<p>&quot;12 Years a Slave&quot;</p>

"12 Years a Slave"

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

'12 Years a Slave' added to New York Film Festival lineup

Steve McQueen's hotly buzzed historical drama sneaks in Telluride tonight

The lucky folks in Telluride are the envy of the cinephile community tonight, as "12 Years a Slave" has its unofficial world premiere with a sneak preview at the festival. It will, of course, go on to Toronto for its formal unveiling, but by that point, many key critics will have already had their say, and a reputation will already be forming.

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<p>&quot;Salinger&quot; is set to open a mere week from today.</p>

"Salinger" is set to open a mere week from today.

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Telluride: Weinstein to sneak 'Salinger' after pulling 'Philomena' at the last minute

Oh the drama of the fall festival circuit

TELLURIDE, Colo. - All of town is abuzz today with the official revelation of two "sneak preview" screenings set for tonight: Denis Villeneuve's "Prisoners" and Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave." But everyone has been curious what the third would be, if indeed there would be a third.

Well, wonder no more as Deadline is reporting that Shane Salerno's documentary "Salinger" has grabbed a "surprise late entry" to the lineup. If true, it's an interesting turn of events, given how things were apparently supposed to shake out originally.

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<p>Tye Sheridan and Nicolas Cage in &quot;Joe.&quot;</p>

Tye Sheridan and Nicolas Cage in "Joe."

Credit: Worldview Entertainment

Review: Nicolas Cage finds no Southern comfort in grim, grimy 'Joe'

David Gordon Green's latest comes as a disappointment after 'Prince Avalanche'

VENICE - Tye Sheridan seems a nice kid and all, but he sure has terrible taste in father figures. Well, okay, not the real Tye Sheridan – whose dad, I’m sure, is a delight – but the flinty, feral persona he’s honed in two country-fried journeys into manhood this year. First came Jeff Nichols’ “Mud,” in which the steady-gazing teenager attached himself to Matthew McConaughey’s snake-tattooed fugitive Mud, a reverse adoption that ended about as well as it might have done. Now comes David Gordon Green’s “Joe,” in which Sheridan, his face already older and more settled, attaches himself to Nicolas Cage’s skull-tattooed ex-con Joe – a slightly more mutual adoption that, given the boy’s brutal, whiskey-wet home environment, could only be described as the lesser of two evils.

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<p>Scarlett Johansson in &quot;Under the Skin.&quot;</p>

Scarlett Johansson in "Under the Skin."

Review: Scarlett Johansson is incredible in the mesmerizing 'Under the Skin'

Glazer's third film is a near-masterpiece

TELLURIDE, Colo. - The Telluride Film Festival programmers saved Jonathan Glazer's new film "Under the Skin" for the last debut of opening day and at first glance it was a tad perplexing. The 11:45 PM screening time guaranteed that only the most hardcore of cinephiles would be in the audience. Considering that Glazer delivered the most high profile art film since "Holy Motors" that was a very smart move

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<p>Klaus Kinski in &quot;Aguirre, the Wrath of&nbsp;God&quot;</p>

Klaus Kinski in "Aguirre, the Wrath of God"

Credit: New Yorker Films

Telluride dedicates The Werner Herzog Theater with a gorgeous presentation of 'Aguirre, the Wrath of God'

Pinch me

TELLURIDE, Colo. - In 1975, filmmaker Werner Herzog had films such as "The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser," "Even Dwarfs Started Small" and "Signs of Life" under his belt. Tom Luddy went to his fellow Telluride Film Festival co-founders Bill and Stella Pence with the idea to honor him with one of the festival's tributes at the second annual edition. And so the stage was set for a long-lasting relationship.

Since 1975, Herzog has returned almost every year with one, sometimes two new films to show. He says he's stopped counting over the years but it must be over 30 presentations he's offered here. So it was a no brainer when the festival directors finally made headway on establishing a new venue for the annual festival: it would be called the Werner Herzog Theater.

After the North American premiere of J.C. Chandor's "All is Lost" earlier today, the 650-seat theater -- which has been built inside a hockey rink and will be taken back down again after the festival -- played host to a bit of an appreciation for Herzog and a screening of the film he brought with him way back in 1975, "Aguirre, the Wrath of God." A new HD scan of the original negative, the film was a natural pick to dedicate the space and Herzog was quite touched as he waxed on about what Telluride has meant to him these last four decades.

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<p>Kate Winslet, Gattlin Griffith and Josh&nbsp;Brolin in &quot;Labor Day&quot;</p>

Kate Winslet, Gattlin Griffith and Josh Brolin in "Labor Day"

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Review: Jason Reitman's 'Labor Day' is a suspenseful ride if you believe

Another great turn for Kate Winslet

TELLURIDE, Colo. - You may have met many a someone in your life whose passion for being in love is almost addictive. Someone who loves the intimacy so much it blinds them to the reality around them. Someone for whom there is no middle ground in a relationship. Either they are 110% in or they are out. That, in a nutshell, is the character of Adele, played by Kate Winslet, in Jason Reitman's new drama "Labor Day." It's also the crux of a storyline that will reward viewers who are willing to take a big jump.

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<p>&quot;Two Lives&quot;</p>

"Two Lives"

Credit: Beta Cinema

Germany submits 'Two Lives' in the foreign-language Oscar race

Veteran Oscar nominee Liv Ullmann stars in the WWII-themed drama

It seems Germany had to think a little before selecting their candidate for this year's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar race, as two contrasting candidates made compelling cases for submission. Earlier this year, it was widely predicted that they'd end up going with "Oh Boy," a touching but street-smart comedy of twentysomething hipster ennui that played well on the international festival circuit, was a huge hit at home, and wound up dominating the German Academy Awards back in the spring.

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<p>Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin and Gattlin Griffith in &quot;Labor Day&quot;</p>

Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin and Gattlin Griffith in "Labor Day"

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Telluride: 'Labor Day' with Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin marks a fresh and mature departure for Jason Reitman

None of the director's trademarks are present in this old-fashioned narrative

TELLURIDE, Colo. - My immediate takeaway from Jason Reitman's "Labor Day," which kicks off the Telluride Film Festival this afternoon at the annual patrons screening, was that it was an unexpected mature step for the filmmaker who has offered up such self-aware films as "Thank You For Smoking," "Juno," "Up in the Air" and "Young Adult." There isn't a whiff of that tone here whatsoever. The edge that has defined Reitman's work has been set aside while a more refined, lived-in aesthetic has taken hold.

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<p>Oscar Isaac and <span class="st">Chris Thile of the Punch Brothers perform at the opening night concert for the 40th Annual Telluride Film Festival on Wednesday, August 28, 20013.<br />

Oscar Isaac and Chris Thile of the Punch Brothers perform at the opening night concert for the 40th Annual Telluride Film Festival on Wednesday, August 28, 20013.

Watch: Oscar Isaac and the Punch Brothers perform 'Inside Llewyn Davis' music at Telluride

Snuck it in before a massive thunderstorm

TELLURIDE, Colo. - CBS Films helped the 40th annual Telluride Film Festival get off to a musical start by bringing in the Punch Brothers to perform at an opening night concert Wednesday night. Chris Thile and his band appear on the soundtrack to the Coen brothers' upcoming "Inside Llewyn Davis," and they played some bluegrass favorites to a nice crowd in the town park.

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<p>Bruce Dern and&nbsp;Will Forte in &quot;Nebraska&quot;</p>

Bruce Dern and Will Forte in "Nebraska"

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Telluride: Bruce Dern shines as, yes, a leading man in Alexander Payne's 'Nebraska'

A longtime character actors gets a much-deserved moment in the spotlight

TELLURIDE, Colo. - Nearly half a century ago, Marilyn Monroe confided in a young Bruce Dern an opinion of the actor passed to her by Actors Studio founder Elia Kazan, or "Gadge" as they all knew him. "He's not going to be a leading man," the famed director said, "because he'll be into his 60s before anyone knows what he's capable of."

The reasoning went that Dern was destined to be a character actor. He didn't subscribe to his buddy Jack Nicholson's ribbing "it's just acting, asshole" sentiment, but rather he preferred to inhabit a character, to be a character. He bought into Lee Strasberg's method acting approach, and indeed, went on to have a lengthy career as a dependable fixture in any number of films. But he's always been "third cowboy from the right," as Dern has put it, and with Alexander Payne's "Nebraska," which is set for a North American premiere later today at the Telluride Film Festival, he finally had an opportunity to embrace a leading man character for all it was worth.

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