Film Scouts Diaries

1999 Telluride Film Festival Diaries
Rocky Mountain High Culture, Part 1

by Emmett Gray

Telluride, Colorado, September 1, 1999

I arrived last night at dusk, flying on am 8-seat charter from Denver with members of the Kronos Quartet, who are coming to perform, live with the picture, Philip Glass' new soundtrack for the 1931 Todd Browning "Dracula" starring Bela Lugosi. It's a talkie, but had no score, and Universal had the idea to commission a new score for the upcoming DVD re-release, and the first live performance is going to happen on Saturday, with Philip Glass joining on keyboards and Michael Riesman conducting. Should be fun. The film is beautifully campy and beautifully shot, and I hear the score adds a new dimension to the experience.

The plane was overloaded with instruments and electronics, and the door wouldn't close because the fuselage was flexing since all the heavy stuff was put in the tail section. A few cases were removed we took off and had a beautiful flight. The Telluride airport is on a mesa above the town and it was a spectacular approach (I was sitting in the co-pilot's seat, as the plane was otherwise full). What a lovely spot. Telluride sits in a box canyon with 13-14,000-foot peaks surrounding on 3 sides. Definitely as good as a postcard.

"Koyaanisqatsi" was screened tonight at the Abel Gance open-air cinema, a free Festival side-bar venue on the public sqaure right in the town center. People bring lawn chairs and blankets and the projection and sound are first-rate. Lovely. It's a nice gesture, the Festival passes start at $500 and are out of reach for many locals, but they can enjoy the screenings at the Gance for nothing - first come first served seating, no tickets or passes.

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