The Ten Best Film Events in March

See Samsara and see the world, at the Sie's tribute to Oscilloscope films.
See Samsara and see the world, at the Sie's tribute to Oscilloscope films.
Oscilloscope Laboratory
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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.

Brakhage Center Symposium
Atlas 100, Roser ATLAS Building, 1125 18th Street, Boulder
Saturday, March 10, and Sunday, March 11

Experimental film pioneer Stan Brakhage changed the face of non-narrative, subjective reels, spending decades of his career, many of them as a film professor at the University of Colorado, in and around Boulder. Long after his death in 2003, he remains a revered progenitor of modern avant-garde cinema in these parts, with archived work at CU’s Stan Brakhage Center. The Brakhage Center Symposium, an extension of salons the filmmaker once hosted, debuted in 2004 in remembrance of his legacy. This year’s two-day event covers two subjects: No Ideas but in Things: A Cinema of Objects, with filmmakers Karen Yasinsky, Christopher Harris and Jean-Paul Kelly, on Saturday, and Brazilian Experimental and Documentary Cinema on Sunday.

Collective Misnomer: Flinching Eye Collective
Alamo Drafthouse Sloan's Lake, 4255 West Colfax Avenue
Monday, March 12, 8 p.m. sharp
Admission: $10 or pay what you can at the door (no one will be turned away)

Members of the Flinching Eye Collective, a scattered alliance of interdisciplinary media artists who meet both in person and online, don’t often bring their DIY-driven high-tech sound/performance assemblages to Colorado. But that will change, at least for a day, when FEC member Adán De La Garza, whose other project, the Collective Misnomer film series, presents a Flinching Eye collaborative video program, followed by a Q&A session and live performance by De La Garza, Ryan Ruehlen and Tobias Fike, at the Sloan's Lake Alamo. It’s the best of both worlds, and an event so original that you won’t soon forget it. Also in March: Collective Misnomer presents filmmaker Vanessa Renwick on March 22. Look for information updates online.

International Film Series: Malick Retro Series
Muenzinger Auditorium, 1905 Colorado Avenue, Boulder
March 19 through 23, 7:30 p.m. nightly
10 films for $50 with punch card
$8 general admission, $7 w/UCB student ID, $7 for senior citizens

CU Boulder’s International Film Series goes transcendent and visually rich with a five-night series of Terrence Malick’s best-known films: Badlands, Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line, The New World and The Tree of Life. Writes IFS director Pablo Kjolseth: “This mini-Malick retrospective of five of his most widely respected films — all on 35mm — is a good bet. This, btw, was spurred on by a CU Film Studies student who sent me a passionate email with the specific request for an ‘all-film Malick retrospective.’ Retrospectives are tricky; getting 35mm prints is tricky; getting five 35mm prints to line up for the exact five days you want is even more of a dice-roll. Thankfully, the stars aligned with this one.” Sit back and enjoy the cinematography.

Open Screen is "Denver’s best open mic night for video,”EXPAND
Open Screen is "Denver’s best open mic night for video,”
Open Screen

Open Screen Night: Comedy Gold Rush!
Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo Street
Tuesday, March 27, 7 to 10 p.m.

Open Screen Night bills itself as “Denver’s best open mic night for video,” but it ratchets up the excitement by turning it into a contest. To play, filmmakers and videographers submit two-to-ten-minute works on a theme in advance and then go head-to-head to win prizes; if you’re not a filmmaker, you’re welcome to sit in the peanut gallery and cheer for your favorites at no cost. The theme on March 27 is "Wild West;" short films, trailers, web series, music videos and animations are all fair game.

A scene from Root, a film by Molina Speaks.EXPAND
A scene from Root, a film by Molina Speaks.
Molina Speaks

Invitation to Ritual: Sheree "lovemestiza" Brown & Molina Speaks
McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue
Saturday, March 31, 7 to 10 p.m.
Admission: $5 to $25, $30 to $50 VIP

Molina Speaks, already at the top of his game as a spoken-word artist, poet, musician, storyteller and community-builder (and 2017 Westword MasterMind), is now adding filmmaker to his résumé with the release of Root, a feature-length dreamscape inspired by his album of the same name. Root premieres at Invitation to Ritual, a live special event with Molina Speaks and partner Sheree "lovemestiza" Brown, who will be celebrating the release of her book Lovemestiza, a personal reflection on mixed-race ancestry and how it figures into the search for identity. Be ready for a multi-disciplinary evening with all the right stuff.

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