Aspen Film’s Academy Screenings series will present 26 films, Dec. 18-Jan. 1 at Harris Hall and the Wheeler Opera House. The 16th annual series features one screening apiece of films considered contenders for Academy Awards.Among the new films to be screened are “Venus,” an offbeat romantic comedy starring Peter O’Toole; director Todd Field’s “Little Children,” a drama featuring Kate Winslet, Jennifer Connelly and Jackie Earle Haley; “The Pursuit of Happyness,” starring Will Smith; “Breaking and Entering,” directed by Anthony Minghella and starring Jude Law and Juliette Binoche; and “Letters from Iwo Jima,” director Clint Eastwood’s second film of the year about World War II.Foreign films in the series include “Volver,” by Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar and starring Penélope Cruz; “Golden Door,” an Italian film about immigration; the French romantic comedy “Avenue Montaigne”; the Chinese action film “Curse of the Golden Flower”; and “Pan’s Labyrinth,” a horror film by Mexican director Guillermo del Toro.The series features two documentaries: “God Grew Tired Of Us,” about African refugees in the U.S.; and “Shut Up and Sing,” about the country music group the Dixie Chicks.Among the other films in the series are “Bobby,” about the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy; director Steven Soderbergh’s post-World War II mystery “The Good German”; Luc Besson’s animated film “Arthur and the Invisibles”; “Miss Potter,” starring Renée Zellweger as the children’s writer Beatrix Potter; and “The Last King of Scotland,” with Forest Whitaker as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin.Previously released films in the series include “The Queen,” “Babel,” “Flags of Our Fathers,” “Marie Antoinette” and “The Illusionist.”The screenings are at Harris Hall, with the exception of three films to be screened at the Wheeler, the evenings of Dec. 25-27. Tickets for all screenings are on sale at the Wheeler box office. For a full program including dates, times and descriptions, go to http://www.aspenfilm.org.
The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet has posted its 2006-07 season of presentations, in and outside of Aspen.The ASFB company, along with guest dancers and students of the School of ASFB, will perform the annual “Nutcracker” Dec. 16-17, with evening and matinee performances each day.The ASFB company will perform a program of mixed repertory Feb. 16-17. The program will feature the Aspen debut of “Petit Mort,” by European choreographer Jiri Kylian, as well as encore performances of Nicolo Fonte’s “It’s Not About the Numbers,” Dominique Dumais’ “sans detour,” and the “Light Rain” pas de deux.New Hampshire company Pilobolus returns Feb. 27-28, and the local season concludes April 6-7 with Peking Acrobats.The ASFB company will also perform Jan. 23-28 at New York City’s Joyce Theater, and will make appearances in New Jersey, Albuquerque, Crested Butte, Beaver Creek and Hawaii.For tickets, call 1-877-DANCING (326-2464). For further information, go to http://www.aspenballet.com.
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