Everyone’s talking about movies like A Wrinkle in Time, Red Sparrow, Death Wish and Tomb Raider, all premiering on mainstream screens in March. That’s all well and good — go ahead and get your socks knocked off, in IMAX 3-D. Once you’ve gotten that out of your system, here’s a lineup that’s out of the ordinary and a wee bit more challenging. It’s good to go both ways.
Oscilloscope 10: A Decade of Eye-Opening Film Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue
Multiple screenings, March 1 through 31 Tickets: $10 to $13 per screening, $100 to $140 series pass
Beastie Boy Adam "MCA" Yauch merged his recording studio Oscilloscope Laboratories with a film distribution company in 2005 to put a name to a personal project: the concert film Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That!, for which Yauch handed out fifty camcorders to audience members at a Madison Square Garden concert to record the show from fifty unique perspectives. Yauch went on to join forces with THINKFilm exec David Fenkel to formally launch Oscilloscope as a film studio/distributor in 2008, and six years after Yauch’s death, the studio is still rolling, under the leadership of Dan Berger. Credit the Sie for pulling the largest-ever retrospective of Oscilloscope films, from concert films to indie classics, together into a monthlong tenth-anniversary screening series of 25 flicks in March, beginning with Awesome, the first of dozens of titles from the studio. We Need to Talk About Kevin, The Love Witch and the LCD Soundsystem doc Shut Up and Play the Hits are just a few of the reels included. If you’re hoping to catch all 25 films, or even just a curated list, the series pass is a steal.
Colorado Dragon Film Festival, VOL. III Alamo Drafthouse Sloan's Lake, 4255 West Colfax Avenue
Friday, March 2, 4:30 to 9:15 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, March 3 and 4, 11 a.m. to 9:15 p.m. Tickets: $10 to $12.50 per screening
Opening Night Reception: $10
Opening Night Film: $30
Brought to you by the same folks who put on the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival at Sloan’s Lake every summer, the CDFF heads into its third year of presenting top-notch films from Asia. This year, the focus is on Korea, bringing a cross-section of eleven shorts collections, animation and feature-length movies across the ocean to the Alamo Drafthouse. Opening night begins with a pre-film reception in the Alamo’s BarFly lounge at 4:30 p.m., followed by a screening of Split, a bowling flick — yes, bowling — full of adversity, lowlifes and an autistic strike-throwing savant. See the full schedule online.
Friday Night Weird: 1979 Boedecker Theater, 2590 Walnut Street, Boulder
Every Friday in March, 8:45 p.m. Tickets: $6.50 to $12
The Boe’s Friday Night Weird series rockets back to 1979 in March, with a well-balanced fivesome including Steve Martin’s misunderstood sleeper comedy The Jerk, the original Alien, the horror flick Phantasm and Monty Python’s Life of Brian — all films with a hint of cultish magnetism. Our favorite? Walter Hill’s The Warriors, the gang-war cult film that actually set off a wave of real gang violence at theaters showing the film. Roger Ebert called it “a ballet of stylized male violence,” rather than the action/thriller it was advertised to be, but the stunted dialogue is unintentionally campy, and somehow endearing and comic-book corny. The Warriors screens on March 9.
Mary Janes: The Women of Weed Alamo Drafthouse Denver, 7301 South Santa Fe Drive, Littleton
Saturday, March 3, 6:30 to 9 p.m.
Tickets: $20 at eventbrite
People from all walks of life are finding new life in the cannabis industry, and as Windy Borman’s documentary Mary Janes: The Women of Weed points out, a lot of them are women. It turns out that many women also see how the legalization of weed plugs into other social-justice topics, from prison reform to environmental concerns, as Borman’s free-thinking female interviewees demonstrate. The Alamo Drafthouse screening is a metro-Denver premiere with limited seating.
Hollywood’s Biggest Night with Denver 7 Alamo Drafthouse Sloan's Lake, 4255 West Colfax Avenue
Sunday, March 4, 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. Tickets: $20
Oscar night has a special magic that draws us all together once a year for a glitzy blitz of red-carpet entries, daring gowns and Oscar himself, the golden symbol of excellence in the mainstream film industry. And if you’re the starstruck type, you’re not going to want to watch the Academy Awards in your living room with a bowl of popcorn and a beer. Don your best duds and head for the Alamo: Hollywood’s Biggest Night party, hosted by Denver’s Oscar channel, KMGH-Channel 7. The evening starts out with a preamble of real-life red-carpet strutting and elegant photo ops in BarFly before giving way to the big-screen watching party with food and drink. Your ticket includes a glass of bubbly and a donation to the Denver Actors Fund.
Wrong side of town? The Sie FilmCenter will throw an Oscar party of its own in central Denver (actually two: one theater for the serious crowd and another for the party people), beginning at 4:30 p.m. Admission is free, but it’ll cost you $10 bucks to enter a ballot for the chance to win a prize and $12 for a food-box dinner option. Seating is first come, first served, but there’s also a guaranteed fancy VIP option for $50, with all the party perks.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE...
Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.