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Current Events

The retro comedy "Straight-Jacket" will be screened as part of the here! @ Aspen Gay Ski Week Film Festival, at the Wheeler Opera House.

Not many violinists can pull off an evening of solo performances, so not many even try. But then, there are not many violinists of the caliber of Christian Tetzlaff. The 38-year-old German has appeared with most of the major leading orchestras in Europe and the States, but has made as much of a name for himself playing in smaller combos. Tetzlaff has toured frequently with a fellow superstar, pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, with whom he recorded the Bartok violin sonatas, and he is renowned for his performances of solo pieces by Bach. Tetzlaff makes his first Aspen appearance since 2000, opening the Aspen Music Festival’s Artist Recital series at Harris Hall on Tuesday, Jan. 18. The program includes solo violin pieces by Bach, Bartok, Paganini and YsaØe.

The Wheeler Film Society seems determined to keep bringing “Touching the Void” back to town until every last Aspenite has seen it. Hard to argue with such thinking. “Touching the Void,” a dramatic reenactment of a disastrous 1985 winter ascent of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes, is breathtaking, mind-boggling and almost impossible to believe – but entirely true. The film, directed by award-winning filmmaker Kevin Macdonald, returns for one night, Sunday, Jan. 16, at the Wheeler Opera House.

The Aspen Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, a component of Gay Ski Week for several years, has been a notably hit-and-miss affair. The festival brought several big hits – “The Crying Game,” which had its Colorado premiere here, and the gay-circuit fave “It’s In the Water” – but had just as many dreary, cliched films. But as the range and size of gay-themed cinema has expanded, the festival has gained consistency. The films in this year’s festival – now known as the here! @ Aspen Gay Ski Week Film Festival – all seem promising, or at least noteworthy. “Beautiful Boxer,” a Thai film about a sex-change patient, has earned numerous awards. “Callas Forever,” about opera singer Maria Callas, was directed by Franco Zeffirelli and features Jeremy Irons and Fanny Ardent. And “Merci Dr. Rey,” produced by the Merchant-Ivory team, has an acclaimed performance by Dianne Weist. The festival is far from heavy; three of the five films are comedies. The here! @ Aspen Festival is at the Wheeler Opera House Monday through Thursday, Jan. 17-20, with daytime and evening screenings.

As Mary Noone counted down the days till Wulfsohn Ranch, a strip of sage forest and unobstructed views of the mountains around Glenwood Springs, would be turned into a shopping center, she periodically took her paints to the site to preserve the land on canvas. As the last days of the ranch approached, Noone enlisted 25 other area artists to join her in capturing the view and commenting on the transformation. The result is the Vanishing Points … Wulfsohn Ranch, showing through Jan. 29 at Main Street Gallery in Glenwood Springs. The exhibit sprawls from landscape painting to conceptual sculpture to mixed-media works. Among the highlights are Daniel Sprick’s sad depiction of a bulldozer and Jon Reitfors’ collage photographs about consumerism.

Another Wintersköl, the 54th, winds down with one last gasp, Snowmass Day on Sunday, Jan. 16. The day features the Snowmass Swissbob, a delirious set of sled races down Fanny Hill that includes a downhill, a grand slalom and the wild bobcross. The day carries on with music by Newcomers Home, an Americana-style band led by singer Katie Herzig that has become much-liked in Boulder’s Hill neighborhood.

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