September 27, 2007
Aspen Filmfest covers the widest range, a point that is well made in the final days of Filmfest 2007. Among the films hitting the screen are a pair that could well be starting their road to Oscar buzz: “Into the Wild,” Sean Penn’s adaptation of the nonfiction best-seller, depicting Chris McCandless’ puzzling, tragic adventure in the Alaskan wilderness; and “The Savages,” a drama of adult offspring that stars Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman and Oscar nominee Laura Linney. At the other end of the spectrum are films that might end their run at Filmfest: the Kurdish film “Half Moon,” about an ancient, legendary musician staging his final concert; “Buddha’s Lost Children,” a documentary about a former boxing champion who devotes his life to the welfare of the young folks of Thailand; and “Small Engine Repair,” a small-scale, bighearted story of small-town Irish men with grand dreams. Filmfest runs through Sunday, Sept. 30, with screenings in Aspen and Carbondale.
Want to support your local musicians? This is the week. A pair of local acts – rock band the Butchers, and bluesier group Stevie Lizard & the Rumors Are True – team up for a night at Belly Up on Saturday, Sept. 29. Admission is free. For those who want a drive in the fall splendor, the Mountain Harvest Festival, Saturday in Paonia, includes roots-rock trio Take the Wheel in a concert at the Paradise Theater. Singer-songwriter Dan Sheridan appears at the Fall Festival, a fundraiser for Roaring Fork Kids, Sunday, Sept. 30, in Wagner Park. Sheridan recently re-released his 2002 CD “Small Town Love,” with four new songs included. And several local acts – the Bo Hale Band, Rick Rock, and Phunkey Munkey & the Thundaluv, the latest project from keyboardist-singer Rob Dasaro, performs Friday, Oct. 5, at Bumps restaurant, in a benefit for local mountaineer Bob Sloezen.
You can bet the snow enthusiasts who were hauling cameras up mountains 15 years ago to get sick shots to share with friends couldn’t have imagined what would happen to the ski-film industry. Or that there would be a ski-film industry. But with The Meeting, the Aspen Skiing Company’s annual event devoted to snow-sliding films, the co-opting has arrived. In addition to 12 films, being screened at the Wheeler Opera House and Belly Up, there are seminars on such topics as sponsorship and music licensing. But there are also parties and DJ dances, and, at least judging from photos of last year’s event, those in the industry have retained their wild side. The third annual Meeting is Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 4-7, and includes the NEPSA Video and Art Awards, honoring regional athletes who break into the art realm, on Oct. 4.