When you go to the movies, do your eyes get more of a workout than your brain? Luckily, Alexandre Philippe has a cure for what ails you. Philippe, a Lighthouse Foundation and University of Denver screenwriting instructor, is currently presenting a four-movie series called "The Deconstruction of Film" at the Starz FilmCenter. "It focuses on the aspects of film that people don't normally pay attention to," Philippe says. But it's not merely an exercise in picking out goofy scenes or finding bloopers.
"The idea is to provide a greater understanding of movies and the craft [of screenwriting] as a whole," explains Philippe, who is currently debuting his documentary Chick Flick (The Miracle Mike Story) at the Cannes Film Festival.
Movies often are viewed only for entertainment, but Philippe stresses that many things can be learned from them, such as lessons about storytelling and culture.
The program, which began last month with Minority Report, will continue at 7 tonight with Rushmore; the focus will be on the ensemble cast and how it is used in film. The Starz series is very similar to Philippe's classes, he says, which stress the importance of looking beyond the celluloid surface.
This close scrutiny can lead to other benefits, including a more informed group of screenwriters. However, Philippe cautions that those pursuing such a career should "do it because they love it, not just to make money."
The series has been successful in attracting future students, with more than twenty people signed up at the end of the first presentation. The program will continue through the summer, with The Shining showing on July 10. A fourth film has yet to be selected. Philippe hopes this will be an ongoing event that showcases a different picture each month.
All presentations begin at 7 p.m.; for more information, contact the Starz FilmCenter at 303-893-3456 or go to www.starzfilmcenter.com. -- Jason McKinney
Mayor cools with festival of rhythm and blues
The mayor of Denver has no intention of waddling out of office like a lame duck. Wellington E. Webb's Music Festival at Red Rocks tonight will feature the cool sounds of Latin jazz king Poncho Sanchez, funk masters the Gap Band, legendary R&B artists the Isley Brothers and vocalist Heather Headley. "Red Rocks is the most spectacular place in the world to see a concert," says Fabby Hillyard, Director of Theatres and Arenas. "It's not just your kid's Red Rocks anymore." Webb's musical fest has tried for three years to offer a spectrum of talent, but the concert's future will reside with a new Denver mayor. "We hope it will continue," says Hillyard. "It's good to diversify the audience so everyone can see how wonderful Red Rocks is."
Head up to the Rocks for the mayor's soulful adios. Tickets ($25 to $30) are available at all King Soopers stores. Gates open at 5:30; the bands come on stage at 6:30. For more information, go to www.redrocksonline.com or call toll-free 1-866-464-2626. -- Kity Ironton