A major exhalation of grief rippled through the film world on the day that Dennis Hopper died, and it must have been because he was a rebel, a troubled one molded by the influence of classic anti-hero James Dean. On screen, he fascinated people, and it was a characteristically crooked look in his eye that gave life to so many of his roles, from the maverick stoner Billy in Easy Rider (which he also directed) to the alcoholic coach in Hoosiers or the gas-sucking psychopath of Blue Velvet: a permanently skewed gaze that was just part of the package. With that in mind, choosing to memorialize the counterculture symbol with a month-long series is a no-brainer for the Denver Film Society, which will host Hopper, a mini-fest featuring five of his best films, on Tuesday and Wednesday nights in August.
Hopper will don Billy's buckskins and straddle that big hog one more time when the series begins August 3 at 7 p.m. at Starz FilmCenter with a screening of Easy Rider, an era-defining landmark work that broke tradition with Hopper's naturalistic, improvisational direction, sweeping vistas and profound performances. In the following weeks, come back to see Colors, Hoosiers, River's Edge and Blue Velvet. Starz is in the Tivoli building on the Auraria campus; series tickets are available for $27.50 (or $20 for Denver Film Society members. Visit www.denverfilm.org for information.
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, 7 p.m. Starts: Aug. 3. Continues through Sept. 1, 2010