Aspen Filmfest has announced the program for its Academy Screenings series. The 15th annual Academy Screenings run Dec. 19 through Jan. 1 at Harris Hall, with screenings daily except Dec. 24-25.The series opens Dec. 19 with “Memoirs of a Geisha,” director Rob Marshall’s adaptation of the Arthur Golden novel. Also featured in the series are such Academy Award hopefuls as “The New World” (Dec. 26), Terrence Malick’s telling of the story of colonial America; “The Libertine” (Dec. 31), starring Johnny Depp as a debauched 17th-century English poet; and “Casanova” (Jan. 1), directed by Lasse Hallström and starring Heath Ledger as the legendary Italian romantic.The series also includes “The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada,” the directorial debut of star Tommy Lee Jones; “Transamerica,” starring former Aspenite and part-time valley resident Felicity Huffman as a preoperative transsexual; and “Crash,” Paul Haggis’ multilayered examination of contemporary racism in Los Angeles.Foreign films include “Paradise Now,” from Palestine; “Fateless,” from Hungary; “Joyeux Noël,” from France; and “Tsotsi,” from South Africa. Also in the series are “Murderball,” “The Matador,” “Rize,” “Hoodwinked,” “The World’s Fastest Indian,” “Mrs. Henderson Presents,” “Junebug,” “The Squid and the Whale” and “Breakfast on Pluto.”The full program is available at http://www.aspenfilm.org. Tickets go on sale Dec. 12 at the Wheeler Opera House.
The Aspen Music Festival and School is offering a five-concert subscription package to its 2006 Winter Music Artist Recital series. The subscription series is $225; tickets for each individual concert may be purchased for $52.The series opens Jan. 31 with pianist Andreas Haefliger, who will perform a program of all Mozart and Beethoven. Violinist Joshua Bell, accompanied by Jeremy Denk, follows Feb. 16 with a program titled “In the Spirit of Mozart.”Pianist Yefim Bronfman will perform Beethoven’s “Moonlight” sonata, plus pieces by Chopin, Ravel and Mily Alexeyevich Balakirev Feb. 22. On March 6, pianist Peter Serkin will play a program including Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier,” sonata, Bach’s Chromatic Fantasy and two works by Schoenberg. The series concludes with a March 17 concert by the American Brass Quintet, an ensemble-in-residence at the Music Festival since 1970, performing works by Gabrieli, Morley and Whittenberg, and Civil War brass-band favorites.For subscription packages or individual tickets, call 925-9042, or go to http://www.aspenmusicfestival.com.
The Wheeler Film Series has added two titles to its December schedule.Sunday, Dec. 4 brings “Off the Map,” a family drama directed by Campbell Scott and starring Joan Allen, Amy Brenneman and Sam Elliott. Also added is the family film “Duma,” about a South African boy and his pet cheetah, showing Dec. 25-26.Previously announced were David Cronenberg’s “A History of Violence” (Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 8-10); the feminine drama “Nine Lives” (Monday through Wednesday, Dec. 5-7); and “Everything Is Illuminated” (Dec. 12-14), adapted by director Liev Shrieber from the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer.All Wheeler Films are at 7:30 p.m.
Aspen writer Bruce Berger will be the featured guest on Aspen Media Review Friday, Dec. 9. The locally produced, half-hour program can be heard every Friday at its new time, at 6:30 p.m., on KAJX-Aspen Public Radio.Berger will join Aspen Media Review co-hosts John C. Noonan and Steve Skinner in discussing his new anthology of essays, “The Complete Half-Aspenite.” The book is an updated version of Berger’s 1987 collection, “Notes of a Half-Aspenite,” which included essays on garage sales, hummingbirds, Aspen history and more. The latest edition includes all of “Notes of a Half-Aspenite,” and essays written since then on the Aspen Center for Physics, Aspen Music Festival concerts and the author’s being mistaken for John Denver.In addition, Berger will appear at a reading and book-signing Saturday, Dec. 10, at 4 p.m., at Explore Booksellers.KAJX can be heard at 91.5 FM in Aspen.
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UPDATE 5:27 p.m. — Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon has reopened in both directions Saturday evening after a safety closure due to a flash flood warning. There were no reported mud/debris slides.