Telluride Brings Six Fresh Films to Hanover

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    Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling star in "La La Land" showing at Telluride at Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H., on Sept. 17, 2016. (Courtesy photograph) Photographs courtesy of Hopkins Center for the Arts

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    Amy Adams stars in "Arrival," showing at Telluride at Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H., on Sept. 16, 2016. (Courtesy photograph) Amy Adams stars in "Arrival," showing at Telluride at Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H., on Sept. 16, 2016. (Courtesy photograph)

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    Luis Gnecco plays Chilean poet and Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda in "Neruda" showing at Telluride at Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H., on Sept. 18, 2016. (Courtesy photograph)

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    Adrian Titieni and Maria-Victoria Dragus in "Graduation," showing at Telluride at Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H., on Sept. 22, 2016. (Courtesy photograph) Courtesy photograph

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    Isabelle Huppert and Roman Kolinka in "Things to Come," showing at Telluride at Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H., on Sept. 20, 2016. (Courtesy photograph)

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    Sallie Hawkins in "Maudie," showing at Telluride at Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H., on Sept. 21, 2016. (Courtesy photograph)

Valley News Staff Writers
Published: 9/1/2016 10:00:45 PM
Modified: 9/2/2016 10:30:49 AM

Telluride at Dartmouth marks its 31st anniversary later this month with the traditional slate of six films chosen from the festival, which takes place each Labor Day weekend in Colorado.

There are no obvious, overarching themes emerging from the Hanover mini-festival, which starts on Friday, Sept. 16 and continues through Thursday, Sept. 22, said Sydney Stowe, director of Hopkins Center Film. But it does have four films that focus on women who find themselves at critical turning points in their lives, she said.

Tickets for Hopkins Center members go on sale on Tuesday and to the general public and students on Wednesday.

This year’s Telluride at Dartmouth selection offers a movie musical and a sci-fi film, both genres that haven’t been seen much at Telluride, said Stowe, who took over as acting director of Hopkins Center Film after the retirement this spring of longtime director Bill Pence.

No matter the genre, you can be sure that Telluride at Dartmouth will hold true to previous form: expect the unexpected.

And if past years are any guide, the films that emerge from Telluride are likely to figure later this year as contenders for the Academy Awards.

“They’re an on-ramp for the Oscars,” Stowe said.

The festival begins on Sept. 16 with the Denis Villeneuve film Arrival, starring Amy Adams, Forest Whitaker and Jeremy Renner. (Adams herself is the subject of a tribute this weekend at Telluride.)

There are any number of ham-fisted, special effects-dependent Hollywood science fiction films but there are fewer films that fall into the category of smart science fiction. Arrival is in the latter camp.

Adams plays a linguist who is asked to communicate with one of 12 newly arrived alien aircraft. What’s their intention? How can she speak their language, whatever it is?

Canadian director Villeneuve, whose previous films Prisoners and Sicario, have earned praise, is trying to inject new and intelligent life into a genre about intelligent life in the universe.

Remember the old canard, “They don’t make them like that anymore?”

On Saturday, Sept. 17, Telluride at Dartmouth screens what promises to be a charming confection of the “they don’t make them like that anymore” kind. Stowe calls it a “lovely” film.

A musical set in Los Angeles, La La Land stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. Gosling is a jazz pianist and Stone is an actor who works as a waitress. They sing, they dance, they fall in love and it’s all set against a backdrop of the dream factory of Hollywood. The movie is directed by Damien Chazelle, who brought Whiplash to the screen a few years ago. The film earned J.K. Simmons an Oscar for his ferocious performance as a sadistic music teacher. La La Land is on the other end of the scale: optimistic, sunny and a loving tribute to the glorious MGM musicals of the 1950s.

Neruda screens on Sunday, Sept. 18. Based on the life of the great Chilean poet and Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda, the film looks at the period in his life when he went into hiding in 1948 after being accused of treason. Luis Gnecco plays Neruda and Gabriel Garcia Bernal is the Javert-like policeman on Neruda’s trail. The director is Pablo Lorrain, who also made the 2012 film No, which stars Bernal as an advertising executive caught up in protests against strongman Augusto Pinochet.

The festival skips a day on Monday, Sept. 19, but returns on Tuesday, Sept. 20, with the French film Things to Come, starring Isabelle Huppert.

Is Huppert the greatest of all contemporary film actors? She’s certainly the most daring, given the range of characters she inhabits, and the depth of intensity she brings to the parts. Here, she plays a woman whose well-ordered life falls apart. What she makes of the ensuing disorder sounds like vintage Huppert in another magnetic performance.

A Canadian film, Maudie, is up next on Wednesday, Sept. 21. Set in Nova Scotia during the pre-World War II period, the film looks at the life of Maud Lewis, a woman born with rheumatoid arthritis who became a beloved folk artist in the Grandma Moses vein. Sallie Hawkins plays Maud, and Ethan Hawke plays the man she marries, a roughhewn fisherman who encourages his wife in her artistic endeavors. The English Hawkins, who is one of Mike Leigh’s company of actors, shows the charisma that makes her a reliable scene-stealer in every film she’s in.

And finally, perhaps saving the best for last, Telluride at Dartmouth shows on Thursday, Sept. 22 the Romanian film Graduation, directed by the incomparably gifted Cristian Mungiu, whose second film, 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 days, was awarded the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2007.

In Graduation (the Romanian title is Bacalaureat), Mungiu examines the moral ambiguities of living in post-Communist, post-Ceaucescu Romania, where a new society has allegedly been born, but the corrupt bureaucracies and associated ethical compromises that go with them, are still in place.

Adrien Titani plays a surgeon in a provincial city who has placed all his hopes for the future on his daughter, who has excelled academically and is bound for university in London. But then there’s an episode of violence, which may derail the young woman’s plans to leave Romania.

As the surgeon bargains desperately to keep his traumatized daughter on track for an English education, Mungiu investigates, with his unerring, compassionate eye for human delusion, the heavy burden of parental ambitions on children.

Mungiu shared the Best Director prize for Graduation at this year’s Cannes Film Festival with French director Olivier Assayas for his film Personal Shopper.

This year’s slate of Telluride at Dartmouth films epitomizes what the festival does so well, said Stowe: It finds the “balance between the commercial and accessible — and what you won’t see anywhere else.”

Tickets for Telluride at Dartmouth go on sale to Hopkins Center members on Tuesday and to the public on Wednesday at 10 a.m. Single tickets are $15; a pass to all six films is $75. They are available online at hop.dartmouth.edu.; by phone at 603-646-2422; or in person at the Hopkins Center Box Office.

All screenings take place in Spaulding Auditorium in the Hopkins Center at 4 and 7 p.m.

100 Years Of Cinema in Hanover

The Nugget Theaters celebrate their 100th birthday on Friday, Sept. 9 with a party on the terrace in front of the theater on Main Street. Cinephiles are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite movie star or film character, with prizes available for best costume. There will also be live music, a photo booth, a giveaway of movie posters and a raffle whose prizes include one year of free admission. The party runs from 5 to 7.

More Altman In White River Junction

On Sunday, Sept. 11 at 6:30 p.m. White River Indie Films presents a special screening of the Robert Altman film Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull’s History Lesson at the Main Street Museum in White River Junction. Based on the Arthur Kopit play Indians, the film’s stellar cast includes Paul Newman, Geraldine Chaplin, Will Sampson, Joel Grey, Harvey Keitel, and Burt Lancaster.

This is a Do Not Miss film event on three counts. First, this is one of Altman’s lesser-known, not-often-screened films; second, one of Altman’s longtime collaborators Allan F. Nicholls will be on hand for a post-screening discussion; and third, David Fairbanks Ford, guiding force behind the Main Street Museum, will give a talk on “The Great Salisbury, N.C. Train Wreck of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Congress of Rough Riders of the World in 1901,” a train wreck that involved Buffalo Bill, the sharpshooter Annie Oakley, innumerable horses and all the other players in the Buffalo Bill Wild West show.

The doors open at 5 p.m. The suggested donation is between $2 and $20. For information go to wrif.org.

Faith-Based Films

In the first of three screenings at churches in the White River Valley, Faith and Family Films hosts Caged No More, a drama about human trafficking in the sex trade,on Sunday afternoon at 4:30 at the United Church of South Royalton.

The movie, about a woman trying to retrieve her two kidnapped granddaughters, co-stars Kevin Sorbo (star of the 1990s TV series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys), as twin brothers — one the father of the missing girls, who sold one into sex trafficking to settle a debt and took the other out of the country. Amy Farr of the Vermont Human Trafficking Task Force will speak after Sunday’s screening and after the presentation at the Faith Assembly of God church in Bethel at 7 p.m. on Sept. 10.

The area tour concludes on Sept. 17 with a screening at the Baptist Fellowship of Randolph, where the task force’s Priscilla White will speak. To learn more about the screenings, call 802-552-7791. For more information about the movie, visit imdb.com.

Nicola Smith can be reached at nsmith@vnews.com. David Corriveau can be reached at dcorriveau@vnews.com or 603-727-3304.




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