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Telluride Film Festival Guest Director is Brazilian Singer Caetano Veloso

by Anne Thompson
June 28, 2011 10:46 AM
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Thompson on Hollywood

The guest director for the 38th Telluride Film Festival is Brazilian musician Caetano Veloso. He'll curate a special program for the four-day Labor Day weekend festival. I've seen Veloso in concert; I can't wait to see what he comes up with. Attendees at the Colorado Rocky Mountain fest won't find out the program until they arrive on opening day September 2.

Congrats to fest directors Tom Luddy, Gary Meyer and Julie Huntsinger for thinking outside the box. Former guest director Peter Sellars suggested Veloso, who is a major film fan. Past Guest Directors include Michael Ondaatje, Alexander Payne, Salman Rushdie, Peter Bogdanovich, B. Ruby Rich, Phillip Lopate, Errol Morris, Bertrand Tavernier, John Boorman, John Simon, Buck Henry, Laurie Anderson and Stephen Sondheim.

The Guest Director program is sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Caetano Veloso began his professional music career in 1965 in Sao Paulo and has made more than 30 studio albums to date. Absorbing ideas from sources as diverse as The Beatles, concrete poetry, the French Dadaists and the Brazilian modernist poets of the 1920s, Veloso—together with Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa, his sister Maria Bethania, and a number of other poets and intellectuals—founded a movement called Tropicalismo. He experimented with new sounds and words, adding electric guitars to his bands, and utilizing the imagery of modern poetry. Tropicalismo set the tone for Veloso’s career, which continues to incorporate elements of rock, reggae, fado, tango, samba canao, baiao and rap. Veloso’s music is sometimes traditional, sometimes contemporary, often hybrid.

With over 100 film and television credits, Veloso is no stranger to the big and small screen. Veloso followed his 1999 Grammy Award-winning release Livro with a soundtrack for the Carlos Diegues film Orfeu. In spring 2001,Veloso’s Omaggio a Federico e Giulietta—a live recording made in 1997 in Rimini in honor of two masters of Italian cinema, Federico Fellini and Giulietta Masina—was released. In 2002, Veloso received worldwide recognition for his performance of “Cucurrucucú Paloma” (“Cucurrucucu Dove”) in Pedro Almodóvar’s Academy Award-winning film, Talk to Her.

Caetano Veloso’s memoir, Tropical Truth: A Story of Music and Revolution in Brazil, was published by Knopf in 2002, alongside the release of a new 2-CD set, Live in Bahia. Recent albums include Onqotô (2005), Cê (2006), Caetano Veloso e Roberto Carlos - e a música de Tom Jobim (2008) and Zii e Zie (2011). Veloso’s recordings have been released through Nonesuch in America since 1987.

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More: Festivals, Telluride

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