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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.
In the same way novels can be better and worse than journalism at processing history, so can movies be better and worse than novels: too unreal, yet too specific. For the movie of Mohsin Hamid's novel, director Mira Nair mounts a sensitive... More »
In the same way novels can be better and worse than journalism at processing history, so can movies be better and worse than novels: too unreal, yet too specific. For the movie of Mohsin Hamid's novel, director Mira Nair mounts a sensitive retrospective procedural of radicalization: Here's how a bright young Pakistani man (Riz Ahmed) goes straight from Princeton into a boutique corporate valuation firm (with Kiefer Sutherland as his sharkish boss), then has a promising meet-cute with an emotionally unavailable American woman (Kate Hudson), then has his priorities rearranged by the fallout of 9/11. He returns to Pakistan as a university lecturer whose ideas may or may not encourage terrorism, drawing attention from a journalist (Liev Schreiber) whose lengthy interview-cum-standoff serves as the film’s narrative frame. At times it’s dense and sluggish, too much like a novel. But there is some exhilaration to be had from Nair's sincere interested in Hudson's character, who is appealing but hung up by grief over a previous relationship. In the richest moment, she offends her new suitor with a naively exploitative art project-- she calls it an expression of love; he says it's defamation-- and he stuns himself with the cruelty of his response. Thus the central arc is a function not just of sadly expected post-9/11 affronts-- the airport strip search, the tire slashing, the colleagues getting nervous about his beard-- but of doomed romance, with a vision of America that's all the more alluring for being so tragically stunted. « Less
A Jesus-and-Mary dynamic becomes psychosexually twisted-- replete with a horrific mother-son handjob-- in Pietà, an intriguing tale of redemption and rebirth from director Kim Ki-duk (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter ... and Spring; Three-Iron) that... More »
A Jesus-and-Mary dynamic becomes psychosexually twisted-- replete with a horrific mother-son handjob-- in Pietà, an intriguing tale of redemption and rebirth from director Kim Ki-duk (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter ... and Spring; Three-Iron) that eventually segues into a more conventional revenge drama. Kang-do (Lee Jung-jin) is a loan shark who cripples deadbeats in order to collect his money via insurance payouts; his life is upended after he's approached by a woman (Cho Min-soo) claiming to be his long-lost mom. This maternal figure soon transforms the thug through her saintly remorse for abandoning Kang-do and her benevolence toward him despite his nasty profession. It's during the first hour, however, that Kim's expertly modulated morality play is most gripping, presenting Kang-do's hand-smashing, leg-breaking brutality for profit as a reflection of a Korean society in which the industrial working class is crushed underfoot by corporate capitalist development. Alas, after establishing a central parent-child relationship rife with wacko biblical undertones, the director finds nowhere to take his story except into standard vengeance territory, a twist that leads to rote suspense that isn't enlivened by the climax's telegraphed ironies. A coda strives to capture a sense of tragically earned transcendence, but the film is far more fascinating when mucking around in hell. « Less
A collection of short films featuring some of the world's biggest actors.
Taken together, Ulrich Seidl’s three Paradise films will be hard to beat this year for sheer arthouse scald. Seidl has a relentless vision but one ...
Adolescence has rarely looked more awkward, unpleasant or emotionally painful than it does in Welcome to the Dollhouse, Todd Solondz’s 1995 black c...
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 film of the Czech Republic may not have the cultural cachet of the cinema of such powerhouse nations as France, but there’s still plenty to enj...
On the surface, Darren Aronofsky's bleak masterpiece Requiem for a Dream, the screwball musical nun-comedy of Sister Act and a spaghetti Western from Thailand don't have much in common. In the eyes of... More »
Part biopic, part fabled rock tale, Greetings From Tim Buckley, opening tonight at the Sie FilmCenter, tells the story of the connection between the singer, who died in 1975 at the age of 28, and his son, Jeff Buckley, who never knew his famous... More »
I'm naive to a fault. Last week, when my car was hit for a third time in eighteen months (the second time it was creamed while parked in front of my house), I was naive enough to tell the insurance c... More »
Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is a film that inspires strong reactions, and people have been trying to pin down what it's really about almost since the day it was released. With Room 237, first-time f... 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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