Time slips away faster than you think, especially when all you want to do is sleep and watch the sky change. A 9am screening means getting up and out as early as you can, especially when you’re going to The Nugget, the teeny tiny theater on the main drag in Telluride. If you don’t get there early you will not get a seat. If you want to get coffee at the Steaming Bean next door that’s an even longer wait.
The fresh coffee inside the theater was as good as any I’ve ever had so I just waited and got it there. I spotted Kris Tapley from In Contention and Joe Morgenstern from the Wall Street Journal — I’d been tipped off by Tapley who is smart about picking which movies to see and when. If you ever attend a fest with Tapley, it’s not a bad idea to just follow him around if you can get him to tell you where he’s going. He was one of the first of our “Oscar blogger” community to come to Telluride and since then it’s morphed a bit into a pre-Oscar stop. This year, though, it feels less like a mini-Toronto and more like what it’s intended to be: smallish films attended by a faithful community of devotees.
The Central Park Five might end up being among the best films I’ll see here. Sarah Burns began studying the horrifying case of five black teens who were caught in Central Park the night a jogger was raped, bludgeoned and left for dead. After being kept up all night, with no food, no water and no lawyer, the teens started lying to get out of there. They confessed to a crime they never did because the cops and the DA promised them that’s what they had to do to get out of jail. It had become such a high profile case that they had to catch the perps, no matter if it meant coercing young men, aged 14 even, to falsify a confession. Without checking any of the hard evidence in the case first, the boys were charged, tried and found guilty. All the while, the press fanned the flames, the public was alarmed and angry, politicians used the case to urge for the Death Penalty (super-genius Donald Trump is quoted). The parents of the boys knew the truth but no one would listen to them.