October 2, 2009
Aspen Filmfest 2009 has already screened two sure-fire Academy Award contenders: the urban drama “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire,” and the satirical comedy “Up in the Air.” For its final screening, Filmfest presents one more for Oscar-watchers. “An Education” is set in 1961 in England, and focuses on a 16-year-old girl whose life takes a turn when she meets a 30-something man interested in romance. The movie features actors and filmmakers who aren’t on the top rung of stardom, but the sort of people known to turn in excellent work. The screenplay is by Nick Hornby (“High Fidelity”); the director is the Danish filmmaker Lone Scherfig (“Italian for Beginners”), and the cast includes Peter Sarsgaard, Emma Thompson and Alfred Molina. “An Education” shows at 8:15 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 4, at the Wheeler Opera House; also showing on Sunday: “Amreeka,” a drama about an Arab family’s experience adapting to America; and “More Than a Game,” a documentary about the high school basketball team that featured Lebron James.
You know those folks who come to Aspen every October to honor the late Aspenite John Denver by singing his tunes? Well, they know other songs as well. Doin’ Their Own Thing, on Thursday, Oct. 8, at the Wheeler Opera House, features an array of Denver’s musical associates – Herb Pedersen, Jim Horn, Chris Nole, Pete Huttlinger, local fiddler John Sommers and more – playing original music. The artists remain the same, but the songs change the next two nights, as the 12th Annual Tribute to John Denver brings such familiar favorites as “Rocky Mountain High,” “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” and “Annie’s Song” to the Wheeler. The tribute concerts, featuring Michael Johnson, Denver’s early bandmate in the Mitchell Trio, benefit the Aspen Camp of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the Windstar Foundation. On Sunday, Oct. 11, local musician John Adams does his annual Rocky Mountain High show at the Wheeler. And Friday, Oct. 9 brings the John Denver concert film, “Rocky Mountain High – Live in Japan,” to the Isis Theatre at 2 p.m.