HANOVER, NH—For the 31st consecutive year, the Hop’s film season opens with six films straight from the famed Telluride Film Festival—this year including stories about an alien invasion, Chilean poet and leftist politician Pablo Neruda, a French intellectual whose life unravels, a beloved Nova Scotian folk artist and an agonizing father in post-Ceaușescu Romania, as well as a sunny, classic MGM-style-musical set in modern-day LA. “Telluride at Dartmouth” runs Friday, September 16, through Thursday, September 22. All shows are in Spaulding Auditorium, and each film will be shown at 4 and 7 pm.
The Telluride Film Festival, occurring each Labor Day weekend in Colorado, is considered one of the premier arts events in the country. Each year, hundreds of cinema lovers flock to a tiny mountain town to immerse themselves in a three-day celebration of film. Telluride consistently presents a remarkable and diverse slate: the rare and unknown, restored gems, retrospectives and the latest (and greatest) from the upcoming season. The New York Times calls Telluride “the smallest, most original, and most stimulating of the major festivals.”
Telluride at Dartmouth was born 31 years ago through a long-standing relationship between the Festival and College. Each year, six films come directly from Colorado for special advance screenings at the Hopkins Center. This is a unique opportunity for the Dartmouth community to get a sneak peek at the latest international films—often months before they’re released. The debut of Arrival and La La Land signals a departure from the usual Telluride genre film as science fiction and musicals are rarely seen at the Colorado fest.
Passes and ticket sales begin Wednesday, Sept. 7, at 10 am online, by phone 603.646.2422 or in person at the Hopkins Center Box. Single tickets are $15 each ($6 for Dartmouth students) and a pass to view all six films is $75 ($30 for Dartmouth students). Doors open 30 minutes before show time for pass holders. Individual ticketholders will be seated approximately 20 minutes before show time.
The mini-fest begins Friday, September 16, with Arrival, starring Amy Adams as a linguist, Jeremy Renner as a physicist and Forrest Whitaker as a soldier–all of whom are sent to a secret site where one of 12 alien crafts has landed so Adams can communicate with The Others. The wordless anxiety of trying to cope with the unknown—or perhaps unknowable—turns out to be far more compelling and credible than Hollywood’s usual sci-fi, whose aliens often aren’t alien enough.
On Saturday, September 17, La La Land captures the look and feel of the all-singing, all-dancing MGM musical and applies it to modern-day Los Angeles, in which an army of exuberant morning commuters leap out of their cars to sing and dance a pedal-to-the-metal celebration of hopefulness and perpetual sunny skies. Ryan Gosling stars as the moody Sebastian, a devotee of classical jazz, opposite Emma Stone as ambitious Mia, a waitress-actress.
On Sunday, September 18, Neruda, by Chilean director Pablo Larraín (No), tells the story of Chile’s acclaimed poet and leftist Senator Pablo Neruda (Luis Gnecco), who went into hiding after begin charged with treason in 1948. Gael García Bernal plays an operative who persistently pursues the poet in this lyrical political essay by a young master (Larraín is only 39)!
On Tuesday, September 20, Things to Come centers on a brilliant performance by Isabelle Huppert as a woman whose meticulously ordered life–a compatible husband, healthy grown children and a beloved teaching career–suddenly comes undone. Her journey is captured perfectly by the calm, dispassionate tone and subtle observation of writer-director Mia Hansen-Løve (Goodbye First Love), who has clearly entered the ranks of France’s finest filmmakers.
On Wednesday, September 21, Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine, Happy-Go-Lucky) stars in Maudie, a bio-pic about Maud Lewis, one of Canada’s most beloved folk artists. Against the bleak landscape of Nova Scotia, we see Lewis overcome a childhood of poverty and chronic illness and a difficult marriage to a gruff, inarticulate fish-peddler (Ethan Hawke) and teach herself the musical and expressive skills that won her fame.
The mini-fest closes Thursday, September 22, with the Romanian film Graduation, about a decent, conscientious doctor trying to help his daughter finish high school so she can study overseas and enjoy opportunities denied him and his wife. Using fastidious long takes, Palme d’Or-winning writer-director Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days) creates a compelling, disciplined and moving investigation of Romania’s conflicted, corrupted soul in the post-Ceaușescu years.