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Friday, September 2

Telluride by the Sea Titles Announced!

The secret is out: six diverse, original films with international casts of both seasoned actors and fresh new faces, directed by some of the world’s most acclaimed filmmakers, are coming to The Music Hall’s Telluride by the Sea festival in Portsmouth, New Hampshire—transforming the charming Seacoast town into a mecca for cinephiles for three exciting days, Friday September 23-Sunday September 25, 2011.

Now in its 13th year, Telluride by the Sea features cutting edge movies chosen in no small part by Bill and Stella Pence, Co-Founders and Directors Emeritus of the Colorado Telluride festival, who culled from about 30 titles that are to debut this year. Telluride by the Sea veterans know that their selections are spot-on: when Bill Pence introduced the debut of The King’s Speech last year, he predicted it would be the big Oscar winner of 2011 – and it was.

Titles this year range in theme, tone, and structure—some highly accessible, some more exotic. “The festival brings movies to Portsmouth that otherwise might not be seen in the area,” says Hollywood East Connection.

Commenting on the lineup, The Music Hall’s Programming Coordinator Chris Curtis says: “This year, I’ll be thrilled to see Glenn Close and Viggo Mortenson and Michael Fassbender and Keira Knightly and Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly, not to mention the latest to come from David Cronenberg’s amazing mind.  But the thing about Telluride by the Sea which amazes me, year after year, is that I can give myself over to a film about which I am familiar with next to nothing, such as Kaurismaki’s Le Havre, Holland’s In Darkness or the Dardenne brothers’ The Kid With a Bike and, whether or not it ends up ranking among my favorites of the year, I can always trust that it will be cinematic food worth tasting.”

And, if you enjoy lively conversation with fellow film buffs, the weekend celebration of cinema in Portsmouth is not to missed, says The Music Hall’s Executive Director Patricia Lynch.  “Telluride by the Sea is one of Portsmouth’s most lively see-and be-seen events,” she says, “with film lovers of all ages, tastes, and backgrounds making connections with each other and talking about their favorite movies. A fun, electrifying, festival atmosphere takes over the town and everyone gets a privileged look at what are sure to become some of the most talked-about films of the coming year.”

Your Weekend Itinerary:


6pm: Queues on Chestnut St. with live entertainment
7:30pm: Albert Knobbs
Post-film: Patron Passholder party in the Loft with food by Radici


8:55-11am: Passholder Cruise with Isles of Shoals Steamship Company (Free to Passholders, as available, first come/ first board. For more info, call 431-5500)
10:30am: TFF Past Gem: Fitzcarraldo (At the Loft, for Passholders only, limited seating)
1:30pm: Le Havre
3:45pm: TFF Past Gem: Fitzcarraldo (At the Loft, for Passholders only, limited seating)
4-5pm: Cinemange at Radici, 142 Congress St., with special cine-menu (Reservations suggested, call 373-6464)
6:45pm: A Dangerous Method
9pm: We Need to Talk About Kevin


10:15am: TFF Past Gem: Burden of Dreams (At the Loft, for Passholders only, limited seating)
12-1pm: Patron Passholder Brunch at The District
1:30pm: In Darkness
4:30pm: TFF Past Gem: Burden of Dreams (At the Loft, for Passholders only, limited seating)
6:30pm: The Kid With a Bike
Post-film: Wrap Party at The Portsmouth Brewery (Passholders only).

About the films

Albert Nobbs (Ireland, 2011, 108m) Courtesy Roadside
In 1890s Dublin, for a woman to be independent and single, she must live as a man. Five-time Oscar nominee Glenn Close is Albert, a shy, fastidious hotel butler with a deep secret. Recreating her award-winning stage role (which she co-wrote), Close gives a triumphant, transformative performance as an emotionally scarred woman who has lived in disguise for so long her own identity has nearly vanished. It’s a portrait of female solidarity in a classist, sexist society of the 19th century.

Le Havre (Finland/France, subtitled, 2011, 103m) Courtesy Janus Films
Max (André Wilms), an aging failure as an artist, lives a marginal, yet serene life shining shoes, watched over by his protective wife (Kati Outinen), and tolerated by the merchants in his working-class neighborhood. But Max’s sanguine perspective is tested when his wife becomes gravely ill and he accidentally becomes responsible for a young, illegal African immigrant (Blondin Miguel). Aki Kaurismaki’s hopeful tale of redemption streaked with paradoxical bleakness, with Wilms and Outinen luminous and heartbreaking as the late-age romantic couple.

A Dangerous Method (UK, 2011, 98m) Courtesy Sony Classics
In 1904, Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley), the daughter of wealthy Russian Jews, is diagnosed with acute hysteria. The young Swiss doctor Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) begins treating her with psychoanalysis, the radical new‚ “talking” cure. His success connects him with the pioneering Dr. Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) until Jung’s growing passion for Sabina and his own poetic imagination clashes with his mentor. Director David Cronenberg (A History of Violence) transforms an intellectual power struggle into an almost hypnotic dance.

We Need to Talk About Kevin (UK/US, 2011, 112m) Courtesy Oscilloscope
In this adaptation of Lionel Shriver’s bestseller, Tilda Swinton (I Am Love) and John C. Reilly play an estranged couple whose 15-year-old son commits a sociopathic act of violence.  Swinton, in a tour de force performance, masterfully inhabits the lonely world of a guilt-riddled survivor, split between horror and responsibility. As the details of their son’s crimes are revealed, the intricacies of marital and parental relationships are examined with a narrative pace that is both foreboding and deliberate.

In Darkness (Poland, subtitled, 2011, 145m) Courtesy Sony Classics
In WWII Poland, collaborationist, anti-Semitic Ukrainians prove as enthusiastic about slaughtering Jews as the Germans ever were. Determined to evade deportation and certain death, a small band of Jews from disparate backgrounds find a nightmarish hiding place in sewers of the city of Lvov. They soon discover they must pay the mercurial Leopold Socha, a con man and anti-Semite‚ for concealment. In retelling this true story, master filmmaker Agnieszka Holland alternates scenes of almost unbearable suspense, with moments of startling sensuality and beauty.

The Kid with a Bike (Belgium, subtitled, 2011, 87m) Courtesy IFC
Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes, the latest film by Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne centers on Cyril, a restless 11-year-old boy (played with terrific intensity by newcomer Thomas Doret) placed in a children’s home after being abandoned by his father. Unwilling to accept this betrayal, Cyril runs away to his former home in search of both his dad and his abandoned bicycle. Instead, he meets Samantha (Cécile de France), a kind hairdresser who helps him on both fronts.

New this year – Telluride Film Festival Past Gems—Passholders Exclusive

New this year is an exclusive benefit for passholders only—showings in The Music Hall Loft of two past gems from the Telluride Film Festival, Werner Herzog’s classic Fitzcarraldo, and Burden of Dreams, a documentary by Les Blank about the making of Herzog’s epic. Known as one of the greatest figures of German cinema, Herzog has been called “the most important film director alive” by French filmmaker François Truffaut. Both Herzog and Blank are longtime friends of the Telluride Film Festival, so revisiting these works is a fitting tribute to the Colorado Festival as well as to each of these masters. (Loft seating limited to 85. Patron Passholders admitted first. Show up early – seating NOT guaranteed)

Fitzcarraldo (Germany, subtitled, 1982, 158m) Courtesy Werner Herzog Filmproduktion
German filmmaker and longtime friend of the Telluride Film Festival Werner Herzog has never done anything by halves. When Herzog tackled Fitzcarraldo, the story of an obsessed impresario (portrayed by Klaus Kinski) whose foremost desire in life is to bring both Enrico Caruso and an opera house to the deepest jungles of South America, the director boldly embarked on a similar Herculean journey, disdaining studios, process shots, and special effects throughout.

Burden of Dreams (US, subtitled, 1982, 95m) Courtesy Flower Films
Documentarian Les Blank trained his cameras on Herzog as the eccentric German filmmaker made his epic, Fitzcarraldo. Blank interviews members of the cast and crew, and captures the troubles of the seemingly cursed production, but his interviews with Herzog are the focal point of the film. “If I abandon this project,” Herzog explains at one point, “I would be a man without dreams, and I never want to live like that. I live my life or I end my life with this project.”

Your Telluride by the Sea Weekend Itinerary

Friday September 23 Once you’ve checked into your hotel and/or parked the car, start off at any of Portsmouth’s 200+ restaurants.  Then, it’s on to The Music Hall’s Historic Theater at 28 Chestnut Street. Patron Passholders, walk right in to the Founders Lobby Lounge for pre-film cocktails. Or hang out in the crowds queuing up on Chestnut Street, to be serenaded by violinist, Sam Goodall. The kick-off film of the festival, Albert Nobbs, begins at 7:30pm with introduction from Telluride Film Festival Co-Founder Bill Pence. The post-film Patron Passholders’ reception takes place around the corner at The Music Hall Loft with food provided by Radici.

Saturday September 24 Check out any number of great breakfast places. Your Patron or Weekend Pass gets you on board free for our Telluride Cruise with Isles of Shoals Steamship Company, which departs at 8:55am and returns at 11am (First come-first board; for more information, call 603-431-5500). Two showings of the special Passholders-only film,  Fitzcarraldo, take place at the Loft at 10:30am and 3:45pm. Seating at the Loft is limited to 85. Patron Passholders are admitted first. At 1:30 pm, Le Havre airs at The Historic Theater. There’s a delightful break at 4-5pm in between the afternoon and evening films—“Cinemange” at Radici —reservations are advised (call 603-373-6464). Get ready for two back-to-back films that night: A Dangerous Method at 6:45pm and We Need to Talk About Kevin at 9pm. Finish off the evening with a stroll through downtown for more nightlife.

Sunday September 25 The second Passholders-only film, Burden of Dreams, will be shown in the Loft at both 10:15am and 4:30pm. Seating at the Loft is limited to 85. Patron Passholders are admitted first. Patron Passholders enjoy a brunch at The District from 12-1pm. Two more films wrap up the weekend: In Darkness at 1:30 pm and The Kid With a Bike at 6:30pm. Don’t forget the Wrap Party for Patron and Weekend Passholders at the great brew pub, The Portsmouth Brewery, after the final screening.

About the Telluride Film Festival

The Telluride Film Festival has been, for the last 38 years, a celebration of the art of film: honoring the great masters of the cinema, discovering the rare and unknown, bringing new works by the world’s greatest directors and the latest in American independent film to a small mountain town in Colorado. The New York Times called Telluride “the smallest, most original, and most stimulating of the major festivals,” while Entertainment Tonight simply said it was “the world’s best festival.”

About Telluride by the Sea

The Music Hall and the Telluride Film Festival collaborate on an exclusive presentation of six new features, brought directly from their Colorado debuts. This unique and intimate Portsmouth event treats audience members from across the Northeast to an exclusive peek into the Telluride experience—packing one September weekend in Portsmouth with the latest international cinema, private parties, great music, delicious food, and inspired conversations with other cinephiles of all ages, tastes, and backgrounds. According to Patricia Lynch, executive director of The Music Hall, “Portsmouth is the perfect town for this perfect weekend. With its charming mix of history, salt air, and film lovers, Portsmouth buzzes when Telluride by the Sea arrives. The streets are filled with people stopping one another to talk about the films, the restaurants are jumping. It’s a moving party!”

Telluride by the Sea is made possible with the generous support of:

Weekend Sponsors


Day Sponsors


Single Film Sponsors

Isles of Shoals Steamship Company
Jackson Lewis, LLP
Jane James
Now or Never Media
Seatrade International Co., Inc.
Smuttynose Brewing Company Inc.
TMS Architects 

Event Sponsors

The District
The Portsmouth Brewery

Ticket information

Patron Pass $200
Primary seating for all films
Opening night post-show party in the Loft with food by Radici
VIP access to Founders Lobby all weekend - no lines
Telluride Cruise with Isles of Shoals Steamship Co. (first come, first board)
Sunday Brunch at The District
Wrap Party at The Portsmouth Brewery
Price of pass includes a $75 tax-deductable donation
Admission to Passholder-only extra films in the Loft (seating limited!)
One Music Hall Seat Saver

Weekend Pass $85
Preferred seating for all films
Telluride Cruise with Isles of Shoals Steamship Co. (first come, first board)
Wrap Party at The Portsmouth Brewery
Admission to Passholders-only extra films in the Loft (seating limited!)

Individual Film Tickets $12.50/$10.50 for members
A limited number of individual tickets for each film will be available in advance. (excluding Passholder-only Loft screenings).

Passes/tickets are on sale now through The Music Hall Box Office at the Historic Theater at 28 Chestnut Street, in downtown Portsmouth, by phone at 603.436.2400 or online.

About The Music Hall

The Music Hall is a performing arts powerhouse featuring curated entertainment from around the world in two theaters in its downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire campus - one, a landmark 1878 Victorian theater, the other the intimate Music Hall Loft around the corner from the Historic Theater. Acclaimed signature series bring top authors and artists to both stages, while HD broadcasts and independent film fill both screens. Two radio shows broadcast on NH Public Radio originate here. This dynamic arts center urges patrons to Explore + Learn via master classes, post film panel discussions, and matinees for children. An anchor cultural organization in this historic working seaport, The Music Hall is one of downtown Portsmouth’s biggest employers and largest contributors to the regional economy. The Music Hall is 501c3 nonprofit managed by a professional staff with the assistance of a volunteer board.  Though global in the scope of its artists and programs, The Music Hall operates independently with the support of 3,000 members, 300 business supporters and 40 community partners.  Welcoming more than 100,00o patrons (including 20,000 children) each year from the tri-state area and beyond, The Music Hall is the region’s center for the performing arts, literature and education…easy to get to, impossible to forget.

“the beating cultural heart of New Hampshire’s seacoast” – Boston Globe

Plan Your Trip

Convenient parking. Charming accommodations. Eclectic shopping. Diverse dining. All in Portsmouth – designated a “Distinctive Destination” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Plan your visit!

(603) 436-2400
24-hour Film Line:
(603) 436-9900
Business Office:
(603) 433-3100