Again this year, Denver Film Festival artistic director Brit Withey is offering his must-see picks for each day of the fest — including many flicks that movie lovers might otherwise miss amid the flood of silver-screen goodies. Today he spotlights a selection for November 10: Rumba.
Directed by Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon and Bruno Romy
6:45 p.m. Thursday, November 10 Sie FilmCenter
In our preview of the 39th Denver Film Festival, artistic director Brit Withey said that the highlight of the festival for him was the opportunity to bring Belgian filmmakers Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon to Colorado with three of their films, including their latest, Lost in Paris, and an earlier comedic masterwork, Rumba, which Withey first tried to screen as part of the event a decade ago.
His summary of the film makes clear his enthusiasm, not to mention the highly unusual subject matter.
"They always use their real names in their movies, so they're Dominique and Fiona," Withey says. "They're teachers who have a passion for dancing the rumba, and they go to a dance contest one night — and on their way home, they get into a horrible car crash. She loses her leg and he has amnesia."
If that doesn't sound like a laugh riot, Withey understands — "but it's funny as can be from there on out," he emphasizes. "It's almost impossible to describe, but it's the most fun film in the festival, hands down. It's such a physical comedy — super-slapstick, with very little dialogue. It's one of those you've-got-to-see-it-to-believe-it kind of things, and in the last ten years or twenty years or thirty years, no one has been making films like this. They're the only two people who are, that I'm aware of. What they do is entirely unique and special, and it's great that they're coming to Denver."
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.