Whether you're planning to find warmth in February through God's light, red-hot porn, global-warming anxiety or athletic burn, thaw out at one of the Denver area's movie theaters. This month programmers will be reflecting on everything from Judaism to wolf extinction to ultra-endurance racing on local screens. So put on your coat and shovel yourself out of your home; it's time to go to the movies! Here, in chronological order, are our ten best film events in metro Denver in February.
10) 100: Head/Heart/Feet 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 3 Alamo Drafthouse Some people get winded just thinking about running a 5K; for others, a 26.2 mile marathon is the ultimate challenge. But for endurance racers, the marathon is a mere sprint. 100: Head/Heart/Feet follows ultra-runner Zak Wielen as he trains for the Vermont 100 -- a 30-hour, 100-mile race along forest paths, gravel roads and highways. At least 300 compete; few finish. For more information on the screening, go to the Alamo Drafthouse website.
9) Ramin Bahrani in Person 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 3 Muenzinger Auditorium Filmmaker Ramin Bahrani is known for his independent hits Man Push Cart, Chop Shop and Goodbye Solo, all movies that have wowed programmers on the festival circuit. Bahrani's films often star non-actors and feature the stories of working-class immigrants struggling in the United States. He will present a series of his short films and answer questions as part of the International Film Series Winter program tonight; for more information, go to the International Film Series' website.8) Denver Jewish Film Festival Wednesday, February 4 through February 15 Mizel Arts and Culture Center
For nineteen years, the Denver Jewish Film Festival has brought Colorado audiences the best of global, Jewish cinema. On February 4, the celebration will kick off with Daniele Thompson'sIt Happened in Saint-Tropez
, a family comedy. Another highlight is filmmaker Lacey Schwartz'sLittle White Lie
, which documents how she learned about her mother's infidelity and the filmmaker's previously unknown African-American heritage. For more information about the films, go to thefestival website
"Singing to the Sky"
7) Wenhua Shi 7 p.m. Monday, February 9 CU Boulder - Visual Arts Complex Auditorium 1B20 After being trained as a doctor in China, Wenhua Shi started a career in broadcasting. In 2000, he came to the United States, where he studied film. CU's First Person Cinema will kick off its winter screening series with a selection of Shi's HD shorts that examine the intersection between art and technology. The program costs $4; for more information, go to the First Person Cinema website.
With Valentine's Day upon us, the adaptation of the breakout schlock, BDSM novelFifty Shades of Grey
will be in theaters this month. While cinematic greatness will likely not be achieved, this is the chance to see what may very well be a cult turkey admired by cinema geeks thirty years from now. On the off-chance thatFifty Shades of Grey
fails to meet critics' low expectations, it will be a pleasant shock for all.
Smart Alec will be shown as part of Cinema Contra's Peepshow: A Night of Vintage Cinematic Sleaze-to-Please!
5) Peepshow: A Night of Vintage Cinematic Sleaze-to-Please! 8:30 p.m. Saturday, February 14 Rhinoceropolis Cinema Contra programmer Anthony Buchanan will be celebrating the hundredth anniversary of the first stag film in the United States on Valentine's Day with a robust program of retro cinematic erotica. Featuring everything from homemade porn to classic burlesque performances, strip teases and bondage, these films harken back to the pre-Internet days when horn-balls donned raincoats and crept into XXX movie theaters in red-light districts nationwide. There is a $5 suggested donation; for more information, go to the event's Facebook page.4) Colorado Environmental Film Festival Thursday, February 19 through Saturday, February 21 American Mountaineering Center
For nine years nature lovers, environmentalists, activists and documentary film enthusiasts have descended on Golden for the Colorado Environmental Film Festival. Featuring a broad variety of eco-themed documentaries, this year's festival shines its spotlight on the plight of wolves and birds. For more information about screenings, parties, award ceremonies, the Eco Expo and more, go to thefestival's website
.Keep reading for three more of the best film events in February.3) Pandora's Box with Live Score by Paul Buscarello 4 p.m. Saturday, February 21 Alamo Drafthouse
The lurid 19129 German melodramaPandora's Box
tells the story of a young socialite, played by Louise Brooks, whose relentless sexuality leads to her doom. Initially, the film was panned by critics -- but it has been embraced by contemporary film scholars. This screening will be accompanied by a performance by local filmmaker and musician Paul Buscarello; for more information, go to theAlamo Drafthouse website
2) Suitcase of Love and Shame 7 p.m. Monday, February 23 CU Boulder - Visual Arts Complex Auditorium 1B20 When her friend found an Ebay listing for sixty hours of reel-to-reel tapes chronicling a 1960s affair, Jane Gillooly, a Boston filmmaker, convinced her friend to bid -- and she won, for $100. Gillooly cut the tape into an experimental collage film, The Suitcase of Love and Shame, that looks at the relationship between recording technologies, self-documentation and secret romance. The film explores voyeurism, biography and the relationship between sound, image and history. Tickets to the program cost $4; for details, go to the First Person Cinema Website.1) I Am 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 24 Muenzinger Auditorium
This winter, CU Boulder welcomed Tom Shadyac -- comedian, screenwriter and director -- to the film studies program. As the writer-director ofAce Ventura: Pet Detective
, Shadyac soared to the heights of the film industry, earning himself a 17,000 square-foot home and a private jet, and then gave it all up for a simpler life. The documentaryI Am
tells his story. The screening is free; for more information, go to theIFS website
.Find me on Twitter: @kyle_a_harris
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