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Top Five Films I Missed at Telluride

It’s impossible to see everything over the short four-day Labor Day weekend. Especially so if you’re trying to write in the meantime. I envy those who don’t. The patrons purchase their badges and enjoy whatever films they can fit into their schedule. This year those passes sold out quicker than ever. I expect the same thing will happen next year as the festival becomes a less best-kept secret. Telluride itself hasn’t changed much. The town is still the town. The festival has changed insofar as so many hot tickets play there long before they play anywhere else. So it would be pretty great to buy a ticket, find lodging (very very expensive lodging) and see these movies before anyone else has the chance.

I’m usually there for one reason only — to seek out the films that might break into the Oscar race. Well, that’s the pretend reason I go. The other big reason is just to go there. I wish I could Laura Linney into a permanent residence there and maybe someday I will. Either way, I missed a few key films that should be mentioned.

  1. Son of Saul – this is a film people should be paying attention to because it could be considered for more than just Best Foreign Language. It’s possible that the director, Lazlo Nemes, could be nominated, along with maybe screenplay and/or cinematography. I have still not seen Son of Saul but I kept hearing great things about it up in Telluride.
  2. 45 Years – this film is one that could factor into all of the major categories. It stars Charlotte Rampling who finds out a secret about her husband of 45 years. I tried to see it but I could never find the right slot.  It is being predicted by Anne Thompson at Indiewire, who was one many people bringing it up in conversations about the best films they saw there.
  3. Evgeny Afineevsky’s Winter on Fire, which chronicles the formation of a new civil rights movement in the Ukraine. It’s one of those right place at the right time kind of documentaries that capture a once-in-a-lifetime event. It, too, should be considered as a strong contender for the documentary Oscar.
  4. Tyrus – a documentary about the artist Tyrus Wong, directed by Pamela Tom. Here is the Kickstarter that helped get the film made. A friend of mine said it made her cry and she could not stop raving about it.
  5. Laurie Anderson’s The Heart of a Dog – as a big fan of Laurie Anderson I’m pretty sure I missed one of the best opportunities in my lifetime to see her speak and watch her film. The film is supposedly a moving portrait of love and loss.  I’m sorry I missed it. I also missed Hitchcock/Truffaut, which I wanted so much to see.