Greetings from the Telluride Film Festival. This is the nineteenth year that I have attended, and it remains an inspiring cultural event that I always look forward to; world cinema at its finest. This year has been especially enriching, and I'm excited to share with you in the weeks and months ahead some of these great new movies that will be coming to the Rose and Starlight Room.
One film I will mention - FACES PLACES - is my favorite documentary of the festival. In collaboration with the wildly popular young French street artist JR, 89-year-old Agnes Varda (THE GLEANERS AND I) combines footage of the process of creating large-scale photographic images of marginalized people - a goat-herder, a waitress, a postman, wives of dockworkers - with stories of how they came in contact with them. It's delightfully improvisational and whimsical. These two artists are separated by five decades, and their budding friendship is charming.
Descending from Telluride's lofty elevation of 8,750 feet to Port Townsend's 131 feet, I'm equally excited about this week's line-up of movies and special events. Like the back-up singers profiled in 20 FEET FROM STARDOM, three bluesmen finally get their due in SIDEMEN: LONG ROAD TO GLORY. And if all rock 'n' roll roads lead back to the blues, then the road leads directly to Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Pinetop Perkins and Hubert Sumlin. Scott Rosenbaum's loving tribute pulls back the big-name curtain to celebrate the often overlooked musicians, whose riffs are revered to this day. "The film should prove catnip to music lovers." -Hollywood Reporter
Forget Fred and Ginger! The tap legends in George T. Nierenberg's jubilant pair of documentaries will leave you enchanted and likely dancing out of the theatre. NO MAPS ON MY TAPS was originally released in 1979, and has now been lovingly restored by the great folks at Milestone Films. NO MAPS profiles three renowned dancers, Bunny Briggs, "Sandman" Sims and Chuck Green, as they prepare for a performance in Harlem with jazzman Lionel Hampton. ABOUT TAP shines a spotlight on three legends, Steve Condos, Jimmy Slyde - what a perfect name! - who glides across the floor, and Chuck Green is back with his infectious smile. The film is introduced by tap great Gregory Hines. Both movies play together as one admission this coming Saturday and Sunday only at 2:00, in the Rosebud.
If by next Tuesday (9/12) you haven't had your fill of great musical talent, then hope that you're still able to score a ticket to MAY IT LAST: A PORTRAIT OF THE AVETT BROTHERS. (46 tickets remaining). This one-night-only event is an intimate portrait of the North Carolina band, charting the lifelong bond and unique creative partnership, as band members undergo marriage, divorce, parenthood and the challenges of the music business, and their present-day collaboration with famed music producer Rick Rubin.
WIND RIVER and THE TRIP TO SPAIN are both holding over for a second week, while COLUMBUS and THE LITTLE HOURS play only through this Thursday, 9/7. Christopher Nolan's DUNKIRK opens in the Rosebud Friday for one week. THE INVISIBLE MAN, the Starlight classic film next Wednesday, 9/13 is sold out. And returning to the subject of dance legends, our October Starlight classic is SWING TIME, with Fred and Ginger, Oct. 18th.