It’s 100 degrees outside (still!) and I read our guide to staying cool during what we call a “heat dome” and, oddly enough, I don’t see “drink a hot cup of coffee” anywhere. But that’s where I’m at right now. I’m still a little lost after a few days in the mountains of Colorado to attend the Telluride Film Festival, and I need caffeine to fuel this newsletter.
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Also, the weather is just a state of mind. And now, sipping this coffee (no pumpkin spice, God no!), I listen to the Fleet Foxes “Hymn to the White Winter” and, in my thoughts, it is only scarves, coats and snowfall. You with me? You can feel it, right? I see you… you walk over to the closet and grab that turtleneck up on the shelf.
I’m Glenn Whipp, awards columnist for the Los Angeles Times and host of The Envelope’s Friday newsletter, who’s back after a brief summer hiatus, ready to serenade you through fall and beyond.
Telluride Film Festival a muted affair
Times writer Josh Rottenberg was my roommate at last week’s Telluride Film Festival. Is that why he’s in a bad mood? I hope not. I bought some good craft beer for the fridge, washed my dishes, and remained generally in good spirits, save for that moment when we saw a late-night screening of the never-ending ” Bardo, false chronicle of a handful of truths” by Alejandro G. Iñárritu and, on returning to our apartment, I began to hallucinate that Josh was a Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes and I had to kill him for right the injustice.
But other than that, we had fun, didn’t we, Josh?
Either way, you can read Josh’s recap of this year’s festival or just dive into this quote from “Armageddon Time” filmmaker James Gray (“The movie business is f—”) and move on to our next topic.
Iñárritu responds to his critics of “Bardo”
Josh also sat down with Iñárritu to tell him about “Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths”. I could shorten the title of the film to simply “Bardo” as a second reference, but I think it is necessary to always include it in full because it captures the spirit of this pretentious and monotonous epic, which is about a documentary filmmaker caught between his Mexican roots and the fame he found in the United States, feeling broken and out of place.
Critics weren’t kind to the three-hour film. Justin Chang of The Times noted that “the cinematic dreamscape feels suitably dreamlike (a word that appears in the film itself), if not more than a little onanistic”, adding that “it’s very far from being a masterpiece, but no one would deny that it is Iñárritu’s mastur-piece.
Iñárritu told Josh that he doesn’t read reviews, but he definitely picks up on the negative vibes going around. And he didn’t.
“This [film] is not self-referential,” Iñárritu said. “It’s not narcissistic. It’s not me. But I want someone to explain to me why I am not allowed to talk about something that is very important to me and my family. If I were perhaps Danish or Swedish, I would be a philosopher. But because I did it in a visually powerful way, I’m pretentious because I’m Mexican. If you’re a Mexican and you make a movie like that, you’re a pretentious guy.
” I do not know if [the critics] have read Jorge Luis Borges or [Julio] Cortázar or Juan Rulfo, but they should read where these things come from and our imaginary tradition of combined time and space in Latin American literature. This is for me the basis of the film. Why am I not allowed to work in this tradition as I like to do?
Tempted as I am to answer, perhaps, for the moment, I should consider the words (correctly?) attributed to Borges: “Don’t speak unless you can improve the silence.”
Plus the coffee gets cold…
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“Bones and All” sexy and strange by Timothée Chalamet
I’ve been busy at Telluride too, and I’ll be sharing some of those stories in next week’s newsletter. I’ll now note a late-night screening of Luca Guadagnino’s “Bones and All,” a tender love story starring Timothée Chalamet and Taylor Russell as young cannibals trying to negotiate their natures and doing their best to find their ethical source. next meal.
“It doesn’t look like a Telluride movie,” mused a former festival patron, wondering whether to attend the 10 p.m. screening I caught. And on the face of it, it isn’t, which in some ways made “Bones and All” the perfect Telluride movie, a love story wittily suited to Terrence Malick’s “Badlands” and possessing a acute understanding of what people on the margins of society have to do to survive.
It’s also a film that opens with its protagonist, shy teenager Maren (Russell, who was a major find three years ago in the unsung gem “Waves”), going to a sleepover and, in the middle of a funky liaison on nail colors, nibbling and devouring a classmate’s finger all the way.
So, yes, “Bones and All” will be a challenge for Oscar voters who prefer their cannibals to eat their victims’ livers with fava beans and a good Chianti off-screen. But Guadagnino delivered a film that is, in many ways, every bit as lavish as his 2017 classic “Call Me by Your Name,” without all the beautiful Italian countryside and James Ivory’s tricky script. (David Kajganich adapted “Bones and All” from the Camille DeAngelis novel.)
Foodies for good movies, however, will devour it.
Oh, and the Emmys are Monday!
TV’s biggest night arrives on Monday. No…not the opening of “Monday Night Football”. It’s the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards! A chance to see your favorite stars, provided you have cable and can tune into NBC or have access to a streaming service that offers NBC or subscribe to Peacock and want to use the service to watch something else than “The Office” and “Law & Command: SVU.”
Due to the splintered television landscape, recent Emmy Awards ceremonies have been dominated by the handful of shows that voters have focused on and felt compelled to watch. Last year it was “Ted Lasso”, “The Crown” and “Mare of Easttown” with a hint of “Hacks” (hooray for Jean Smart!) and “The Queen’s Gambit”. (Is Scott Frank continuing with that acceptance speech?) More Michaela Coel! And… “Hamilton” ??? Is it all coming back to you now? Nope? Keep reading and I’ll drop some more breadcrumbs.
That’s because this year’s Emmys might look a bit like last year’s Emmys (how many awards will “Ted Lasso” win?) or the 2020 Emmys (all hail “Succession”!) or the Emmys 2019 (Bill Hader!). Or maybe voters will chart a bold new course and reward different faces and…and…and What am I talking about? It’s the Emmys. I bet you could predict them as accurately as possible. You want to know? Read my predictions for this year’s ceremony.