Three quick roundups on other films that debuted at the 2010 Telluride Film Festival today, Errol Morris' "Tabloid," Fernando Trueba's "Chico and Rita" and Bill Blympton's "The Cow Who Wanted to Be a Hamburger."
The problem with revealing the magic about Errol Morris' great new documentary is that if you say too much it spoils all the fun. Plus, many details on the film's subject can be found online which really only makes matters worse. Needless to say, Morris warned everyone in attendance at the late night premiere that he was worried that while everything in the film is true, audiences still wouldn't believe it. After much laughter and a strong ovation at the end, he shouldn't have worried. Keep your fingers crossed a strong and smart distributor picks this one up soon. It deserves to be seen.
"Chico and Rita"
An admitted favorite of the programmers of Telluride, this animated love story between a Cuban piano player and jazz singer didn't play as well with audiences or critics. The jazz music, provided by the legendary Bebo Valdes, is pretty great and the animation of pre-revolutionary Cuba really provides a detailed look at what Havanna once was, but the story itself is something of a bore. If this picture had been live action it wouldn't have garnered much attention at all. It's also an incredibly hard sell even on the art house circuit although it feels like something Sony Classics could succeed with on a very low asking price. We'll see if it finds a suitor.
"The Cow Who Wanted to Be a Hamburger"
Bill Plympton's latest short is a very funny and incredibly well paced story about a young cow that does everything in its power to live the dream, much to its mother's dismay, of becoming a hamburger. After first being rejected as too skinny, our hero undergoes a tremendous amount of training to qualify for what could be his end. Of course, when he discovers what it actually means to be hamburger, everything changes. Wonderfully realized and scored, it will no doubt be touring festivals for some time. Whether it can qualify for this year's Oscar race remains to be seen (the qualifications are not easy). On a side note, Plympton had to live through the real-life horror of the sound not playing for the first half of his short until the projector finally stopped and re-ran the film. Happily, it still played the second time around.
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