Film and TV

The Ten Best Film Events in Denver in June

Unseen for years, the 1969 queer Tokyo classic Funeral Parade of Roses has been restored and comes to Denver this month.
Unseen for years, the 1969 queer Tokyo classic Funeral Parade of Roses has been restored and comes to Denver this month. Cinelicious Pictures

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click to enlarge Funeral Parade of Roses - CINELICIOUS PICTURES
Funeral Parade of Roses
Cinelicious Pictures
Funeral Parade of Roses
Opens June 15
Alamo Drafthouse Sloan's Lake

Toshio Matsumoto’s 1969 queer cherry bomb has been a hard-to-find masterpiece, despite its weighty influences on ’70s cinema (Stanley Kubrick credited Funeral Parade of Roses for leading him to adapt A Clockwork Orange.). Cinelicious, a company leading the restoration and release of some great cinema staples like Belladonna of Sadness and Private Property, has taken Matsumoto’s black-and-white gem and given it a 4K polish, and we’ll see a release of it here just in time for Denver's Pride weekend. For the uninitiated, the film is a loose adaptation of Oedipus Rex, with a queer spin: A son murders his mother to sleep with his father. The action is set against the backdrop of Tokyo’s gay underground drag and performance-art scenes. A rare treat, the film is a gonzo party of trans and gay life rolled up in a mess of black mascara and fuzz guitar. Reserve your seats at drafthouse.com, and watch the Funeral Parade of Roses trailer here.

click to enlarge The Bad Batch - NEON FILMS
The Bad Batch
Neon Films
The Bad Batch
Opens June 23
Sie FilmCenter

Director Ana Lily Amirpour made a name for herself with her moody, stylistic 2015 vampire tale A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. Now, armed with a bigger budget and a fan base, Amirpour returns with The Bad Batch, a Mad Max-inspired love story set in a community of cannibals and outlaws living in a dystopian-wasteland version of Texas. Suki Waterhouse stars as Arlen, an amputee who arrives at a twisted commune and fits right in with the gang (played by Keanu Reeves, Jason Mamoa, Giovanni Ribisi and even Jim Carrey). With a scorching soundtrack and style to burn, The Bad Batch may become your new favorite twitchy art-house oddity. Get tickets at denverfilm.org and watch the Bad Batch trailer here.

click to enlarge Baby Driver - TRISTAR PICTURES
Baby Driver
TriStar Pictures
Baby Driver
Opens June 28
Denver area theaters

Edgar Wright is one of the most celebrated filmmakers to have moved from the art house to the multiplex without compromising his style, mission or soul. Wright, whose genre-loving hits Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World, and The World’s End have secured him a spot in the hearts of film nerds everywhere, has returned with Baby Driver — equal parts Drive, The Italian Job and Fast and the Furious, but nowhere as serious. Ansel Elgort stars as Baby, a driving savant motivated by the music on his headphones, which serves as the movie's soundtrack. A big boss (Kevin Spacey) coerces Baby into being his getaway driver. But when Baby finds love and wants to leave the game, he gets tasked with one last job, which may prove impossible to pull off. This film was a runaway hit at this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival. Find tickets and theaters showing it at fandango.com; watch the Baby Driver trailer here.

click to enlarge The Three Musketeers - COURTESY OF CHAUTAUQUA
The Three Musketeers
Courtesy of Chautauqua
32nd Annual Chautauqua Silent Film Series
Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m., beginning June 28
Chautauqua Auditorium

For decades, Colorado film-goers have enjoyed Film on the Rocks at Red Rocks and the silent film series at Chautauqua. The latter is offering eight weeks of the best – and some slightly obscure – classic films from the bygone silent-film era. All of the movies will screen with live musical scores courtesy of the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, pianist Hank Troy, and the Silent Cinema Trio. Launching the season in swashbuckling fashion is the 1921 action classic The Three Musketeers. In the following weeks, the series will showcase films by Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd and more. Get tickets and see the full schedule at chautauqua.com; watch a scene from The Three Musketeers here.

click to enlarge Maurice - COHEN MEDIA GROUP
Maurice
Cohen Media Group
Maurice
Opens June 30
TBD Landmark Theatre

Art-house theaters were given a boost in the ’80s by writing/directing duo Ismail Merchant and James Ivory and their adaptations of British literary works such as Howards End and The Remains of the Day. One of their most colorful creations, Maurice, has been restored for its thirtieth anniversary and will be released just in time to close out Pride month. The film follows the titular character (played by James Willby), who falls in love with his classmate, Clive (the bewitching Hugh Grant), while they romp around Cambridge. The duo is forced to hide their love or risk imprisonment or worse. Based on the novel by E.M. Forster, it's a tuxedo-ripper of substance and one of the earliest gay classics to become an art-house hit, paving the way for many more to come. Find tickets and showtimes at landmarktheaters.com and watch the Maurice trailer here.

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Keith Garcia is a filmmaker, writer and secret agent looking for love and the perfect slice of pizza. If he looks familiar, it's probably because he introduced a film you watched in Denver sometime between 1996 and 2014.
Contact: Keith Garcia