Monday, March 31, 2008

An old Telluride controversy remembered

After actor Richard Widmark died last week, critic Jim Emerson assembled an interesting blog item about a 1983 argument between the Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky and Widmark, both of whom received tributes at that year's Telluride Film Festival. Widmark basically derided Tarkovsky -- who traveled to the festival with his unashamedly arty "Nostalghia." Essentially, Tarkovsky and Widmark engaged in an art vs. entertainment argument with Widmark proving a vocal and blunt spokesman for the entertainment side of the equation. Emerson assembled snippets of the some of the stories from an obscure, but telling moment when a controversy could whip through the tiny town of Telluride, creating a rarified kind of buzz. This was back in the days when the festival was smaller and cheaper, and so was the town. If you're a Telluride fan, Emerson's post is well worth a look. Someone told me about Emerson's piece after seeing a mention of it on blog Karina Longworth writes. It seems I'm among the quoted attendees at that year's festival.

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