The first day of Telluride screenings kicked off Friday with IFC's North American debut of Brit TV's Red Riding trilogy, produced by Andrew Eaton and directed by Juian Jarrold, James Marsh and Anand Tucker. I screened Red Riding: 1974, the first installment of Tony Grisoni's adaptation of four novels by David Peace. Cocky young journalist/womanizer (Andrew Garfield) faces his own Chinatown in Yorkshire as he investigates a possible serial killer/rapist. Garfield (Boy A) is strong as a guy with a good heart who can't catch a break. The always impressive Rebecca Hall plays the femme fatale Faye Dunaway role and Sean Bean is the reporter's nemesis, a real estate thug. This noirish tale never lets up as it digs darker and deeper and nastier than you'd ever expect. I look forward to parts 2 and 3, as the Yorkshire story continues into 1980 and 1983. (Here's Todd McCarthy's rave review.) Red Riding is not playing Toronto.
Saturday's 3:45 PM Sneak Preview, as we had heard, is Jason Reitman's Up in the Air, starring Vera Farmiga and George Clooney (who will be in Toronto). Saturday night is Oren Pell's low-tech, scary $11,000 home video movie Paranormal Activity.
Saturday I'll report on Last Station, which screened well Friday night (IFC looks interested) in front of some descendants of Leo Tolstoy, and I will interview An Education's Lone Scherfig and Carey Mulligan on the flip cam. Last Station could have used a leg up from Toronto (the festival passed), as key buyers Miramax, Weinstein Co. and Fox Searchlight are not in Telluride this year.