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Vail hosts the Film Festival through Sunday

Charlie Owen
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily
ALL |

VAIL, Colorado ” Movie buffs, film freaks and cinephile throughout the valley are preparing for the fifth annual Vail Film Festival. This celebration of the art and science of movie making draws stars, directors, critics and fans from around the nation to a small ski town not necessarily known for its fondness of Hollywood. Their will be celebrities, parties, food, drinks, and of course the star of the show ” movies. With more than 80 films on tap for this year’s festival, it would be be hard to sift through all the titles and find the ones you really want to see. Good thing we got to watch many of the films in advance. Here is our guide to a few of the standouts in each category.

“Forgetting Sarah Marshall”

Last year’s must-see screening at the festival was Judd Apatow’s comedic juggernaut “Knocked Up.” This year he’s back with a new comedy about breaking up and moving on. “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” is produced by Apatow and is written by and stars Jason Segel (also in “Knocked Up”) and only gets one showing Friday night at 9:45 p.m. so get there early and find a seat. Though this studio film is the only movie from our recommendations that we didn’t get to screen, if it lives up to the standard Apatow has set for brutally realistic comedies that feature characters we can actually relate to, then “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” will be anything but forgettable.

“Fix”

An ADD victim’s delight, from start to finish, this movie never slows down. “Fix” focuses on the adventures of Leo, a “recovering” heroin addict as he hustles, lies, steals and deals himself into rehab. Helping him along is his brother’s girlfriend, Bella, and his brother, Milo, a documentary filmmaker. They have one day to get Leo to rehab or a judge will sentence him to three years in prison. Their often humorous journey takes them over the many landscapes of L.A., from projects to mansions, and shows that family ties may never be broken, but they can certainly hang by a thread.

“Validation”

Ever feel like nobody appreciates you and all the hard work you do? Are you not getting the recognition you deserve for being so pretty and glamorous? Then get some validation with the short film “Validation.” Follow a parking validator as he dispenses praise and compliments along with free parking. All is well until he meets a beautiful girl who refuses to smile no matter how much validation he gives her. It’s a classic fable of finding happiness and love and the need we each have to feel important.

“Kids + Money”

If the love of money is the root of all evil then expect to see most of the children in this movie buying condos in hell by the time they reach adulthood. “Kids + Money” shows the effects of what giving impressionable children unlimited access to credit cards and shopping sprees has on their perception of the world. Some feel entitled, some depressed, others indifferent. It’s a moral tableau of responsibility and materialism that will make you think twice about your kids allowance.

“FLOW: For Love of Water”

If you think the world can never run out of clean drinking water, think again. “FLOW” takes a very hard look at the future of our planet and mankind as water becomes a much more scarce and valuable commodity than ever before. With drought, contamination and the privatization of water resources growing across the globe, how long can we go on thinking that water will always be there for us when we need it? “FLOW” is part of the Vail Film Festival’s Green Showcase.

“The Listening Project”

Journey with a handful of American citizens of differing race, religions and cultures as they travel the planet seeking the truth about what the rest of the world thinks of America. It’s an eye opening look at how our country is perceived by ordinary citizens of allied and enemy countries alike. What those voices say and whether or not we listen to them could decide if we will ever get past, or accept, our differences with the rest of the world.

“A Day’s Work”

Three Mexican immigrant laborers are propositioned for a day’s work helping a wealthy white family move out of their large house. The immigrants are to help pack and move the family for a cash fee but an untrusting spark is ignited when the homeowner can’t find his wallet to pay the men for their work. A compelling look at racism, classism and what fear and ignorance can do to the mind, soul and body.

“15-40”

A Danish tennis star must make the decision of his career ” beat his opponent and let him get carted off to a Nazi concentration camp or face humiliation by letting his opponent win to keep him free. This World War II side story is based on real-life events and reveals the many unseen faces of that tumultuous, tragic period in history.

“Shuteye Hotel”

This ominous crime-noir cartoon is not for your children ” unless you want them to be afraid of the dark for the rest of their lives. Two detectives ” a man and a woman ” investigate a string of murders at the Shuteye Hotel in search of the killer. They get much more than they bargained for when the killer finally reveals itself.

“The Pearce Sisters”

Is it pro-cannabalism, a film about the lonely effects of spinster-hood or just a very strange and unsettling tale of friendship and making the most of what you have? This cartoon short will have you squirming in your seat as the Pearce sisters eke out a living on the sea coast while fishing and making friends with dead bodies.

High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 748-2939 or cowen@vaildaily.com.


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