Monday, September 01, 2008

The luck of the American

Here I am again, in a spectacular place--and on a tight budget too. Telluride, Colorado is eight hours by car from Phoenix. I got a ride up with a man whose Honda gets close to 50 miles per gallon. We're visiting friends who have a house up here and it's near the end of the weekend in this legendary mountain town.

The entire town of Telluride is designated a national historic district. It is expensive. The town is picture perfect, with quaint victorian houses and a beautiful business district. Telluride is nestled in a box canyon with towering mountains on three sides.

The setting can easily suck you in. When you're here, it's easy to forget the rest of the world. Aspens, pines, and ski runs cover the sides of the mountains.

We're headed back to the sonoran metropolis (Phoenix) shortly.

The Telluride Film Festival is going on this weekend. I saw three films:

  1. "With a Little Help From Myself" A French film set in the ghettos of that nation. The story follows Sonia, a black woman, through the daily trials and tribulations of her life. Her son is arrested, her husband dies, she is sexually assaulted, (and more). Through it all she soldiers on. This small budget film was brilliantly done. The actors shined--especially Felicite Wouassi. It felt like a punch in the gut to me--it was very depressing to see the struggles of life illustrated in the story. As one thing is piled on Sonia after another, you admire her for her ability to press on. At the end of the day, what other choice do we have? The Felictite, lead actress, and the director were there in person.
  2. "You Must Remember This" A documentary by Richard Schickel on Warner Brothers--the studio. Narrated by Clint Eastwood, this documentary goes from 1950 to the present and discusses how the studio and its films have changed in five plus decades.
  3. "Prodigal Sons" By far my favorite film. Directed by Kimberly Reed who took a hard look at herself, her life, and her family. Reed is a transgendered woman. Formerly Paul, Kim became a woman while in her early twenties. He was the quarterback of the Helena, Montana football team, but never felt like a man. The story is about her journey as well as that of her family. Her adopted brother, who has serious mental health issues, finds out as an adult that he is the biological grandson of Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles. The story is gripping, and the film very well done. Kim Reed's entire family was in the theatre except for her adopted brother--who is prominently featured in the film. This was a hard hitting slice of life.

Last, but not least, I was introduced to Kelvyn Davila, a talented Ecuadorian artist . You can see some of his work at

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