September 7, 2006
Aspen Filmfest unreels programAspen Filmfest has announced the program for the 28th annual Filmfest. The festival is set for Sept. 26-Oct. 1, with events in Aspen, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs.Highlights on the screen include “Shut Up and Sing,” a documentary about the outspoken country band the Dixie Chicks; the award-winning French film “Live and Become,” a narrative about the Ethiopian Jews relocated to Israel; the World War II-era drama “Days of Glory,” whose ensemble cast earned a Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival; and the closing film “The Queen,” English director Stephen Frears’ portrait of the British royals in the days following the death of Princess Diana.Four feature films are included in the New Voices segment, spotlighting young directors. Jeremy Brock’s family comedy “Driving Lessons” stars Laura Linney, Rupert Grint and Julie Walters. “Starter for Ten,” by Tom Vaughan, is set in a posh university in Margaret Thatcher’s U.K. Maria Maggenti’s “Puccini for Beginners,” a gender-bending story set in Manhattan, and Robert Cary’s “Ira and Abby,” written by and starring Jennifer Westfeldt (“Kissing Jessica Stein”), are a pair of romantic comedies.The True Stories segment of documentaries includes “The U.S. vs. John Lennon,” which focuses on the late Beatle’s antiwar activism; “Beyond the Call,” about two friends who take humanitarian missions to political hotspots; “Smiling in a War Zone,” the story of a woman who teaches a teenager to fly planes in post-Sept. 11 Afghanistan; “God Grew Tired of Us,” about three Sudanese boys resettled in America; and “Jesus Camp,” a profile of young Evangelical Christians.Additional foreign films include the Australian movie “Ten Canoes,” featuring a cast of first-time Aboriginal actors; “After the Wedding,” a family drama by the team of director Susanne Bier and screenwriter Anders Thomas Jensen, who collaborated on the acclaimed “Brothers”; the multilayered “Be with Me,” by Singapore’s Eric Khoo; and “Family Law,” a comedic drama of fatherhood by Argentinean director Daniel Burman.Local filmmaker Mark Harvey will have a special presentation of “A Land out of Time,” his new documentary about land-use issues in the Rocky Mountain West, with a focus on Colorado’s Roan Plateau.Away from the screen, Harrison Ford will be the recipient of Aspen Filmfest’s Independent by Nature Award, to be presented in a Sept. 30 event at the Wheeler Opera House. The event will be followed by a benefit dinner at The Little Nell.Tickets go on sale Sept. 19 at the Wheeler box office for all shows, and at Sounds Easy in Carbondale and Book Train in Glenwood Springs for the Carbondale and Glenwood Springs screenings. For further information, go to http://www.aspenfilm.org.Blues, brews on tap in TellurideLou Reed, Bruce Hornsby and John Mayer will headline the 13th annual Telluride Blues & Brews Festival. The festival is set for Friday through Sunday, Sept. 15-17. Reed performs, Sept. 15; Hornsby, with his band, the Noisemakers, Sept. 16; and Mayer, Sept. 17.Additional main-stage acts include the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Tab Benoit, Hothouse Flowers, Voice of the Wetland Allstars, Tinsley Ellis and Grace Potter & the Nocturnals.The festival also includes late-night Juke Joint shows at the Elks Club in Swede-Finn Hall, the Sheridan Opera House, the Telluride Conference Center and local clubs. Set to appear in Juke Joint concerts are James “Blood” Ulmer, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, Jimbo Mathus & Lightnin’ Malcolm, Kirk Joseph’s Backyard Groove, Watermelon Slim, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and others.The Grand Tasting, Sept. 16 on the festival grounds, will feature tastings from 56 microbreweries from the Western states.The festival also includes the Acoustic Blues Camp, Sept. 14-17, and the Acoustic Blues Competition, with the winner earning a Saturday slot on the main stage.For further information, go to http://www.telluridebluesandbrews.com.