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Focusing on film

Series explores work of two directors

Autumn Phillips
Key points ° Language of Film: Part 3 ° Films directed by Peter Weir Jan. 20: "The Year of Living Dangerously" Jan. 27: "Witness" Feb. 3: "Dead Poets Society" Feb. 10: "The Truman Show" ° Films directed Lasse Hallstrm Feb. 17: "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?" Feb. 24: "Once Around" March 3: "Cider House Rules" March 10: "The Shipping News" ° Classes meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays in the banquet room of the Celebrity Resorts/Hilltop. The eight-week series is $250. Individual classes are $40. ° To register, call 870-8847.

Key points ° Language of Film: Part 3 ° Films directed by Peter Weir Jan. 20: “The Year of Living Dangerously” Jan. 27: “Witness” Feb. 3: “Dead Poets Society” Feb. 10: “The Truman Show” ° Films directed Lasse Hallstrm Feb. 17: “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?” Feb. 24: “Once Around” March 3: “Cider House Rules” March 10: “The Shipping News” ° Classes meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays in the banquet room of the Celebrity Resorts/Hilltop. The eight-week series is $250. Individual classes are $40. ° To register, call 870-8847.

When film producer Dori Weiss bought a home in Steamboat Springs, she was doing so to get away from Hollywood.

“I had a fast rise, and I was burning out,” she said. “I came here to redefine myself.”

Her house is in a rural area, far from everything. Or so she thought. After she got settled into her new home, Weiss noticed something that she hadn’t seen when she toured the place the first time.

At the top of the driveway, barely visible, was the name of her neighbor — Nyby.

“It’s not a common name,” she said. “Right away I knew it was Christian Nyby the Hollywood director. (Nyby’s credits include directing “Hill Street Blues” and “Moonlighting.”) I move thousands of miles away, and it turns out that my neighbor is a director.”

During the years, the two have become close friends. In the fall of 2003, they offered the first in what is now a continuing series of community film classes. This Thursday, they will begin “Language of Film: Part 3.”

Every series has been different. The first broke films down by craft — production design, score, editing. The second, held in the summer of 2004, focused on directors and the directors who influenced them.

Attendants to this winter’s series will study two directors: Peter Weir and Lasse Hallstrm.

The work of each director will be shown chronologically and studied for four weeks.

“Both directors have strong thematic threads throughout their work, and it is interesting to see how that evolves,” Weiss said.

The series will begin Thursday with Weir’s 1982 film “The Year of Living Dangerously,” followed weekly by “Witness,” “Dead Poets Society” and “The Truman Show.”

The exploration of Hallstrm’s work will begin with “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?” followed the next three weeks with “Once Around,” “Cider House Rules” and “The Shipping News.”

The classes meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays for eight weeks. The evening begins with chili, soups and crusty breads, wine and beer and a pre-screening discussion.

“We try to take our expertise and guide (the audience) to look for certain things,” Weiss said.

After the film, the group talks about what they discovered.

“I’ve been told that after these classes, people look at films differently,” Weiss said.

Although the eight-week series is a “class,” it is designed to have a casual, social atmosphere.

“People have fun. They meet new people, and it’s stimulation,” Weiss said. “You forget how much fun it is to learn new things.”

Those interested in attending the film series can pay for an eight-week package for $250 or attend individual nights for $40 per class.

To register, call 870-8847.


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