Telluride Film Festival 2021 – Part I

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Posted by Larry Gleeson

Spending my birthday at the 48th Telluride Film Festival proved a remarkably pleasant experience. Receiving a warm hug from a lovely young woman who had dressed herself on Halloween as Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, I engaged Marcel the Shell with Shoes On lead, director, writer/creator Jenny Slate in a polite and deeply poignant conversation on the Telluride Film Festival and her latest work with long-time collaborator Dean Fleischer-Camp.

Marcel the Shell With Shoes On (2021), is a feature-length mockumentary on the scruffy mollusk and  life as it is known. Sharp writing and a creative narrative, and spot-on stop-motion animation made Marcel the Shell With Shoes On ) an audience favorite. According to news reports negotiations for the film’s distribution and exhibition are ongoing. Slate and Fleischer-Camp are adamant Marcel gets its due. I couldn’t agree more. Highly recommended!

Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast is an impeccable work based on Branagh’s own upbringing in Belfast in the late 1960’s. The soundtrack features a plethora of Van Morrison’s greatest hits adding joy and optimism to the challenging circumstances a young couple is facing with their young children.. Beautiful actors and a compelling storyline deliver what appears to be an early favorite for the year’s best film.

Sean Baker ( Tangerine, and The Florida Project) and A24’s Red Rocket, featuring Simon Rex, a standout media personality, Brenda Deiss, and Bree Elrod, tells the tail of a Mikey Saber, a washed-up porn star who returns to his small Texas hometown and attempts to make a fresh start. Rex turns in a tour de force performance as Mikey Saber. Baker’s strongest work to date. Not for the faint of heart. Earthy.

Telluride has become known as a launch for numerous award season campaign debuts. And this year was no exception. Stay tuned for Part II.

(***Above media by Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee featuring the 2021 Telluride Film Festival Opening Night Art Sculpture)