September 5, 2008
Wine enthusiasts hoping for an in-depth, historical look at the 1976 blind tasting known as the “Judgment of Paris” will be driven to drink by “Bottle Shock.” Director/co-writer Randall Miller starts with the story of the tasting and turns it into a romance, a fairy tale, a family drama, a period piece about northern California in the mid-’70s ” anything but a detailed analysis of the notorious event that put California wines on the map. That said, the film has its modest charms, as long as you’re not expecting the equivalent of a great Bordeaux.
Taken as a David-versus-Goliath tale, “Bottle Shock” is an amiable look at how some scrappy hippies, a British wine snob, and some true believers overcame their internal squabbles, and put California chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon on the table with France’s best. The film, starring Alan Rickman as wine merchant Steve Spurrier and Bill Pullman as an embattled Napa winemaker, shows Tuesday through Thursday, Sept. 9-11, at the Wheeler Opera House.
Isa Catto starts with the natural world ” shapes, patterns and especially colors that are likely to be found on a walk near her Woody Creek home. She then adds a healthy measure of imagination, allowing the organic elements to converse with one another so that the final images are abstract, dynamic and familiar. Catto, who has worked often in mixed-media collages, has a show of all watercolors at the Harvey/Meadows Gallery at Aspen Highlands Village. The exhibit, which also features ceramic works by Mary Barringer and former Anderson Ranch Arts Center resident Sam Clarkson, opens with a reception and a talk by the artists on Wednesday, Sept. 10. The show runs through Oct. 1.
Yah, mon, ’tis dat time at Belly Up for reggae music. The latest run ” mostly old-school Jamaican acts ” starts smoking on Saturday, Sept. 13 with Eek-a-Mouse, the inventor of the distinctive patois singing style known as “singjaying.” Burning Spear, perhaps the most devout adherent to the teachings of rastafarian prophet Marcus Garvey, and as bright a musical light as ever at age 60, follows on Sept. 17. The Melodians, who date back to Jamaica’s rock-steady era of the early ’60s, return on Sept. 26. The group still features original members Tony Brevett and Trevor McNaughton; a third longtime member, Brent Dowe, died in 2006 after a rehearsal. The Itals, a trio that now includes Susan Porter, the daughter of original member Keith Porter, is set for Sept. 29. For reggae with an American accent, the Boulder-based, Jewish singer Jus Goodie opens for the Itals. And Massachusetts band John Brown’s Body returns with a gig on Oct. 11, with upstate New York’s Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad opening.