Ten Great Film Events in Denver and Beyond in June

Get a shot of Charlie Chaplin at the Chautauqua Silent Film Festival.
Get a shot of Charlie Chaplin at the Chautauqua Silent Film Festival.
Courtesy of Colorado Chautauqua
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Have fun in June with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Incredibles 2, Ocean’s Eight and Superfly. But after you’ve had your monthly multiplex experiences, don’t let these ten films and movie events slip through the cracks: fests big and small, artful animation, a charming Wes Anderson immersion, documentaries, silent films and a high-country drive-in — it’s all there to explore this month in and out of the city.

An Evening of Works by Stacey Steers
Boedecker Theater, Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut Street, Boulder
Tuesday, June 5, 7 p.m.
Admission: $6.50 to $12

The mesmerizing experimental films of Boulder animator Stacey Steers take her years to make, one handmade picture at a time. A marriage of labor-intensive collage work with appropriated imagery of classic silent-film actors and the motion-propelled photography of Edward Muybridge, her films reinterpret the original narratives of the movies she's borrowing from. By referencing the old and embroidering over those images with fantastical movement and design of her own making, Steers pays homage to cinema history while forging ahead to create a trilogy over the last ten-plus years, including the films Edge of Alchemy (2017), Night Hunter (2011) and Phantom Canyon (2006). Experience that trio, plus an earlier short film, in one evening at the Boedecker; afterward, Steers will give the audience an overview of the work.

2018 Intendence Film Festival
Denver Open Media, 700 Kalamath Street
June 8 through 10
Admission: Daily admission, $25; passes, $40-$50; special events, $5 to $12 at the door

What does “intendence” mean? As the 2017 intro video above suggests, it’s kind of a made-up word, though Merriam-Webster defines it obliquely as “management” or “superintendence.” Not that it matters, but in truth the Intendence Film Festival is an egalitarian, by-and-for the filmmaking community kind of fest, showcasing but not limited to movie-making in Colorado. It’s no surprise that this is a project of Denver Open Media, which is built on the premise of sharing media tools and programming with everyone, and you can count on things being laid-back and community-driven. It has all the film-fest musts, like a red carpet opening, filmmaker chat sessions and fun after-parties, as well as some unexpected elements like live broadcasts of filmmaker Q&As via cable and Internet web streaming direct from DOM’s television studio facilities; the films themselves might be made by your next-door neighbor or a bloke from Australia.

Lunafest 2018
Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue
One Night Only! Monday, June 11, 7:15 p.m.
Admission: $7 to $11.50

Clif Bar, the touchy-feely California maker of high-end (and better-tasting) energy bars, is women-centric to the point of not only creating a special energy bar for women (Luna Bar) but by also creating Lunafest, a traveling festival of short films by and for women. Nearly twenty years later, it's still rolling, and in June the fest rolls into Denver’s Sie FilmCenter, with the backing of the Denver Film Society’s Women+Film Festival. The 2018 edition covers a gamut of women’s issues, hopes and stories — from Girls Level Up, about a Pakistani Muslim woman from a conservative background teaching middle-school girls to design an original video game, and JessZilla, in which a ten-year-old girl trains to become a professional boxer, to Waiting for Hassana, a Nigerian-made film giving a first-person account of one of the 276 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014. Short and sweet, serious and funny — it’s all in the Lunafest mix.

Sunset Cinema
The Galleria at the Denver Performing Arts Complex
June 12: Moonrise Kingdom
July 10: Fantastic Mr. Fox
August 14: The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou
August 21: The Royal Tenenbaums
7 p.m. costume contest and trivia; 8 p.m. screening
Free, register at eventbrite.com for a seat

Just in case the Isle of Dogs experience has you howling at the moon for a Wes Anderson retrospective, here’s an abbreviated one that’s not only a perfect way to spend an al fresco summer evening in the city, but is also free. Denver Arts & Venues hooks up with the Denver Film Society and Geeks Who Drink for this summer’s Sunset Cinema series under the Galleria at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, which pairs four Anderson masterpieces with movie trivia, popcorn, Anderson-themed craft cocktails, photo ops and a costume contest for the truly obsessed. Everything kicks off with the summer-camp classic Moonrise Kingdom, so dig up your coonskin caps, knee socks and saddle shoes, and don’t forget to RSVP in advance (see above), as seating is limited.

Ten Great Film Events in Denver and Beyond in June
Courtesy of Colorado Chautauqua

Chautauqua Silent Film Festival
Chautauqua Auditorium, 900 Baseline Road, Boulder
7 p.m. weekly on Wednesdays, June 13 through August 15
Admission: $6 to $12

The Chautauqua Silent Film Festival brings a fitting old-timey and family-friendly feel to the Boulder retreat for nature lovers and culture vultures, just as it has every summer for more than thirty years. Think of it as a great way to get the kids to drop their smartphones and discover life as it was meant to be lived — in this case, sitting in a rustic, darkened room, watching a flickering screen with a crowd of strangers, all to the tune of live musical accompaniment. And don’t worry: After a while, they get used to the lack of color and get into the slapstick, sight jokes and melodrama. The 2018 fest starts on June 13 with a screening of Where the North Begins, a Rin Tin Tin adventure, and runs weekly on Wednesdays, with a slate that features Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Douglas Fairbanks, Rudolph Valentino, Louise Brooks and other stars of the silent screen.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Benefit Screenings
Opening Friday, June 15: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Sloan's Lake, 4255 West Colfax Avenue
Opening Friday, June 22: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Littleton, 7301 South Santa Fe Drive, Littleton
Admission: $10 to $12.50

The legacy of Fred Rogers, aka Mr. Rogers of the PBS children’s show Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, runs deep with an intergenerational fan base that includes both the parents who appreciated the program’s laid-back, gentle vibe and the kids who grew up watching his adventures in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. 20 Feet From Stardom director Morgan Neville has now made a substantive documentary about Rogers so good that even the middle generation of kids who grew up memorizing the lines from Eddie Murphy’s SNL ghettoized spoof "Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood" will find something to like about it. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? opens at both metro-Denver Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas this month, with a fitting give-back perk for the cost of a ticket: A $1 donation from every ticket sold to your local PBS station. Plus, it turns out Mr. Rogers is a fascinating guy. Welcome to the neighborhood.

McKellen: Playing the Part

Landmark's Chez Artiste Theatre
2800 South Colorado Boulevard
Tuesday, June 19, 7 p.m.
Admission: $15

Boedecker Theater, Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut Street, Boulder
Tuesday, June 19, 7 p.m.
Admission: $6.50 to $12

Another star gets his due in McKellen: Playing the Part, a documentary about actor Sir Ian McKellen, known to the larger world as the only man in the world fit to fill such blockbuster movie roles as Magneto and Gandalf. But McKellan, a child of WWII-era England, is also a real-life superhero: He made his name first as a stage actor, Shakespearean and otherwise, before graduating to film, and after publicly coming out to the public in 1988, he’s been a fierce gay-rights activist. McKellen covers it all, based on a fourteen-hour interview with the actor and enhanced by archival materials, his childhood diaries, and behind-the-scenes backstage and movie set footage. See it one night only in Denver at Landmark's Chez Artiste and in Boulder at the Boedecker Theater.

The Rape of Recy Taylor
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Sloan's Lake, 4255 West Colfax Avenue
Wednesday, June 20, 7:30 p.m.
Admission: $10

The story of Recy Taylor, a young Alabama sharecropper gang-raped by six white men in 1944, is also a larger black-rights story pulled together by Rosa Parks, who, as an officer of the NAACP, defended Taylor and other women without recourse in the Jim Crow South long before her more famous role in setting off the black community’s Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955. But Taylor’s bravery for identifying her rapists is also a key part of the story, detailed with love and passion by filmmaker Nancy Buirski. This one-night screening shows how Parks and women like Taylor were trailblazers both as social-justice activists and as early feminists.

SeriesFest Season 4
Sie FilmCenter, Comedy Works, Carla Madison Recreation Center, Denver Art Museum
June 22 through 27
Centerpiece: A Night of TV and Live Music: Monday, June 25, 6:30 p.m. Red Rocks Amphitheatre, $42 to $210
Festival pass: $150-$250; Six-Ticket Package: $60; single event tickets: $12 to $15

SeriesFest is back for a fourth year of bringing the small screen to the big screen, along with panels, shmoozers, new-show scoopage and a big Monday-night centerpiece night at Red Rocks with live music by Lady Antebellum and a premiere screening of Paramount Network’s new original TV series, Yellowstone, with Kevin Costner. But that’s just the cherry on top from a week of pilots and previews that’ll have you on the edge of your seat, entertaining dreams of the next episodes.

Austin's Blue Starlite Drive-In comes to the Vail Valley.
Austin's Blue Starlite Drive-In comes to the Vail Valley.
Courtesy of Blue Starlite Drive-In

Blue Starlite Colorado Summer Drive-in
June 29 through July 29
Little Beach Park & Amphitheater, 100 Cemetery Road, Minturn
Admission: $35 to $100 season passes
General admission: $7
Car Slot pass, $15 per vehicle
Package deals with refreshments, $40 to $75 for two people
S'mores Roasting Fire Pit Package for two, $12

Somehow, it makes sense that the Blue Starlite concept of an urban boutique drive-in was conceived in fun-loving Austin, but that doesn’t really explain how it grew a high-altitude summer satellite in the Vail Valley. Still, we’re glad it did: The small-scale Blue Starlite Colorado Summer Drive-in, which accommodates only thirty to fifty parking spaces, opens for the 2018 season on the last Friday in June, bringing a full schedule of second-run films (some of them double features), a cool snack trailer with a campfire s’mores experience and a budget walk- or bike-in option. Opening night is a double dip, with The Goonies and The Last Starfighter; visit the website for a full summer schedule.

Send information on upcoming film events to editorial@westword.com.

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