts the offer because his wife of more than two decades, Emily (Julianne Moore), has told him that she wants a divorce, and that she has cheated on him with a co-worker (Kevin Bacon) only slightly less nebbishy than Cal himself. Nursing his self-pity at a sleek local bar, Cal meets Jacob, who tries to do for him something like what Will Smith did for Kevin James in “Hitch.” (The movie analogy Jacob proposes is Mr. Miyagi in “The Karate Kid.”) In a determined, half-pathetic attempt to even the score with Emily, Cal sets out to score with as many women as he can.

Complications, as the saying goes, ensue, but they are not necessarily the ones you might expect…

Continue reading A.O. Scott’s review in the New York Times here.

Other Telluride Film Festival freebies include:

Noon Seminars in Elks Park (across from the Courthouse). These talks are open to all on Saturday and Sunday and feature panels of guests in attendance addressing different topics. Questions from the audience are welcome.

“Conversations” in the County Courthouse feature intriguing conversations between Festival Guests. (Passholders are admitted first.)

• Filmmakers of Tomorrow: Calling Cards, Student Prints and Great Expectations are three exciting programs that pull back the curtain on adventurous, up-and-coming talent.

•  Films at the Backlot, located in Telluride’s Wilkinson Public Library. (Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis.)

Late Show Passes:

The Late Show Pass, (just $100) provides entry into the final shows Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights at Chuck Jones Cinema, Mountain Village, and the Palm. Tickets can be purchased at the Nugget Theatre or at either venue’s box office. Late Show Ticket holders will be admitted to their shows with general passholders.

One SHOW At A Time:

Individual tickets are $35 each. Once passholders are seated, tickets for the remaining seats are sold on a first-come, first-served basis just before SHOWtime. The venues with the greatest likelihood of available seats are the Werner Herzog Theatre (650 seats), the Palm (650 seats), the Galaxy (500 seats) and Chuck Jones’ Cinema in Mountain Village (500 seats). Another opportunity for available seats is usually in the morning or late at night.

Watch for repeat screenings of the Festival’s most popular films called TBAs (To Be Announced). Announcements will appear each morning at the Hospitality Center and at all theatre locations. There are often tickets available for many repeat showings.

Tributes usually have tickets available at show time for this Festival highlight.

In conclusion:

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 morning, when the embargo is lifted, Telluride Inside… and Out releases a Festival overview.


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