Artsbeat

When filming begins this week on The Closer, Tom Selleck's mid-season replacement show, the California set will be littered with Colorado memorabilia. That's because the sitcom is the first TV show since Dynasty supposedly set in Denver, and Selleck, an advertising-agency guy, hangs out at a LoDo sports bar filled with allegedly authentic Colorado products, including local microbrews and no doubt a few hungover Bronco fans. Until that show debuts, catch familiar Colorado sights in Dean Koontz's Phantoms, released last Friday. Much of the shooting was done in Georgetown, which doubles as "Snowfield," the mountain town stalked by unknown evil. The mystery is solved by Peter O'Toole, a scientist turned tabloid reporter; looking for an authentic newsroom atmosphere, the production crew dropped by the Westword office last year--but we didn't pass true tabloid muster.

At the just-ended Sundance Film Festival, New York filmmaker (and former Westword contributor) Julia Loktev won a best-director award for her documentary, Moment of Impact, which details her mother's care of Loktev's brain-injured father in their Loveland home. And although Denver filmmaker Derek Cianfrance's Brother Tied didn't win any awards, it still qualifies as the first homegrown movie to make it to Utah; former CU student Trey Parker, creator of South Park, was represented with his Orgazmo. Meanwhile, Denver-based Ascent (the corporation soon to bring you the Pepsi Center and currently supporting those all-time losers, the Denver Nuggets) scored two victories with its Beacon Communications' Air Force One. Harrison Ford, who played a combat-veteran president too busy fighting off Russian terrorists to dally with an intern, won the People's Choice award for favorite movie actor; a judge gave Ascent a perhaps more important win when he tossed out a lawsuit filed by John and Katherine Celli, who alleged that the movie cribbed from their own work. So far, Air Force One has grossed $172 million--maybe Ascent will spend some of that on a few new Nuggets.

The team's only star, LaPhonso Ellis, is a sure bet to be one of the local celebs asked to put their paws into cement for the nation's second Chinese theater, which opened this week at Arapahoe Crossings. The theater features fiberglass replicas of some of the hand- and footprints made outside Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood; all told, 193 stars have made their mark there. Denver doesn't have 193 luminaries, but the theater promises to come up with its own list soon.

Making a different cut--at least according to the Colorado Council on the Arts and Humanities, which has chosen noteworthy artists/arts supporters to receive this year's Governor's Award--is Howie Movshovitz. He's the longtime film critic ousted from his Denver Post reviewer slot last year by editor Dennis Britton, who deemed his work too highbrow.

You've heard it before, usually when arts organizations are trying to cut themselves a piece of the state's promotional budget: Coloradans support the arts as fervently as they do sports. Yeah, tell that one to the University of Colorado Artist Series, which had to cancel a scheduled January 25 performance by Korean violin virtuoso Kyung-Wha Chung because of poor ticket sales.

Go, Broncos!

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