Winterskl 2009 puts the emphasis on the skies and not only to look for signs of coming powder. Inspired by the designation of 2009 as the U.N.s International Year of Astronomy, this years celebration of mid-winter comes under the theme Powder Days and Stellar Nights. At the heart of the theme is astronomer David Aguilar. The director of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Aguilar who is also building a home, with two observatories, in Missouri Heights will give a talk, Why Are We Going Back to the Moon, on Thursday, Jan. 8 at Paepcke Auditorium. On Saturday, Jan. 10, Aguilar will haul some telescopes out to Wagner Park, in a celebration of Galileos first use of the instrument, 400 years ago. Pray for clear skies. Also on the Winterskl agenda are events closer to Earth: Soupskl, the parade through downtown Aspen, the canine fashion show, comedy and Texas singer-songwriter Robert Earl Keen.
Funk fans, its time to get your groove on in a big way and receive a living lesson in funk history. On Thursday, Jan. 8, Bernie Worrell original keyboardist and musical director of the funk extravaganza P-Funk brings his spanking-new project, Socialibrium, to its Aspen debut at Belly Up. The quartet is rounded out by Blackbyrd McKnight who took over music direction when P-Funk became the P-Funk Allstars drummer Brain, from Primus; and bassist TM Stevens, a mate of Worrells in several bands, including the Pretenders. The following night, Friday, Jan. 9, Worrells former longtime boss, George Clinton, brings his band of colorful crazies now touring under the name Parliament Funkadelic to Belly Up. Clintons new CD, released in September and credited to George Clinton and the Gangsters of Love, features interpretations of old-school R&B tunes, with a guest list that includes Santana, Sly Stone, the RZA and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Just like Winterskls of old … .
The structure of Slumdog Millionaire is strikingly innovative: a low-caste Indian boy uses each question asked of him on a TV quiz show to reflect on episodes from his rocky childhood. But in British director Danny Boyles film, the game-show setting is more than a storytelling gimmick. Slumdog Millionaire uses so-called reality TV to examine the enormous gap between various realities, especially between comfortably sheltered middle-class lives, and the struggles of the impoverished, which are often rendered invisible. Boyle also uses the structure to build maximum intensity underneath the themes of romantic devotion, sibling rivalry, greed, and the need to tell the truth. Slumdog Millionaire is showing in Aspen. And in this year of cultural breakthroughs, wouldnt it be something if a film set in India, with Indian actors, took top prize at the Oscars?
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