August 22, 2008
ASPEN ” Aspen Film has announced the partial program for next month’s Filmfest. The 30th annual festival, with American features, documentaries, international movies and special events, is set for Sept. 24-28, with events in Aspen and Carbondale.
The opening night film is “Flash of Genius,” the first feature by director Marc Abraham. Based on a true story, the film stars Greg Kinnear as an inventor trying to win back the rights to his invention, for the intermittent windshield wiper, from a car manufacturer.
Aspenite Lita Heller will be honored with a new Aspen Film award for community service to the arts. The award ceremony will be held in conjunction with a screening of the documentary “The Brothers Warner,” a look at the four siblings who founded the Warner Bros. studio. Director Cass Warner, granddaughter of movie mogul Harry Warner, is scheduled to attend.
Commemorating the 45th anniversary of “Peter Pan,” Filmfest will show the classic in its family-oriented segment. The screening will be an exclusive Colorado engagement, and will feature a new print.
Also in the features category is “Ballast,” a comic-drama about a broken family in the Mississippi Delta that earned Lance Hammer the best director award at Sundance. Foreign titles include “Teddy Bear,” by Czech director Jan Hrebejk; “Lemon Tree, an Israeli film that earned the Audience Award at the Berlin Film Festival; another Israeli film, “Waltz with Bashir,” a documentary of soldiers recalling the 1982 war in Lebanon; and the French drama “I’ve Loved You So Long,” starring Kristin Scott Thomas as a woman reunited with her family.
Documentaries include “Crimes Against Nature,” based on Robert Kennedy Jr.’s book about the Bush administration’s record on the environment; “Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” about the women’s movement in Liberia; and “Stranded,” with survivors of a 1972 plane crash in the Andes recalling their experience.
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Filmfest tickets go on sale Sept. 15. For further information, go to aspenfilm.org.
ASPEN ” The Wheeler Film Series returns with eight films in late August and through September.
“Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson,” is set for Sunday through Tuesday, Aug. 24-26. The documentary of the late Woody Creek journalist, by Academy Award-winning director Alex Gibney, features appearances by local residents including Pitkin County Sheriff Bob Braudis and George Stranahan. “Mongol,” a Mongolian-language historical epic of the early life of conqueror Genghis Khan, is set for Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 27-28.
The September calendar opens Sept. 2-4 with “The Wackness,” a comedy about a lonely teenager selling marijuana on the streets of 1974 New York City. Winner of the Audience Award at the Sundance Festival, it features Ben Kingsley, Famke Janssen and rapper Method Man. “Man on Wire,” James Marsh’s documentary of French tightrope walker Philippe Petit’s 1974 walk between New York’s World Trade Center towers, shows Sept. 5-8.
“Brideshead Revisited,” an English film based on Evelyn Waugh’s 1945 romantic British novel, will be screened Sept. 9-11. French director Catherine Breillat’s sensual drama “The Last Mistress” is scheduled for Sept. 15-16. “Encounters at the End of the World,” director Werner Herzog’s visual documentary of the icy Antarctic landscape, shows Sept. 17-18.
The schedule concludes Sept. 21-22 with “Tell No One,” a French adaptation of American writer Harlan Coben’s 2001 thriller about a doctor revisited by memories of his murdered wife. The film earned four French Cesar Awards, including for best actor (François Cluzet) and best director (Guillaume Canet).
All films in the Wheeler series begin at 7:30 p.m. Films scheduled for Saturday and Sunday will have an additional 4:30 p.m. matinee screening. For further information, go to wheeleroperahouse.com.