We had a free morning, so I decided to sleep in a bit. I also took some time to really study some of the films we were going to be seeing and read up on some articles about the Festival itself. As the people I live with gradually woke up, we all headed out to the Clubhouse where they feed us. It’s actually great food and I’ve been very pleased with how well they’ve been treating us. After we ate some lunch, we walked around the town. Telluride is absolutely beautiful and I’m so happy to be here to experience this. I keep comparing this festival to Cannes, but you really can’t because they are so different. I only get to see two of the films that I saw in Cannes and luckily they were my two favorites. I already got to see The Artist and will be seeing We Need to Talk About Kevin as part of the Tilda Swinton Tribute. I couldn’t be more excited.
After stopping by a coffee shop right at the center of the festival, we headed to the Elementary School for our first Symposium. We spent 45 minutes with each speaker. We started with Ken Burns (you know, the Ken Burns Effect?). Yeah. He was fantastic. If you don’t know him, which I didn’t until I got here, he is a documentary filmmaker of American History. Some of his most popular work includes The Civil War, Jazz, and Baseball. They are all about 15 hour films… similar to another film here called The Story of Film: An Odyssey which happens to be 900 minutes long. No big deal. The scary thing is that I actually would be interested in seeing that. Our next speaker was Veloso, a Brazilian musician who is also the Guest Director for the festival. He told us a few stories about his work in film and how he chose the films for the Festival. Last, we finished with Peter Sellers, who did not necessarily give us a Q&A, but spoke to us for a long time. I did appreciate what he had to say, but I would have also appreciated a dialogue. I took a lot of notes on all of the speakers and I am interested in sharing some of these notes with others when I return to school.
We went to the Opening Night Feed afterward. We didn’t get to stay too long and chat because we had to go wait in line for Pina, our first film for the festival. It was in the Galaxy theater which is a converted gymnasium and it is so great. Definitely does not look like a gymnasium. The film was a 3D documentary about a dancer named Pina. I do not know anything about the dancer, hence why I didn’t even include her last name, which I would have included if I remembered or had the energy to look up. The directors speak before each screening of their films and this was no exception. He spoke for awhile about the making of the film and how the idea started in the 1980s, but it did not actually begin until after the dancer passed away. The film honors her as her dancers dance her pieces and express their feelings about working with her and knowing her as a person. The dancing was fantastic and this was the first time I’ve enjoyed a 3D film. The director said he couldn’t have done it any other way, and I actually agreed with him. However, it was not a film that I would consider to be my taste. It seemed repetitive and it didn’t help that I was sweating to death in the theater so I couldn’t wait to go outside. I found that there were some students who agreed with me and some that did not, but still it is very difficult to form an opinion right after the film ends, or at least that is how I feel.
Our next film was THE KID WITH A BIKE, finally. I was really pumped to see this one since I did not get the opportunity while in Cannes. We walked straight from Pina to the Nugget Theater on the main street to see this film. Once we secured our place in line, we got some coffee/ tea to keep us awake for the film… however, it did not work. I managed to stay awake for the whole thing, but I caught myself closing my eyes too. I really enjoyed this film though. It was definitely not what I was expecting, but it was a simple story that exemplified great filmmaking, from technique to form to acting. I was impressed and I’ve really enjoyed speaking to the students about this film, which we did right after for awhile, but I could not wait to go to sleep. The film ended around midnight, but after heading back to the condo and spending more time discussing the films, I actually didn’t get to bed until 1:15am.
I heard from one of the girls I was sharing a room with that she saw Jennifer Garner. I have made it my mission to seek her out so we can talk Denison.