Catch up on movie-watching

MudFest begins this weekend

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Tonight's screening of "Vera Drake" and Saturday's showing of "Being Julia" will kick off the third independent film festival hosted by Mountain Movie.

Theater owner Mark Green wanted to show films during the off-seasons that usually wouldn't come to Steamboat Springs, and with the Free Friday Foreign Film Series in transition until the fall, this year's MudFest fills a film-lovers' void.

Green knows, from his early days at the downtown cinema, that there is a local interest in independent film. In 1992, the theater began hosting the occasional foreign or independent film.

Green still remembers the day "Trainspotting" was scheduled to show.

"The first show was at 7 p.m.," Green said. "It was already sold out, but the movie didn't show up until 8 p.m. People waited for an hour for the film to arrive, and no one complained.

"There are a lot of people with master's degrees working as ski instructors, and they want culture. (Independent film) is something we are missing here by being away from the big cities."

Green chose this year's MudFest films by sifting through the information a friend brought him from the Sundance Film Festival.

"A lot of good movies are based on tragedy," he said. "I tried to keep this year's festival a little bit lighter."

MudFest will feature two films each week through April 7. MudFest cards are being sold for $5 to offset the shipping expenses to bring these movies to Steamboat. Cardholders can see movies for $5, instead of the regular $7 ticket price.

March 18 to 24

"Vera Drake"

Rated R

Director: Mike Leigh

Cast: Imelda Stauton, Phil Davis, Peter Wright, Adrian Scarborough

Vera Drake is a portrait of a women totally dedicated to her loving, working-class family, her sick neighbor and her elderly mother. But Drake has a secret side. Unbeknownst to her family and friends, she visits women and helps them induce miscarriages for their unwanted pregnancies. Vera Drake was the winner of the Best Picture and Best Actress honors at The Venice Film Festival and was nominated for three academy awards, including Best Actress, Best Director and Best Screenplay.

Showtimes:

7 p.m. today, Sunday, Wednesday

2 p.m. matinee Saturday and Sunday

"Being Julia"

Rated R

Director: Istvan Szabo

Cast: Annette Bening, Jeremy Irons, Shaun Evans, Michael Gambon

"Being Julia" is a tale of love and revenge set in the world of the London Stage in the late 1930s. Based on the novel "Theatre" by W. Somerset Maugham, it is the story of reigning diva Julia Lambert, for whom success and fame grow wearisome.

She falls head over heels for a young American man, but soon realizes that he is just another social climber who is in love with someone else. For her portrayal of Julia, Annette Bening was nominated for this year's Oscar for Best Actress.

Showtimes:

7 p.m. Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday

4:30 p.m. matinee Saturday and Sunday

March 25 to 31

"Closer"

Rated R

Director: Mike Nichols

Cast: Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Clive Owen

An honest look at modern relationships, "Closer" is the story of four strangers, their chance meetings, instant attractions and brutal betrayals. Natalie Portman and Clive Owen were nominated for Academy Awards for their supporting roles.

Showtimes:

7 p.m. Friday, Sunday, Wednesday

2 p.m. matinee Saturday and Sunday

"The Life Aquatic

with Steve Zissou"

Rated R

Director: Wes Anderson

Cast: Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett, Anjelica Huston, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum

From the director of "Rushmore" and "The Royal Tennenbaums" comes this latest offbeat comedy. Determined to avenge the death of his dear friend, team leader Steve Zissou recruits a team of ocean explorers to hunt the infamous "Jaguar" shark.

Showtimes:

7 p.m. Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday

4:30 p.m. matinee Saturday and Sunday

April 1 to 7

"Kinsey"

Rated R

Director: Bill Condon

Cast: Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Chris O'Donnell, Timothy Hutton

This film offers a biography of Alfred Kinsey, a man driven to uncover the most private secrets of a nation, and a journey into the mystery of human behavior. In 1948, Kinsey wrote his book "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" asking thousands of people about the most intimate aspects of their lives. Laura Linney was nominated for an Academy Award for her supporting role.

Showtimes:

7 p.m. Friday, Sunday, Wednesday

2 p.m. matinee Saturday and Sunday

"The Sea Inside"

Rated PG 13

Director: Alejandro Amenabar

Cast: Javier Bardem, Belen Rueda, Lola Duenas, Mabel Rivera

"The Sea Inside" is a gripping drama about dying with dignity. "The Sea Inside" won this year's Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Showtimes:

7 p.m. Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday

4:30 p.m. matinee Saturday and Sunday

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