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Home to the Denver Film Society, the Anna & John J. Sie FilmCenter is Denver’s only year-round cinematheque, showing both first-run studio features and foreign, independent and art-house films. Amenities include a snack bar that sells popcorn, fountain drinks, beer, hot dogs and candy, as well as stadium seating with leather couches and chairs. It is located near the Tattered Cover in the Lowenstein CulturePlex on East Colfax.
This fact-based, girl-group empowerment story never quite soars, but has its easy pleasures, and it's likely to become one of those movies everyone sees, maybe more than once. The wonderful Irish actor Chris O'Dowd, who played the laid-back... More »
This fact-based, girl-group empowerment story never quite soars, but has its easy pleasures, and it's likely to become one of those movies everyone sees, maybe more than once. The wonderful Irish actor Chris O'Dowd, who played the laid-back highway patrolman in Bridesmaids (2011), stars as Dave Lovelace, a musician living out of his car who stumbles upon a gifted girl group in rural Australia circa 1968. The four young women are Aboriginals, and as such are shunned and abused by white neighbors they've known all their lives. When Julie (Jessica Mauboy), the one with the really great voice, sees an advertisement seeking acts to perform for American troops in Vietnam, she convinces the others (Deborah Mailman, Shari Sebbens, and Miranda Tapsell) to audition. After Dave encourages the girls to switch their repertoire from Merle Haggard to Otis Redding tunes, the girls soon find themselves performing in Saigon and the war zone beyond. First-time director Wayne Blair and screenwriters Keith Thompson and Tony Briggs, adapting Briggs' stage play, don't shy away from the era's social complexities, but they keep their eye on the ball, which in this case is the sweet pull of soul tune harmony. Why resist? « Less
A bewitching helix of pure movie stuff, Peter Strickland's seething and self-conscious whatsit Berberian Sound Studio may scan as a psychological thriller, but it's really a lavish gift to film geeks in a lovely matryoshka box. We haven't been... More »
A bewitching helix of pure movie stuff, Peter Strickland's seething and self-conscious whatsit Berberian Sound Studio may scan as a psychological thriller, but it's really a lavish gift to film geeks in a lovely matryoshka box. We haven't been here before: the Italian film industry circa 1976, in that post-dubbing-craze industry’s seediest foley studio, and once we're in there's no getting out. It's an irresistible dynamic: being trapped in a Kafkaesque netherworld of genre film post-production, where "reality" is an ungraspable quantity, but what's "happening" in the film under construction is overwhelmingly vital. Gilderoy (Toby Jones), a shy British sound engineer, is imported to fabricate the soundtrack for what seems to be an absurdly gory Dario Argento-ish giallo. Seems to be, because we never see the film in question, but only hear it, as a thousand cabbages and melons are decimated with knives and sledgehammers, and as the brittle Gilderoy finds himself lost in whimsical Italian bureaucracy and appalled by the bloody mayhem on the screen. Naturally, Strickland's film is infected with the menace emanating from the film within the film. Again and again, the aural horror becomes the sly soundtrack of Berberian, and vice-versa. Giallo-ness is everywhere; Gilderoy is even haunted by a daddy-longlegs. Although the experience is filthy with satiric details (Italian moviemakers take it in the knees), almost nothing happens in Strickland's film-- it's almost completely rampaging atmosphere, which assaults Jones's shaky artisan even as he manufactures it. The screaming, bloodletting business of the giallo is "nothing," too, just sounds and images, no matter how much the pretentious director, once he shows up, blathers on about his film's "truth." « Less
Watching the documentary Hey Bartender is like spending a night at a good bar: It's fun, easygoing, and it lasts just a little longer than it should. And the conversation, while delightful in the moment, often seems banal the next morning. It's... More »
Watching the documentary Hey Bartender is like spending a night at a good bar: It's fun, easygoing, and it lasts just a little longer than it should. And the conversation, while delightful in the moment, often seems banal the next morning. It's clear that director Douglas Tirola is passionate about cocktails and the art of tending bar, and that he's as charming as the members of the hospitality industry he's convinced to tell their stories on camera. The bartenders themselves are a motley crowd, most of whom ended up in the service industry by accident—or without intending to stay. These ex-actors and military veterans have a dogged energy for performance, and are often surprised by their enthusiasm for their own profession, especially when the reasoning voices of less-than-proud parents and weary partners threaten to drown out the din of clinking glass and comfortable chatter. The film is more of love song, a Terrence-Malick-meets-Ken-Burns mood piece, than it is a narrative. But if there's a central story, it's how the craft cocktail, absent from American drinking culture since prohibition, re-entered the scene, gaining popularity with cosmopolitan drinkers at bars like New York's neo-speakeasy Employees Only (profiled in the film) but also in places like Westport, Connecticut, where Steve Carpentieri manages Dunville's, a neighborhood restaurant and bar. What carries the doc is Tirola's expansive, democratic spirit-- his understanding of the value of bar as meeting place, not just a stage for bitters and booze. His friendly film goes down as easily as a well-mixed drink. « Less
At last! A documentary about that underexposed group: the 1 percenters in their lair. In Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's, the storied store is presented in cinematic terms as ex-screenwriter Matthew Miele watches decorator David Hoey madly... More »
At last! A documentary about that underexposed group: the 1 percenters in their lair. In Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's, the storied store is presented in cinematic terms as ex-screenwriter Matthew Miele watches decorator David Hoey madly creating window displays of phantasmagorical "installation art" that moves. The film's climax is the famous annual holiday unveiling as the hoi polloi press their noses against the glass. Yet the long-term employees fascinate more than the clothes: They are beautiful gargoyles, true freaks of fashion. We don’t get interviews with non-celeb shoppers of the reticent monied class, but designers Manolo Blahnik, Jason Wu, Patricia Field, and others each give their rendition of "What Bergdorf's Meant to Me." Vera Wang nails it: Being obsessive is a given; the key is how you fit into the market. A one-size-fits-all documentary format includes a mini-history; apparently the founders weren't just in it for the money. Edwin Goodman was a tailor who knew how to cut and cared about quality. Yet this macchiato with 24-karat gold flecks may not be to everyone’s taste. Spending $7,000 on shoes is shrugged off, since here success is affording Bergdorf Goodman's. Without the dueling-divas drama of The September Issue, or the shiny dynamism of Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel, this doc, title taken from a remark by a wealthy European shopper and immortalized in a New Yorker cartoon, is fun and frothy, a fan's mash note. « Less
Opening with a shotgun blasting a hole in the face of a grotesque brute-- and soon afterward treating us to the sight of a self-disembowelment by chainsaw--Hatchet III announces exactly who it's aimed at right from the start. (If you don't like... More »
Opening with a shotgun blasting a hole in the face of a grotesque brute-- and soon afterward treating us to the sight of a self-disembowelment by chainsaw--Hatchet III announces exactly who it's aimed at right from the start. (If you don't like sequels where the title's Roman numerals are rendered in jagged slashes of blood, this isn't for you.) Hatchet heroine Marybeth (Danielle Harris) has just killed the deformed bayou hulk Victor Crowley (four-time Jason Voorhees Kane Hodder), and then marches, slathered with blood, into a local police station to turn herself in. But Crowley is a "repeater," a ghost destined to return to life every night in an endless cycle, so staying dead isn’t an option. Amanda (horror vet Caroline Williams), a journalist disgraced by her obsession with the Crowley legend, has an plan on how to break that cycle, and she needs Marybeth to, ahem, execute it. Meanwhile, cops and EMTs descend on the crime scene at Honey Island Swamp, where a revived Crowley soon commences tearing them to pieces. There's no shortage of visceral, gross-out thrills: Aside from the dismemberments, we're presented with a death by defibrillator, and a loving shot of half a brain falling from half a skull. Disappointingly, Marybeth is largely passive in this installment, the apparent climax of writer-producer Adam Green's Hatchet trilogy. She gets her Final Girl status merely by being the last one to show up. « Less
A collection of short films featuring some of the world's biggest actors.
Watching the documentary Hey Bartender is like spending a night at a good bar: It's fun, easygoing, and it lasts just a little longer than it shoul...
The Alliance Française hosts monthly screenings of French films, followed by a pastry reception and French-language discussion.
In the history of TV talk shows, few characters made as big a splash as Morton Downey Jr. For two years in the late ’80s, his uniquely repulsive ch...
If you’ve got a case of the Mondays -- and know what cult comedy that reference is from -- salvation is at hand. The Denver Film Society and Twist ...
The country in the midst of a veritable cocktail renaissance -- and Hey Bartender, a documentary that tells the story of the bartender in the era of the craft cocktail, offers a revealing look into th... More »
The Sie FilmCenter’s Hey Girl! series generally caters to women by combining a happy-hour shmooze with a slate of chick flicks. But tonight’s installment, happening — perhaps pointedly — in the wake of Denver Comic Con, targets a slightly... More »
As I sat in a coffee shop yesterday, camped out with my laptop and a mission to actually get some writing done, I knew full well that I wouldn't really get anything accomplished. Not because I'd be d... More »
In Scatter My Ashes At Bergdorf's -- opening tonight at the Sie FilmCenter -- the story of a colossus retailer of couture is told from many angles. Famous customers, fashion designers, critics and Ber... More »
The social upheavals of the 1960s and '70s were fueled by a potent blend of sex, drugs and rock and roll, but only a few select groups elevated that combination to a religion. The Source Family docume... More »
Whether you're hanging out before a movie, between film-festival showings or after an unrelated event, Sie FilmCenter always has the makings of a great party. The FilmCenter makes good use of its indoor and outdoor space, hosting shindigs on the rooftop, cocktail hours and yoga classes in Henderson's Lounge, concerts on the front steps, and trivia nights in the lobby. More than just a theater, the Sie has become the place to hang out, mingle, celebrate birthdays and, of course, catch some of... More »
Sie FilmCenter programmer Keith Garcia wears his film fanaticism in a bright splash right on his sleeve, and his constituents love him for it -- because he's one of them. Thanks to Garcia, the Sie's schedule pairs the best in current indie and art films with more esoteric sidesteps into anime and animation, documentaries and genre films he books for his pet late-night project, the Watching Hour. And the Sie always plays to its audience when it specializes, making film-going into a party... More »
Free refills on fountain drinks. Beer. Fancy chocolate. And popcorn. Oh, the popcorn. It's the type of popcorn that makes people stop in to buy it, then leave without even seeing a movie. The food and drink at the Denver FilmCenter on Colfax is hands-down the best in Denver, not just for the quality selection, or for the comfort in which you'll consume your snacks. There's also the price factor, which can be pretty important after you plunk down $10 or so for a movie ticket. So let's say it... More »
The closing of the short-lived Neighborhood Flix Cinema & Cafe was a blow to the emerging culture magnet of the Lowenstein complex. But the Denver Film Society has given the space new life -- and given its unique offerings a better venue than at the Tivoli, where patrons had to deal with decrepit theaters and compete for parking with mobs headed to events at the Pepsi Center. Although there are only three theaters in the new locale, they're booked every night with independent,... More »
If your interest in film extends at all past Hollywood's latest remakes, explosion showcases and toy commercials, you're probably already a regular of Starz FilmCenter. The menu runs the gamut from foreign gems to the best of local indie cinema, with stops at all points in between. It also offers great regular programs, including the GLBT-focused Cinema Q and Doc Night, which brings documentary filmmakers in to show their films and talk about them. Whatever your taste in cinema, chances are... More »
Every Friday and Saturday night at ten, Denver Film Society programming manager Keith Garcia brings in what he calls "the cooler films," films that don't always get the exposure they deserve. The Watching Hour incorporates all corners of offbeat cinema, including sub-series of zombie films and Ozploitation movies, the original Italian Inglorious Bastards, an archival print of the Dario Argento classic Suspiria, the '80s cult classic The Legend of Billie Jean and even Teen Witch, and provides... More »
Does any theater in Denver even come close to matching the eclecticism of Starz? Sure, the FilmCenter programs plenty of well-known independent flicks. But it also spotlights obscure features, shorts and documentaries that earn screen time thanks to the archeological instincts of the dedicated staff. Also on tap are special series and events, including April's XicanIndie FilmFest and this summer's Young Filmmakers Workshop. No wonder anyone who truly cares about art and culture in this fair... More »
There's no better way to enjoy a cheesy, cliched sci-fi "classic" than getting drunk with a few smart-ass friends and piling on the snarky comments and vulgar innuendo as it plays. That's why we're lucky to have Mile High Sci Fi, a group of hilarious local comedians who've picked up the torch of movie-riffing pioneers Mystery Science Theater 3000 and run with it. Free of the constraints of television, they can be as nasty as they want to be, and they make the most of the opportunity. Every... More »
Programmed under the auspices of the Denver Film Society, Starz is not only a great place to see the latest in foreign and independent films, but it's also home to nearly a dozen ongoing series that cover all the cinematic bases. There's Cinema Q for the gay-centric crowd, DocNight for those who want an injection of reality into their film-going lives, and Rocky Mountain PBS Free Community Cinema, which offers a sneak peek of films to be aired later by the PBS series Independent Lens, to... More »
Starz FilmCenter has seen better days. It's a bit tatty around the edges, and the seats make airplanes look comfortable. But no other theater can unseat the king when it comes to must-see programming, including critically acclaimed small fests, special nights and the annual blowout of the Starz Denver Film Festival. There's certainly a place for fast cars/fast music/heist/blow-'em-up movies, but when you're feeling a little overstimulated, a trip to Starz will remind you that moviemaking is... More »
The Starz FilmCenter withdrew from a deal to relocate to the Lowenstein Theater on East Colfax Avenue, so the movie house will remain in its tatty old digs in the Tivoli building, where the auditoriums are cramped and the amenities minimal. But the films are glorious, the kind of New York-, Chicago- or L.A.-worthy fare you simply can't find in the suburbs. Recent offerings have included everything from a revival of Antonioni's neglected 1975 thriller The Passenger to the relentlessly spooky... More »
The best thing to happen for Denver-area film buffs in decades, the Starz FilmCenter at the Tivoli presents a year-round selection of art-house fare, independent features and revival screenings that rivals the best offerings in cinema-rich cities like New York and San Francisco. Recent programs have included a series of five contemporary French comedies, a three-film series honoring the great Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu and new features from Denmark, Bhutan, India, Iran, Argentina and... More »
Home to the Denver International Film Festival for ten days each October, the eight-house Starz FilmCenter features top-drawer art films and lively revivals through the remainder of the year, along with Saturday-morning programs for children, film-and-discussion nights, themed series and frequent showcases for Colorado filmmakers. In February, Starz hosted the eighth Denver Jazz on Film Festival, in March the Denver Jewish Film Festival. Coming Soon: The sixth Latino World Cinema series... More »
Featuring six screens and a policy of booking foreign, independent and classic films 365 days a year, the new Starz FilmCenter in the old Tivoli Theaters on the Auraria campus represents a major advance in Denver's cultural life. Operated by the Denver Film Society, which produces the Denver International Film Festival each October, and Dallas- and New York-based Magnolia Pictures, the city's first cinématheque will also screen retrospectives, Saturday-morning children's programs and... More »
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