Film Scouts Diaries

1996 Telluride Film Festival Diaries
Isolation is not a Bad Thing

by Leslie Rigoulot

September 2, 1996

Federal Express doesn't pick up on weekends and holidays out here in Telluride or even in the crossroads town of Ridgway. Variety and Hollywood Reporter are not handing out free copies and subscription cards here in Telluride. There is a bulletin board of messages for people needing rides out of the area though and the shuttles are booked for the exodus down north. You see, Telluride is at a higher elevation than the country to the north and heading north is the only way to leave. There are no roads south unless you are the Von Trapp family and willing to hike it over the mountains. So when you arrive in Telluride you are going up south and when you leave you are headed down north. And the 38 miles from Telluride to is the most beautiful I've ever seen. The evergreens mixed with aspens give the mottled green of the mountain side it's basic look, but at every turn there are new rock formations that are a geologist's dream. Some of the aspens are starting to turn and I'm determined to come back in a month when they will light up the mountains with gold. Maybe it is the isolation, the lack of Hollywood, the green and the mountains, but Telluride is the calmest of festivals. When 250 people were turned away from the first showing of "Disney's Unseen Treasures" for lack of theater seats there was no rancor. Instead the organizers use the last day of the festival to rerun those films that were most highly in demand. That is what the To Be Announced film slots are used for. It is just one example of the gentle nature of this marvelous festival.

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