Not-Nifty Fifties

The 1950s weren’t all sock hops, malt shops and boundless economic growth. There was a dark side of sexism, racism and xenophobia that’s scarcely acknowledged when people pine for the “good old days.” That dark side is at the thematic heart of Pleasantville, which sends ’90s-era teens into an idealized TV version of the ’50s, where their presence triggers seismic changes.

The film is showing as part of the Denver Film Society’s Breaking the Fourth Wall partnership, which pairs films with the current offering at Curious Theatre. Pleasantville’s theater twin is Maple and Vine, running through February 13, a story about a couple that joins a ’50s reenactment group, only to find things weren’t always as great as rose-tinted memories suggest. It’s “exactly what Pleasantville is. You have a kid who’s so infatuated with the TV show and thinks it’s so idyllic, but when the characters are thrown into the show, it’s not quite the case,” says Karla Rodriguez, DFS audience development manager. “We thought it would be a great, fun pairing.”

Pleasantville shows at 7 p.m. tonight at the Sie FilmCenter, 2501 East Colfax Avenue; a ’50s sock-hop party featuring Jonny Barber & the Rhythm Razors follows. Tickets are $12, $10 for DFS and Curious Theater members; for more info, visit
Sun., Jan. 27, 7 p.m., 2013


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