Fridays, beginning July 7, 10 p.m.
Sie Film Center
Master of surrealism, Chilean filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky has been equally inspiring and confounding audiences since 1970, when his midnight classic El Topo hit the big screen. That film would be the first of his many tales, released over decades, that weirdly, sexually and perposterously explore human life, art and death. Often starring Jodorowsky himself – who spent years studying voiceless acting with famous mime Marcel Marceau – the films left an indelible impression on the rise of the art-house cinema. This month, the Sie Film Center is paying tribute to his work with the help of local film lover and beloved weirdo Andrew Novick and artist Brandan Styles. The four-film series, including El Topo, The Holy Mountain, Santa Sangre, and The Dance of Reality is a lead up to the release of the 88-year-old director’s newest tale, Endless Poetry, opening at the Sie on July 28. Novick will introduce and talk about each film, and early birds can pick up an exclusive series poster, created by Styles, at every screening. Attendees will also receive a discount code good for a few bucks off of their tickets to Endless Poetry; those who watch all the films in the series get a free pass to that title. Buy your tickets at denverfilm.org and watch a trailer for Santa Sangre here.
July 7, 7 p.m.
Sie Film Center
Who doesn’t love an animated short film? Nobody! This Denver-born Denver Nickel + Dime Animation Extravaganza debuted a few weeks ago at the Bug Theater. The program stars Bearver C. Rogers, festival director Michael Scott's animated alter-ego, who interviews a dozen famed artists who talk about their work. The screening includes 32 animated shorts from the around the world. This could become a regular fixture on Denver's festival docket and one that benefits the community at large; a portion of ticket sales will support SafeHouse Denver and assist that organization's programs. Buy your tickets at denverfilm.org, follow the animation extravaganza at denveranimationfest.com, and watch a trailer here.
Opens July 7
Denver Area Theaters
Of all the character properties in the movieverse, Marvel Comic’s Spider-Man seems to be the one nobody can get right in the transition from the funny pages to the silver screen. After two tries with two actors (Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield) and one reboot, we’ve now landed on a second go and a skinny new bod in the spidey suit – super-flexible actor Tom Holland. Spider-Man: Homecoming positions itself as the first Spider-Man movie to debut in the current Marvel Universe. Here’s hoping that this latest reboot sticks. Best try number three finds Peter Parker struggling with teen life and learning how to be a hero from Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, while taking on righteous villain, the Vulture (Michael Keaton). Third time’s the charm; fingers crossed this movie works. Find showtimes and theaters at fandango.com and watch a trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming here.
July 11, 7 p.m.
Alamo Drafthouse Littleton
This '80s oddity Streets of Fire is a rock-and-roll western set “in another time, another place,” a cross between the ‘50s and 1984 Detroit. Singer Ellen Aim (a baby-faced Diane Lane) is kidnapped in the middle of a concert by a leather-clad baddie (Willem Dafoe), and it’s up to her drifting outlaw ex Tom Cody to light up the town looking for her. The entire movie is electric, scored by Jim Steinman, the man behind “Total Eclipse Of The Heart” and Meatloaf’s biggest hits. The movie, which people raised on early HBO have likely seen before, feels like a dream – one you don't want to wake up from. Screenwriter Larry Gross will be at the Alamo for an after-film discussion. Grab your tickets at drafthouse.com and watch a trailer for Streets of Fire here.
Wednesdays, beginning July 12, 7 p.m.
Sie Film Center and Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Now entering its sixth year, the Sci-Fi Film Series, a partnership between the Sie Film
Center and the Museum of Nature & Science, plays classics and modern greats of the genre. Each screening is followed by deep-dive discussions about the movies, with Metro State University teacher Vincent Piturro. The series is always packed with viewers eager to find new ways to see familiar films including 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Lobster, Korean monster flick The Host, and Richard Linklater's A Scanner Darkly. Screenings volley between the Museum and the Film Center’s big screens. Get tickets at denverfilm.org and watch a trailer for The Host here.
Read on for more of the best film events in July.