TELLURIDE, Colo. -- Before the world premiere of his movie Everlasting Moments at 8:30 a.m. yesterday, director Jan Troell said, "I would never voluntarily come to a film at this time. Not even my own. Try to stay awake." I did.
Everlasting Moments. Epic domestic drama from Sweden with a grounded lead performance by Maria Heiskanen, who looks and sounds like a working-class Ingrid Bergman. Spans 10 years. A quietly moving fable about seeking the perfection of life through a camera's viewfinder. How we forge everlasting moments of goodness in a fleeting second from life's boredom, unpleasantries and unfairness.
Critic and filmmaker Richard Schickel -- red-faced, purple-shirted, tweed-jacketed -- received the silver medallion of the festival at the Sheridan Opera House. Watching Schickel, who is lively but old, makes me think that the age of the esteemed critic-historian is ending. Schickel and Ebert might be the last of the breed. What is it being replaced by? Perhaps film appreciation has been institutionalized by academia, and it will live on, for better or worse, there.
Schickel: "I have had young people come up to me and say 'I've never seen a black-and-white movie and I'm like, 'Are you out of your fucking mind? It's not something to be proud of.'"
Schickel's documentary on Warner Bros., You Must Remember This, will play on PBS soon.
Happy-Go-Lucky. By Mike Leigh. How happy people make us miserable. How we make our own luck. Winning performance by Sally Hawkins as the most joyful woman alive. Great cameo by Karina Fernandez as a flamenco teacher perhaps too invested in her art. Q&A after. Leigh is slight, stooped, suspendered, bearded. Small. "For me, filmmaking is all about discovering what the film is."
Philanthropy. A dark Romanian comedy that looks and feels like Scorsese's After Hours. By turns funny and boring. From 2001.
Seen: Laura Linney, defacto mayor of Telluride during the festival, conferring with friend over the program. I also served Mike Leigh a bottle of water. Michael O'Keefe ("Noonan!"), the bad guy in American Violet.
Crowd-pleasers: Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire, which got a rousing ovation last night. Also, the documentary Prodigal Sons is the most-loved show at Telluride (and it doesn't even have an IMDb page). Also, Fincher didn't show up to host or introduce his director's cut of Zodiac. Bitch.
Everyone is mumbling about the lacklusterness of this year's slate of new movies. The vintage offerings are top-knotch, though I probably won't be able to make any of them. They are showing Troell's The Emigrants and The New Land back to back tomorrow. And the Alloy Orchestra is providing a live, original score for The Last Command (with Emil Jannings).
Drizzly and overcast today. I'm off to catch the gondola to the tribute to Jean Simmons.