Aspen Filmfest unveiled seven titles that will screen during its 32nd edition, including titles from Sundance, Toronto, SXSW, Dallas, Hot Docs, Los Angeles SilverDocs and Cleveland film festivals.
Sundance favorite “Blue Valentine” by Derek Cianfrance, which will screen at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival is on tap as well as the UK/Australian film, “The King’s Speech” by Tom Hooper. Jeff Malmberg’s SXSW-winner, “Marwencol,” also joins the lineup in addition to Jake Scott’s “Welcome to the Rileys,” Mark Landsman’s “Thunder Soul” and J. Clay Tweel’s “Make Believe.” As previously announced, Sam Taylor-Wood’s “Nowhere Boy” will open the festival. The film, starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Aaron Johnson depicts the events and personal circumstances that led to the formation of The Beatles — specifically, the underlying family currents that shaped the creative and inspirational qualities of John Lennon during his crucial formative teenage years.
The full Aspen Filmfest lineup will be announced September 8th.
The seven films joining the 32nd Aspen Filmfest with descriptions provided by the festival:
“Blue Valentine” (USA) 2010, Director: Derek Cianfrance (first-time director who studied at the University of Colorado)
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams
A searingly honest portrait of a married couple who tries to reignite the spark in their once-passionate relationship. Through flashbacks and a present-day narrative, this film lives and breathes emotional truth.
Awards: Nominated for the grand jury prize at Sundance 2010.
“The King’s Speech (UK/Australia) 2010, Director: Tom Hooper (The Damned United)
Cast: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Derek Jacobi, Guy Pearce, Michael Gambon
Through the help of a maverick Australian speech therapist (Rush), with whom he eventually forms a strong friendship, the newly crowned King George VI (Firth) works to overcome a debilitating speech impediment and lead England on the brink of world war in the late 1930s.
“Make Believe” (USA/Japan/South Africa) 2010, Director: J. Clay Tweel
A beguiling celebration of dreams, hard work, and dazzling sleight of hand, the film follows six exceptional magicians (including one from Littleton, Colo.) as they hone their skills for the opportunity of a lifetime: Teen World Champion.
Awards: Winner of the jury prize for best feature documentary at the Los Angeles International Film Festival.
“Marwencol” (USA) 2010, Director: Jeff Malmberg
When a savage attack ten years ago left Mark Hogancamp deeply traumatized, he constructed a small-scale town in his backyard, peopling it with dolls, to help regain both his hand-eye coordination and sanity. This documentary examines Mark’s unique merging of art and therapy, and what happened when his collection of photographs unintentionally attracted art-world attention.
Awards: Winner of numerous awards, including the grand jury prize at the SXSW Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, and Cleveland International Film Festival; the Cinematic Vision Award at Silver Docs; and Emerging Artist Award at Hot Docs.
“Thunder Soul” (USA) 2010, Director: Mark Landsman
Under the inspired direction of the charismatic and talented Conrad “Prof” Johnson, an all-African-American high school stage band in the 1970s went from mediocre players to international funk sensation, winning almost every competition it entered — including the Texas state championship — and touring Paris and Japan.
Awards: Winner of audience award for best documentary at the Los Angeles International Film Festival, SXSW Film Festival, Dallas International Film Festival, and Hot Docs.
“Welcome to the Rileys” (USA) 2010, Director: Jake Scott
Cast: James Gandolfini, Melissa Leo, Kristen Stewart
Years after a family tragedy, Lois and Doug Riley remain mired in grief but cope in very different ways. Nuanced performances from three consummate actors infuse this emotionally true, gently humorous drama with surprising humanity.
Awards: Nominated for the grand jury prize at Sundance.