The spate of TV shows turned into movies over the last few years is a dismal crop, enough to make a filmgoer wonder why they even bother. (Answer: No one is required to come up with new ideas.) Matt Groening and company are the latest to escape from the confines of television, throwing Homer, Bart, Marge and the rest of the Springfield gang ” including Professor John Frink and Lunchlady Doris, one would expect ” into the theater with “The Simpsons Movie.” The crew behind the film have been more secretive than the Bush White House, but this much seems to have been leaked: The plot centers around Homer causing another panic at the nuclear power plant (like we haven’t seen that before), forcing an evacuation from Springfield. Also, Homer has a pet pig. “The Simpsons Movie” opens nationally Friday, July 27. If that doesn’t excite you, “Underdog” ” based on the 1960s-’70s cartoon about a dog with superpowers ” follows in early August.
The Carbondale Mountain Fair is an unabashed relic from an earlier era. The annual event was started in 1972 by a bunch of Carbondale hippies looking to throw a town-wide party, and raise money for the Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities. Unlike other artifacts of the early ’70s, Mountain Fair has retained its vitality and then some. The three-day event draws some 20,000 attendees each year, and more than any other local festival, it appeals to everyone ” young and old, upvalley and downvalley, Latino and Anglo, athlete and partier. This year’s Mountain Fair, Friday through Sunday, July 27-29, features the usual attractions: hula-hooping, the Mount Sopris Run-Off footrace, pie- and cake-baking (and eating). This year’s theme is puppets; all are encouraged to bring a puppet to participate in the “Puppet Revolution.” And there’s music; this year’s schedule includes the Laura Love Trio, Mexican-American band the Moonlight Cruisers, and Hawaiian reggae band Public Property, plus local acts the Roaring Fork Celtic Mega Band, Common House and the Earthbeat Choir.
The great artistic contradiction ” that great art is produced through great suffering ” lives in Beethoven. The composer feuded with relatives and patrons; his difficult personality has led to posthumous diagnoses of bipolar disorder. The loss of hearing, which began in his 20s and continued through his life, led to suicidal thoughts. Those difficulties in life were transformed into a brilliant sense of unity and resolution in his music. A born contrarian, Beethoven broke most rules of composition, yet his results are precise statements of emotion. The music comes into focus in the Aspen Music Festival minifest, Beethoven: Power of Music, running through Saturday, July 28. Highlights include the Symphony No. 5 (part of the Friday, July 27, all-Beethoven program by the Aspen Chamber Symphony and conductor James Conlon); and three significant string quartets: the E-flat major, performed Saturday, July 21, by the Brentano String Quartet; the “Rasumovsky,” part of a Saturday, July 28 chamber music concert; and the A minor, played by the Ying Quartet on July 28. The High Notes lecture on Wednesday, July 25, is devoted to Ludwig van.
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