Wednesday October 11 Things to do in Denver before you're dead: Denver's annual fifteen minutes--or in this case, ten days--of Hollywood glamour and glitz begin today, when the Denver International Film Festival kicks off with a big premiere. In what is getting to be a tradition for the fest, it's a Woody Allen flick, Mighty Aphrodite. Featuring the usual eclectic cast--including Allen himself, back in form (we can only hope)--the film will be screened at 7:30 p.m. at the Auditorium Theatre, 14th and Curtis in the Plex, followed by a "100 Years at the Movies" gala. Then you're off and running: The usual kaleidoscope of new films, foreign works, documentaries, videos, special programs, celeb appearances and awards continues through October 20, with most screenings taking place at the AMC Tivoli Theatres at the Auraria campus. Wrapping it up will be Gary Fleder's Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead, the same venture that had Andy Garcia and Gabrielle Anwar running around Five Points filming last year. Things shows at 7 and 9:30 p.m. at the Continental Theatre, I-25 and Hampden; the traditional "Last Reel" party follows at Cliff Young's Mama Mia! restaurant, I-25 and Orchard Rd. For ticket information call 321-FILM.
Thursday October 12 The big read one: If you're not at the movies, chances are you've got your nose in a book, and if that's the case, the Rocky Mountain Book Festival is just the ticket for you. The two-day literary paradise, being held tomorrow and Sunday at Currigan Exhibition Hall, 1324 Champa St., and featuring 300 authors--among them, television producer Garry Marshall, Southwestern novelists Barbara Kingsolver and Tony Hillerman, and Native American authors Sherman Alexie, Wilma Mankiller and Russell Means--and 200 exhibitors, will include readings, Chautauqua performances, signings, demonstrations and discussions for all ages. Tonight, a Celebrity Book Auction, where participants can bid on volumes autographed by a slew of actors, authors and personalities (for instance, a Bill Gates-inscribed copy of The Catcher in the Rye) will set the weekend's bookish mood. Auction tickets are $25; for all festival details call 273-5933.
Friday October 13 The shape of things: Art of the third dimension will be explored with wonder and whimsy at a couple of area shows opening this evening. CU-Boulder's UMC Art Gallery, located in the University Memorial Center on campus at Broadway and Euclid, will present "Box It," a group collection of artist's boxes--incorporating eclectic items from twigs and seashells to Barbie dolls and butterflies--curated by Linda Foster Leonhard; attend a reception from 6 to 8 tonight or see the show through November 10. For information call 492-7465. And at the Brigitte Schluger Gallery, 265 Detroit St., "Edward `Rainbow' Larson: Flags, Big Fish and Whirligigs," an exhibit of articulated sculptures and modern folk art, will simply delight viewers. Also on display are landscapes by Laurie Church; attend the reception from 5 to 9 tonight or see the show through November 11. Call 329-3150.
Passion lane: Flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia doesn't strum. He attacks and caresses his guitar, stomping and spinning through forceful chords like a deft matador. And he does it better than just about anyone else alive. The stormy virtuoso, who has played alongside Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Larry Coryell and many others, will stamp into the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Pl., tonight at 8, accompanied by his sextet and a flamenco dancer. For information and tickets call 722-0054, 830-TIXS or 534-8336. Ole!
Take a chant: Candlelight and a cathedral create a picture-perfect backdrop for the Anonymous Four, a female quartet dedicated to the dark and polyphonic tones of medieval song. It's hard to believe in this age of punk rock, Glenn Branca and Trent Reznor, but these ladies have chanted their way right to the top of the Billboard classical charts. But then, didn't those monks sell billions of CDs? The Anonymous Four perform by candlelight tonight at 8 in St. John's Cathedral, 14th Ave. and Washington St.; for tickets, $8-$12, call 831-7115, ext. 17.
Saturday October 14 Cryptology: There's a lot more to free jazz than just blowing, as Cecil Taylor graduate David S. Ware will tell you. It also involves some pretty serious arranging, though that might be taking place right at the moment, right in your head. The tenor saxophonist, along with his bandmates, pianist Matthew Shipp, bassist William Parker and drummer Whit Dickey, will redo the standards in out-jazz form when the Creative Music Works' concert season commences tonight at 8 at the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Theatre, 119 Park Ave. West. Also performing will be Denver's own trumpet phenom Ron Miles; tickets are $10 ($8 CMW members) at the door. For further information call 477-3081.
Cool Runyon: After cantankerous New York newspaperman Jimmy Breslin won the Denver Press Club's inaugural Damon Runyon Award last year, the obvious choice for this year's accolade--which is awarded specifically to journalists who best follow in Runyon's tart, original, urban footsteps--is Mike Royko, the veteran Chicago columnist and author. The outspoken Royko will be honored at 7 this evening at the Brown Palace Hotel, 17th and Broadway, at a fundraising repast and silent auction. Admission is $50; a 5 p.m. cocktail reception with Royko at the Press Club, 1330 Glenarm Pl., costs an additional $25. For information or reservations call 571-5260.