The Bus Stopped Here

Along for the ride on the Silver City Express.

Murphy has his own example of life imitating art imitating life. He was at the Democratic National Convention to make Tanner on Tanner, an update of Tanner '88, Robert Altman's political satire, in which he played a fictitious Democratic presidential candidate. Murphy's not sure how many of the people who play themselves in Tanner, everyone from Howard Dean to Tom Brokaw, realized that he was an actor rather than a politician they just hadn't seen for a while. (Since I have one line in Silver City -- playing a real reporter! -- I can sympathize with their confusion.)

At mile marker 188, Earle breaks out his guitar.

7 p.m. Friday, Denver

If the other stops were Democratic routs, the chaotic scene at the Paramount Theatre is Florida on Election Day 2000. The line for will-call tickets stretches down the block; the line at the lobby bar is almost as long. Upstairs, the Rocky Mountain Progressives are celebrating their one-year anniversary with a rousing rally, addressed by Sayles. Down front, people filtering in from the Denver Film Society benefit, where Mayor John Hickenlooper read a proclamation naming this Silver City Day, are giving the ushers fits.

Finally, Barsamian introduces Perkins who introduces Sayles who introduces Earle. As he launches into "Fuck the FCC," one audience member raises a fist; another spills a cocktail. Whether because of the late start or the liquor, the Silver City Express comes to a screeching halt. Earle's set ends early and the movie begins without a break to introduce the mayor, the crew, the actors.

But at least they finally get to see the movie they filmed here last fall -- the first major movie made in Colorado in many years, and maybe the last for many more, since the state's film commission has been disbanded, its functions folded into the Colorado Office of Economic Development (which two weeks ago didn't even know that Sayles's film would premiere here).

"Filmed Entirely in Colorado," the credits say at the end of Silver City. "Thanks to You All."

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