Movies

Eleina Elachkar (CMPR)

I can’t think of another movie that has put me into such anxiety as Free Solo. Shots straight down to the valley floor from the top of El Capitan are terrifying, and the images of rock climber Alex Honnold holding onto a vertical rock face with just the tips of his fingers and toes erases the very idea of rational thought.

Courtesy of Unitec Creative Industries

Indigenous filmmaking began to take shape in the early 1980s, when portable video became available. Before that, relatively few people had access to the tools of filmmaking. It could be a question of money, location, or the complications of handling cumbersome equipment.  Working with actual film at the time meant carrying many reels, which had to be sent off for processing after they’d been exposed, and separate tape recorders, and so on. None of this paraphernalia was available to people in remote places with no money, no training, no cultural apparatus or context for making films.

About 20 years ago, to mark her 60th birthday, Jane Fonda asked for her daughter's help in creating a very short video about her life. Her daughter suggested, "Why don't you just get a chameleon to crawl across the screen?"

"Ouch," Fonda says, recalling the conversation. "She knew what buttons to push and she wasn't wrong."

Fonda has lived many lives. From starlet, to fitness guru, to Vietnam protester — now 80, she's a comedic actress, securing roles at an age when many in Hollywood would have left the screen.

Magnolia Pictures

Gilda Radner was one of the stars of the original cast of Saturday Night Live. She was lively, to say the least – frenetic or hyperactive probably hits the mark better. Her personal cast of characters still sticks in the minds of people who watched that show. Roseanne Rosannadanna who exulted in the kinds of lurid details about human bodies that are still not often mentioned on TV; Emily Litella who misheard crucial details in the news, so she’d bluster about what’s wrong with violins on television; Lisa Loopner who grappled with her boyfriend Todd (Bill Murray) on the living room couch.

Henri Langlois never made a single film — but he's considered one of the most important figures in the history of filmmaking. Possessed by what French philosopher Jacques Derrida called "archive fever," Langlois began obsessively collecting films in the 1930s — and by the outset of World War II, he had one of the largest film collections in the world. The archive's impact on the history of French cinema is legendary — as is the legacy of its controversial keeper.

Pamela Gentile / Courtesy of the Telluride Film Festival

When I told a friend about the films at the Telluride Film Festival which I thought were important, he said that in what he’d read, none of those films had been mentioned. So, he asked why.

Bradley Cooper has had a story to tell for a long time — about fame, addiction, his relationship with his dad.

The stars aligned when he was given the chance to direct his first film: a new take on A Star Is Born.

In Cooper's movie, the main architecture of the narrative is still there. A famous musician falls for a regular girl with a magical voice and makes her a star, while his own troubles come to the surface. The most famous version is the 1976 movie with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson.

For some of the 40 million or so Americans who currently use online dating apps like Tinder, Bumble and Hinge, the findings of the new HBO documentary Swiped might be intuitively obvious.

But for others, there may still be revelations aplenty in the film, which is subtitled Hooking Up in the Digital Age. It's about how these apps may change how we think about relationships — and it doesn't paint a positive picture.

In a male-dominated industry, Geneva Robertson-Dworet is as rare as the female superhero characters she helps craft. The breakout action-genre screenwriter will be adding a historic project to her resume with Captain Marvel, Marvel's first female-led movie, due out next year.

Robertson-Dworet, who penned the Tomb Raider blockbuster reboot, has also been tapped to work on Sherlock Holmes 3, Gotham City Sirens and the new Dungeons & Dragons adaptation.

Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

As usual, the richness of film on display at this 45th Telluride Film Festival is almost too much to hold in mind all at once. For days afterward, the movies fight for space in the mind. A Columbian picture called Birds of Passage looks at an extended family of indigenous people in north-east Columbia who get involved in the marijuana trade and wind up destroying themselves.

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