1996 Telluride Film Festival Diaries
Seminars and Special Programs
September 1, 1996
To enhance the festival experience and make it a 'learning experience' for
aspiring filmmakers, Telluride offers seminars, interviews and special film
programs. "Forgotten Silver" is a documentary on the brilliant
life of Colin McKenzie, the forgotten New Zealand filmmaker. It was he
in fact who developed sound-on-film, color process and who film an aviator
in flight six months before the Wright brothers.
Ruby Rich, guest director of the festivals will interview Maggie Cheung,
the Hong Kong star who is here to promote "Irma Vep". "Irma"
takes a hilarious look at the French film industry, pretensions, life and
Trevor Nunn was to have spoken at the seminar on "From stage to screen:
What can film actors and directors successfully borrow (steal) from theater?"
His plane arrived late so it may be rescheduled. How appropriate it would
have been! Nunn joked before the showing of Twelfth Night" that if
you take the music out of his current Broadway production, it might make
a good movie. Of course, his current show is "Sunset Boulevard".
The Filmmakers of Tomorrow series are shorts from film students and is sponsored
by Steven Spielberg. The best of the lot, or at least the funniest is "Genre"
directed by Don Herzfeldt of UC Santa Barbara. Although only five minutes
long, the animator puts his rabbit protagonist in almost every genre of
film from the buddy picture to disaster movie. I expect to see more from
Bill Everson, Telluride's co-director died within days of cowboy/actor Ben
Johnson so a special tribute to the two is presented. Tom Thurman's film
biography of Johnson, "Ben Johnson: Third Cowboy on the Right"
will be shown. Tom Thurman, Harry Carey, Jr., and Leonard Maltin will attend.
Power Bar has planned two hikes to keep the blood circulating after sitting
through one too many shows. And hiking in these beautiful mountains can't
be too hard, can it? They are promising T-shirts and Power Bars to all
who make it.
"Great Expectations" is a favorite of mine. Not the movie, the
program! Three directors are chosen who are on the verge of making their
feature films. Sergei Davydov escaped from Moldova after being expelled
from the National Film School of Moldova. He is half Italian and half Russian,
so he didn't qualify to be in the school any more. But he certainly has
made a big impression with his 23 minute short, "Childhood".
He will be participating in the AFI directorial program this year which
should enhance his chances of hitting it big. I learned all of this while
we waited in line for "Riot" and "Twelfth Night"! He
is his own best publicist and that is what it takes.
Amstel Light is sponsoring the Labor Day Picnic on the mountain with lunch,
ice cream and I'd imagine a few Amstels. The seminar to be held on the
mountain is "Discovering new talent: Is the power in the stories or
in the way they are told?"
It is heartening to see the organizers put so much effort into making sure
that everyone comes away with something.
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