Founded in 1974 by Bill and Stella Pence, Tom Luddy, and James Card in the heart of the San Juan Mountains, 9,000 feet above sea level, the Telluride Film Festival recently celebrated its 40th anniversary of world premiere screenings and revitalized classics. Expanded to five days, from a typical four, and including the debut of the brand new Werner Herzog Theater, a gorgeous 650-seat state-of-the-art theater retro-fitted inside the town’s otherwise year-round hockey arena, not to mention the outrageous number of new and returning special guests in attendance, the festival went far beyond the extra mile to make this year’s edition one of the richest to date. Whether showcasing a new release or a forgotten cult classic, the Telluride Film Festival is the home away from home for cinephiles the world over.
Upon the release of the festival schedule, notoriously kept secret until the day before the festival’s premiere, it was clear that this year’s edition would be among its most diverse. Sneak previews of major new releases such as Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, Alfonso Cuáron’s Gravity, and Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave appeared alongside repertory titles such as Mike Hodges’s The Terminal Man (in a pristine 35mm director’s cut presented by Buck Henry) and Chris Marker and Pierre Lhomme’s Le Joli Mai and curious but memorable events such as author Don DeLillo reading selections from his novel Underworld over the haunting footage of Abraham Zapruder’s infamous recording of John F. Kennedy’s assassination.