How are we already in October?! As always the Telluride Film Festival does not disappoint, this Labor Day weekend festival marks the end of our summer season in the high country. This year the SHOW celebrated it’s 49th year and it was a great success! It was wonderful to see my mountain town come alive to celebrate everything film. The energy leading up to this festival is always astounding. Town transforms into a cinephiles dream as several venues in town (the Elementary School gym, Mountain Village Conference Center, the Town Park ice skating rink, etc) magically transform into professional movie theaters.
I wanted to share what my fest looked like, here’s my take on the ones I saw. There’s always several more screenings I want to see but limited time makes that tricky. The films were diverse & the selection very well curated. Having this level production come to Telluride is always such a treat!
Telluride Film Festival Screenings I Saw
Can’t say I started off the festival with a light film, but this documentary by filmmaker Ken Burns sheds light on how the United States really responded to the rise of Hitler and the war refugees. The film portrays that the U.S. withheld their intervention to the atrocities overseas during World War 2. At times, some Americans turned a blind eye and even cheered on the Nazis for their hideous behavior. The film is certainly an eye opener, showing us a deeper glimpse into this painful part of history. The screening was for Part 1 of this 3 part, 6 hour documentary that is currently available to the public on PBS.
Immediately I was drawn into the visual beauty of this film. This is Chilean filmmaker Sebastián Lelio’s Netflix adaptation of the Emma Donoghue novel. Beautiful actress Florence Pugh takes us on a journey in the Irish Midlands circa 1862. She plays a nurse to an 11-year-old girl in good health who presumably hasn’t eaten anything for more than four months. It’s from here that Pugh and a nun keep 24 hour shifts for two weeks to watch if the starvation claim is true. The story unfolds with magical details, beautiful scenery & costumes and romance. The music is super weird and fabulous, unlike any I’ve ever heard before. I was into the film, but thought the ending was a cop out. Definitely worth seeing but I would have loved a deeper, not so much supernatural ending.
The Wonder will be released on Netflix on November 16th, 2022.
All in all this was my favorite film at the festival this year. Maybe it’s the fact that I had a wild teen crush on actor/producer Robert Downey Jr. Perhaps RDJr. attending the festival in person & chatting about the film was EPIC!! Prior to seeing Sr. I didn’t know the legacy Robert Downey Jr. hailed from. His father, Indie film director Robert Downey Sr. is a colorful, zany character with a no-filter film making style. I knew nothing about RDSr. going into the film, I left wishing I had been friends with him.
The film documents Sr.’s last few months before his death from Parkinson’s. We see the pure beauty & pain of father and son reliving life’s journey in a sweet, sarcastic, honest way. The film is witty, hilarious and heart wrenching. The father son bond (Sr. cast Jr. in his films starting at the age of 5) and the history they shared in the film biz is profound and special. We get to see uncensored banter within the family and an intimate look at Jr.’s attempt to come to terms with his dad’s imminent passing. Clips from Sr.’s films are comical, totally weird, underground vignettes. Sr. directs part of this film which makes it even more endearing.
Netflix purchased the rights to the film, watch for release dates.
The lead in this film, based off the famous D.H. Lawrence novel is Emma Corrin well known for her role as Lady Diana in The Crown. The book of the same name originally published in 1928 was so explicit it was banned in the US & the UK. If you’ve read Lady Chatterly’s Lover or already know about it then the storyline won’t be shocking at all. I’m not going to tell you the plot in case you’ve not heard it before, it’s always best to be surprised by a film. The film is gorgeous, set in the British countryside. & I was absolutely smitten with Lady Chatterly’s costumes. Her dresses were all outfits I would wear, very much reminiscent of the Love Shack Fancy style…a modern take on classic silhouettes.
The film is to be released in theaters in November, and will hit Netflix in December.
When I was chatting with fellow film goers on the lines (a big part of film festivals is waiting on line chatting with strangers) this film was a highlight for many. Women Talking is based off the novel by Miriam Toews. It’s set in 2010 in a Mennonite community. Most of the scenes are set in a barn within this male dominated religious society. This is a timely film, as women’s rights are painfully being stripped away by our government. Riddled with a history of abusive men, the women secretly meet in the barn to figure out if they should flee the community while the men are away. The opinions of the group vary greatly & it’s interesting to see how they react to one another in the struggle to figure out what is best for them all. I liked the film, it’s certainly worth seeing.
Limited theatrical release December 2nd, 2022
This film is a ray of light in a sea of serious films. This documentary was a joy to watch & an inspiring story. I learned so much about the 2003 Mars expedition with sister rovers named Spirit and Opportunity. In the film we watch as NASA creates these two rovers that take on humanlike qualities, the sisters having very different personalities from one another. They are both very easy to fall in love with and it’s exciting to see how the scientists in NASA nurture them. The launch and landing on Mars is a big deal, but it’s what happens once the rovers land on Mars that’s astounding. A must see for fans of documentaries & totally appropriate for kids too.
Amazon Studios will release it in select theaters on Friday, November 4, and streaming on Prime Video on Wednesday, November 23.
This documentary film celebrates the history of famous Abbey Road Studios in England. It’s a musical time travel watching the variety of musicians that recorded there through its 90 year history. The Beatles are how most of us know the studio, they recorded 190 of their 210 songs there. The film also highlights several other amazing recording artists with interviews & views into their recording sessions. The studio walls hold so many stories, late night parties, romantic interludes and wild antics.
The film will premier globally on Disney+ the date has yet to be announced.
This film is not for the faint of heart. I’m giving you a swift warning ahead of time that it’s graphic, disgusting and the theme is cannibalism. I saw an evening screening which made me way more spooked to leave the theater & drive home in the dark. It’s best described as a “coming-of-age romantic horror road film” If you are into blood, guts, gore and an occasional laugh then hit this film up. As I’m into lighter, fluffier, prettier things I honestly could have left the film as soon as I finished my popcorn. If you are into horror give it a whirl, it’s getting great reviews.
Film will be in theaters November 23rd, 2022
Other films to look for, though I didn’t have the chance to see them:
- Empire of Light