THB #211: The Festivals Are Coming!
Next Wednesday, the 17-day festival season begins in Venice. I will not be there. But the next day, I will be in Telluride to have that adventure. Two weeks after TIFF closes, NYFF opens, a somewhat delayed experience, but in its place.
Coming out of COVID, it seems like the bounce back for film festivals will look a lot like the bounce back for movie theaters. There is all the room in the world for great successes to emerge from the festival window. But there is the hard reality that distributors are doing deep reconsiderations of what the benefits are for as much quality product as used to be sure bets to turn up from Venice to Telluride to Toronto to New York.
Spielberg is going to Toronto with The Fabelmans… launching pad of the first great DreamWorks SKG Oscar success, American Beauty.
Rian Johnson and Netflix are bringing the $250 million sequel to Knives Out to Toronto, which is where the first film in the franchise launched.
What was the route for Darren Aronofsky’s first Oscar breakthrough, The Wrestler? Venice to Toronto… and so, that is where The Whale will go.
Where did Birdman nest in 2014? Venice, then Telluride. No Toronto. Rumor was that they passed on the film. Where is Bardo headed? Venice, then Telluride, then not TIFF.
Habit matters. A lot.
Paul Schrader’s Master Gardener going to Venice and if, as many suspect, not going to Telluride is a clear sign of a habit being broken.
16 years ago, New Line was operated independently of owner Warners and Todd Field’s Little Children premiered at the New York Film Festival. His Tár' will go Venice to Telluride.
We’ll see if the great Werner Herzog is in Telluride for his 80th birthday on September 5. It has been a long Telluride tradition, but things change.
Born a decade before Herzog, in 1932, was La Biennale di Venezia. Cannes launched in 1946.
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