Big program, big laughs slated for the big screen |

Big program, big laughs slated for the big screen

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ASPEN Death, divorce, homelessness, suicide, identity theft and war: Yes, the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival’s Film Program has announced its program for the upcoming festival.Actually, the news for fans of onscreen comedy is quite good. The program, previously known as the Film Discovery Showcase, is the biggest yet, comprising 31 feature-length films, including documentaries, narrative comedies, and foreign-language movies from Thailand, Romania, Greece, Finland, Japan and elsewhere. In addition, there are two works-in-progress; two classic films being shown with live musical accompaniment; and three programs of short films.The 2007 USCAF is set for Feb. 28 through March 4 at various Aspen locations. The 13th annual festival includes standup and sketch comedy, tributes and award presentations in addition to the Film Program.Among the highlights of the Film Program are the world premieres of “Death at a Funeral” and “Cook Off!”; the opening-night presentation, “Waitress”; and “The Rickles Project.”

“Death at a Funeral” is the latest film by Frank Oz, whose previous movies include “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” “Bowfinger” and “Little Shop of Horrors.” “Death at a Funeral” follows the comic episodes that occur as a dysfunctional British family mourns the passing of its patriarch. “Cook Off!” by Guy Shalem, is a mockumentary taking aim at a low-budget cooking contest with a big payoff.”Waitress” was directed by Adrienne Shelly, who died in November. The film stars Keri Russell as a young woman attempting to overcome her small-town surroundings. Shelly earned the Best Director Award at the 2000 USCAF for her film “I’ll Take You There.””The Rickles Project” is a documentary of comedian Don Rickles, directed by John Landis. Rickles, who will receive the USCAF Pinnacle Award in a separate event, will appear with Landis at a Q&A following the screening.”Heckler,” a documentary about fans who heckle comedians, and “The Comebacks,” a sport-oriented film by the producers of “Wedding Crashers,” will be shown as works in progress. Buster Keaton’s 1927 film “The General,” set in the Civil War, and the 1928 film “Lonesome,” will both be presented with live accompaniment by the three-person Alloy Orchestra.

Additional highlights include the world premiere of “Certifiably Jonathan,” a documentary of comedian Jonathan Winters; “Colour Me Kubrick,” starring John Malkovich as a Stanley Kubrick imposter; “Delirious,” the story of a homeless actor directed by Tom DiCillo (“Living in Oblivion”) and starring Steve Buscemi and Michael Pitt; and “Ira & Abby,” a romantic comedy about marriage and divorce starring and written by Jennifer Westfeldt (“Kissing Jessica Stein”).Additional documentaries include “The King of Kong,” about competitive video gamers; and “Judy Toll: The Funniest Woman You Never Heard Of.”Tickets on saleAlso, the USCAF has announced that a limited number of tickets to individual shows will go on sale today at the Wheeler Opera House box office. Tickets will be available at 10 a.m.

Among the shows going on sale today are a screening of “The Winner,” a new TV show starring Rob Corddry, and written by Ricky Blitt and Seth MacFarlane; Alan Zweibel’s one-man show, “The History of Me”; Nilaja Sun’s one-woman show “No Child”; sketch comedy presentations by Windy City Sketch; Fat City Lounge, a late-night drop-in show hosted Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter; and stand-up performances featuring Marc Maron and Daniel Tosh, and Mary Lynn Rajskub, Michael Showalter and John Oliver.For a full 2007 USCAF program, go to Stewart Oksenhorn’s e-mail address is

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