Arts take center stage at Filmfest |

Arts take center stage at Filmfest

The arts get a long and varied look during today’s opening of Aspen Filmfest.Filmfest 2005 opens at noon with “The Overture,” based on the life of celebrated and politically influential Thai musician Luang Pradit Phairao. “Ballets Russes” will be screened at 5:30 p.m., followed at 8:45 p.m. by “Capote,” starring Philip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote during the years the writer was researching his true-crime story, “In Cold Blood.”The emphasis on the arts continues with Thursday’s early screening, “Shakespeare Behind Bars.” The film, to be shown at noon, is a documentary of a prison theater program that raises issues of forgiveness and redemption. Also tomorrow are “Machuca,” an absorbing coming-of-age tale, set against the backdrop of Chilean politics in the mid-’70s, that examines themes of social class and divisions. The domestic drama “The Squid and the Whale,” which earned Noah Baumbach both writing and directing awards at the Sundance Festival, closes Thursday’s program.Other Filmfest highlights include: “Transamerica” (7:30 p.m. Saturday), starring former Aspenite and recent Emmy winner Felicity Huffman as a preoperative transsexual; “What Remains of Us” (1 p.m. Sunday), a documentary of Tibet’s oppression by China; “Ushpizin” (3:45 p.m. Sunday), a spiritual comedy set in Jerusalem’s Orthodox Jewish community; and “Bee Season” (6 p.m. Sunday), starring Richard Gere and Juliette Binoche as a couple encountering personal and marital instability. Films will also be presented at Carbondale’s Crystal Theatre (Thursday through Sunday), and Glenwood Springs’ Springs Theatre (Friday through Sunday).Off-screen presentations are “An Evening with Rob Reiner” (6 p.m. Friday), featuring an on-stage interview of the director and actor by Kathy Bates and the presentation of the Independent by Nature award; and “Bob Rafelson: Confessions of a Filmmaker,” with the Aspen director talking about his cinema career.See for a complete Filmfest schedule.Stewart Oksenhorn’s e-mail address is

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