Film and TV

Denver Film Festival Must-See Picks for November 2 to 4: Pity and More

A scene from Pity.
A scene from Pity. Denver Film Festival via Vimeo
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 selections for November 2, 3 and 4: Pity, Behind the Curve and Cold War.

Pity
Directed by Babis Makridis
3:45 p.m. Friday, November 2, 9:15 p.m. Saturday, November 3, and 2:15 p.m. Monday, November 5
UA Pavilions

Efthymis Filippou, who co-wrote the Greek film Pity with director Babis Makridis, also penned The Lobster, a cheerfully bizarre 2015 film by Yorgos Lanthimos, the man behind The Favourite, the opening-night attraction at the 41st annual Denver Film Festival. "That might lead you to believe it's dark and weird," says DFF artistic director Brit Withey. "And it is."

The story revolves around "a guy and his wife — and they have a child, too," Withey divulges. "But the wife winds up in a coma, and everybody thinks she's going to die."

This situation would seem to portend terrible things for her husband, but Withey says he finds an unexpected upside. "Everybody in his life starts to treat him really well. The people at work are really nice to him. The woman downstairs at his apartment complex brings him a cake every day. His dry cleaner gets everything done within 24 hours and doesn't charge him because he's suffering so much."

Here's the trailer for Pity.


But then, Withey goes on, the protagonist's wife "gets better and everybody start treating him normal again — and he doesn't like that at all. He liked how he'd been treated when she was sick, and he's got to find a way to rectify what's happened — so he just tells everybody that she's relapsed and gone back into the hospital."

Unfortunately for him, "They find out that's not true," he reveals, "and everybody is mad at him. Things get really bad, and now he's got to take some really extreme measures to get the pity he craves."

No spoilers here. But Withey hints that "Things go wrong for his family. Really wrong."

The results are amusing, he emphasizes, but in a very twisted way. "I definitely found it funny. But it's a really, really black comedy."

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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.
Contact: Michael Roberts