Film and TV

Denver Film Festival Must-See Pick for November 8: I Didn't See You There

An image from I Didn't See You There.
An image from I Didn't See You There. Courtesy of the Denver Film Festival
Again this year, Denver Film Festival artistic director Matt Campbell 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 8: I Didn't See You There.

I Didn't See You There
Directed by Reid Davenport
7:45 p.m. Tuesday, November 8
AMC House 5

Reid Davenport scored the best director award in the documentary category at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year for I Didn't See You There, and Matt Campbell understands why. Davenport "is wheelchair-bound and has other physical disabilities involving motor function and speech, and the film is about his own personal journey as a disabled filmmaker — but also about a lot more."

Campbell explains the premise like so: "He's living in Oakland, and outside his apartment, a tent for a circus is erected — and while they're building the tent, he narrates the history of circuses. But it's also a meditative story of his own personal experiences with being ostracized as a disabled person in this country that echoes circus freak shows. He puts differently abled people in that context, which is really fascinating."

Just as intriguing from Campbell's perspective are the film's visuals. "He's his own cinematographer, and the camera is fixed to his wheelchair, so you see a lot of almost avant-garde, poetic landscapes as the camera is fixed on the street and the sidewalk. There's a Stan Brakhage-esque sense at times, where the viewer gets a chance to focus on what most of us may not even notice on a day-to-day basis. He's able to transform this urban landscape into something that's beautiful. It's the art and allure of the mundane."

See excerpts from I Didn't See You There in the following trailer:
Click to get details about tickets for the 45th annual Denver Film Festival.
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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

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