Filmfest offers cinematic journey around the world
Ready for a little offseason travel? Aspen Filmfest has your ticket – and these journeys will take filmgoers beyond the usual hot spots of Moab, Red Rocks and Mexico.Aspen Filmfest 2006, which opens today, Tuesday, Sept. 26 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 1, with screenings in Aspen, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs, features films from Denmark, the U.K., France, Venezuela and Singapore. And the travel isn’t limited to space: There are films that reach back to the ’40s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. And for those looking to stay within the confines of these United States, there are trips into blue state liberalism and the red state right.Today’s opening program is typical. Filmfest begins with “Ten Canoes,” which is not only set among Australia’s Ramingining tribe, but features a cast of first-time Aboriginal actors. The film, which plays on tribal myths and ancients stories, earned the special jury prize Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival. It shows at 5:30 p.m. at the Wheeler Opera House.The British film “Starter for Ten,” by first-time feature director Tom Vaughan, follows at 8:30 p.m. The film is set in Margaret Thatcher’s England, in 1985, and tells of a working-class young man as he enters the posh Bristol University.And that’s just the beginning of the travels. In Wednesday’s slate of films, audiences will follow a trio of Middle American humanitarians to the world’s danger zones, in Adrian Belic’s documentary “Beyond the Call”; be exposed to the Falashas, the Ethiopian Jews relocated to Israel in the mid-’80s, in Radu Mihaileanu’s “Live and Become”; and head back to the U.K. for the family drama “Driving Lessons,” starring Rupert Grint, Laura Linney and Julie Walters.On the documentary side, Filmfest also presents “God Grew Tired of Us,” which follows three young Sudanese men living in the U.S.; “The U.S. vs. John Lennon,” about the late rock star’s political activism; “Jesus Camp,” about a retreat for young Evangelicals; and “Smiling In a War Zone,” about a Danish woman’s flight to visit an aspiring pilot in Afghanistan.Narrative features include “Days of Glory,” about the North African soldiers who fought the Nazis on the side of France; “Be with Me,” a film with almost no dialogue by Singapore director Eric Khoo; “After the Wedding,” a drama of family tension by the Danish team of director Susanne Bier and writer Anders Thomas Jensen; and British director Stephen Frears’ “The Queen,” starring Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II in the time following the death of Princess Diana.Away from the screen, the Filmfest will honor actor Harrison Ford with its Independent By Nature award, in a ceremony Saturday, Sept. 30. Talk-show host Dick Cavett will interview Ford onstage. Cavett is the star of such films as “Hollywood Homicide” and “Hanover Street.”For a full Filmfest 2006 schedule, go to http://www.aspentimes.com/film.Stewart Oksenhorn’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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