High Points: 5Points unlocked
The first thing I did when I rose yesterday morning was make a modest donation to the 5Point Film Festival in recognition of the inspiration they brought to my house with the Wednesday night opening of their virtual April Film Fest. It may have been the most rewarding thing I have done all week. Make it all month.
Wednesday was supposed to have been the official opening of the 2020 Carbondale Film Festival, the gathering of our community and the outdoor adventure tribe that has become a rite of spring and the signature event of the offseason in the Roaring Fork Valley. But due to circumstances beyond our control, the world has tilted time. This year’s festival is now scheduled to be a shining beacon in the fall, taking place when the aspens turn their goldest, October 14 to 18.
But in a display of their spirit of determination, an enduring fixture of the films that are a part of the 5Point lineup, the folks in ‘Bonedale decided to do a three-part retrospective showing of fave-rave films curated from past fests and stream them on You-Tube for those who register.
So Wednesday at 7 p.m. Aspen daylight time, my wife turned off the regular tube and we settled in front of her iPad, where we watched, on a little screen, big hill local legend Chris Davenport introduce 90-minutes worth of emotion on celluloid. There were films about a cycle boy in the dark heart of LA; a woman who regains her sense of self by immersing her body in the coldest open waters, just because she could; a surfer who took the paraplegic mother of his best friend into the New Zealand waves by duct taping her to his body; a climber (Alex Honnold) doing a free solo ascent of the 1,500-foot El Sendero Luminoso in Mexico, and my favorite, a 97-year-old runner in green shorts trotting to the top of Mount Washington.
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There was also some big mountain ski porn and a sweet, sweet performance of an original song by a 16-year-old girl in Nyack, New York, that would have had the full auditorium in Carbondale in tears if it had been performed in front of the usual throngs of attendees.
The films, after six weeks of talking heads, captive tigers, Larry David and the crap that passes for network entertainment these days, were, after our dehydrating, debilitating, depressing quarantine, like a cool drink of spiritual holy water for the soul.
But beyond that, it was a reminder of what a special thing Julie Kennedy has created with her 5Point gathering. Standing outside on a midweek afternoon as the crowd comes out to play each year for opening night is better than going to the Oscars. Kids that were infants in the early years now skate by on boards or gather with their own tribes of grommets for the films. A cold beer, a tasty taco, old friends, the sun shining with an April chill still in the air. It’s perfect. And it will be again in October.
You can still participate. It’s free but a donation feels really good. Simply by going to 5Point Film http://5pointfilm.org/events/unlocked and registering, you’ll get a coded download link in an email before each show. There is a show this evening at 7 hosted by Wade Newsome and “family screening” on Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. called “Kids at Heart.”
It’ll be the best thing you do this week.
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