Aspen Film has announced the full lineup for its Aspen Filmfest 2007. The 29th annual Filmfest is set for Sept. 26-30, with events in Aspen and Carbondale.Among the latest additions to the program are the road drama Grace Is Gone, starring John Cusack as a father of two whose wife is serving in Iraq; director Tamara Jenkins (Slums of Beverly Hills) new family drama The Savages, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney; and Beauty in Trouble, by the Czech writing-directing team behind 2000s Oscar-nominated Divided We Fall.Added to the festivals True Stories segment are the documentaries The Monastery, about an elderly Danish man who wants to convert his estate into a Russian Orthodox monastery; Buddhas Lost Children, about a monks devotion to troubled children in Thailand; and Souvenirs, in which Israeli filmmaker Shahar Cohen traces his fathers past.Other recently announced titles in the program include the British comedy of childhood, Son of Rambow; the Japanese comedy Hula Girls, about a coal-mining towns efforts to transform its identity; The Violin, a black-and-white drama set amidst Mexicos peasant revolts of the mid-1970s; and The Rules of the Game, Jean Renoirs 1939 masterpiece that pits aristocrats versus servants.Previously announced events include the presentation of the Independent By Nature Award to Academy Award-winning actress Julie Christie, and a screening of her latest film, Away From Her; Sleuth, director Kenneth Branaghs and screenwriter Harold Pinters remake of the 1972 classic, starring Michael and Jude Law; Chicago 10, a partly animated documentary of the protests of the 1968 Democratic National Convention and the trials that followed; and Into the Wild, director Sean Penns adaptation of Jon Krakauers book of wilderness tragedy.Tickets for Filmfest 2007 go on sale Monday, Sept. 17, at the Wheeler Opera House, and, for Carbondale screenings, at Sounds Easy in Carbondale. For further information, including a full schedule, go to http://www.aspenfilm.org.
The 32nd annual Snowmass Balloon Festival is set for Friday through Sunday, Sept. 14-16. The Snowmass Wine & Jazz Festival will be held concurrently, with events Friday and Saturday.The Balloon Festival kicks off Sept. 14 with a 6:30 a.m. inflating and a downvalley distance balloon race. Sept. 15 opens with a breakfast, the Dawn Quixote event, and the Family Fun Zone. Saturday evening has a barbecue and the Night Glow launch, accompanied by music from the Spring Creek Bluegrass Band, winners of the Telluride Bluegrass Band Competition. The festival concludes Sunday with the Target Tubing event and the awards ceremony.All events in the festival are free and open to the public.The Wine & Jazz Festival, presented by the Snowmass Rotary Club, opens Friday night with a dinner at the Artisan Restaurant prepared by chef David VanHolton and featuring wines by La Spinetta and Boanfi Winery. The festival continues Saturday, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., on the Snowmass Village mall, with products from 80 wineries, food samples, and music by Starwood.Tickets for both days of the festival are available at Sundance Drug & Liquor, at the Snowmass Rotary Club, or by calling 379-6577 or 704-2628.
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Warm and dry conditions to start the winter have kept all but the higher elevation slopes free of snow. That is expected to change by the end of the week and the avalanche hazard could start to climb, according to Colorado Avalanche Information Center.