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Film Comment Telluride Highlights Include 'No'

Festivals: Telluride Film Comment

Whether reached by ground or by air, the expedition to the small mountain town of Telluride, Colorado isinevitably long, turbulent, and disorienting. But patrons wear their cumulative tales of prop planes and shuttle busses like merit badges, completing the pilgrimage year after year to the annual film festival on Labor Day weekend. The town’s isolation keeps the festival relatively small, and its low-key Western vibe fosters an atmosphere of fleece-clad egalitarianism over black-tie elitism. Slightly woozy at nearly 9000-feet, industry personalities and celebrities alike all but blend in with the plebeians so that the focus becomes—as it should be—on the films themselves. Word of mouth is the most influential force at the festival, and few films were trailed by such uniform enthusiasm as Pablo Larraín’s No. The third installment in the director’s Pinochet-era trilogy after Tony Manero and Post Mortem, No unfolds in the weeks leading up to Chile’s 1988 referendum—the vote that would determine whether or not Augusto Pinochet’s military dictatorship would maintain its rule for another term. Taking the political advertising campaign as its point of entry into tumultuous historical events, No stars a tactfully reserved Gael Garcia Bernal as Rene, an up-and-coming ad-man who hesitantly agrees to head up the leftist cause.

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