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Volcanic love, dystopian body horror and more — where to see film in Aspen this summer

Maurice and Katia Krafft, as seen in new documentary "Fire of Love," risk life and limb to improve the field of volcanology.
Fire of Love
Maurice and Katia Krafft, as seen in new documentary "Fire of Love," risk life and limb to improve the field of volcanology.

Summer may feel like an off season for the film industry in the Roaring Fork Valley, but there are opportunities to see flashy premieres and weird indie flicks — if you know where to look.

5point Film kicks off first-ever summer series

5point Film is best known for its annual Adventure Film Festival in Carbondale. For the first time, the organization will expand its offerings from the spring and into the summer, with a series of documentaries.

"Fire of Love" is the first in the series. It's a genre-bender, of sorts, between a true love story and a scientific adventure.

It follows Maurice and Katia Krafft, a volcanologist power couple, as they travel the world on a quest to improve the life-saving science of predicting volcanic eruptions.

As director Sara Dosa told NPR, the couple's DIY home movies feel remarkably cinematic — as does the story captured on those reels of film.

"To me, they really have illustrated what it means to live a meaningful life and also die a meaningful death," she said. "So much of that is about the pursuit of love as well as navigating through the unknown. The more they learned about volcanoes, the more they realized they didn't know."

After opening to theatre audiences in Los Angeles and New York City on Wednesday, "Fire of Love" comes to The Arts Campus at Willits in Basalt on Thursday.

Aspen Film's 'Movies Under The Stars' continues to thrive

For many moviegoers — and box offices — this summer marks something of a return to normal, with masks coming off and theaters filling up.

As Aspen Film Executive Director Susan Wrubel explained, one of the centerpieces of its summer programming actually continued without interruption over the past two years — "Movies Under the Stars," at the Collective in Snowmass.

"We survived the pandemic with it," she said. "It was actually a great pleasure and respite for people during the pandemic because they could be outside."

The schedule is full of family-friendly classics, like Pixar's "UP" and "Back to the Future," which is slated for Saturday, July 9.

Aspen Films' flagship festival kicks off at the end of September.

There's also weird stuff

Aspen Film will also present more challenging material.

"Crimes of the Future" is a disturbing body horror film set in a dystopian feature. It centers on a performance artist with "accelerated evolution syndrome," which causes him to continually grow vestigial organs.

As director David Cronenberg told Vanity Fair, the film — like many in the body horror genre — is political.

"This is always a go around about who controls the bodies of the citizens," he said. "Who controls women’s bodies? Who controls the bodies of transgender people? Are you allowed to do that? Can the government actually tell you what to do with your body or not, even if it doesn’t actually affect anyone else?"

"Crimes of the Future" is slated for Wednesday night at the Isis Theatre. It's the second installment in Aspen Film and Metropolitan Theatre's "Indie Showcase."

After the Cronenberg film, the showcase pivots to a documentary about songwriter Leonard Cohen.

"We try to program a little something for everyone," Wrubel said.

Dominic joined the Edlis Neeson arts and culture desk at Aspen Public Radio in Jan. 2022.