Ten Great Film Events in Denver in July

Dark City screens as part of the Sci-Fi Film Series in July.
Dark City screens as part of the Sci-Fi Film Series in July.
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Once you’ve gotten dizzy with Dwayne Johnson (Skyscraper, a film not recommended for acrophobics), caught up in a thriller with diamond hunter Keanu Reeves (Siberia) or — yay! — back in the Marvel world with Ant-Man and the Wasp, what will you do next? Surely not another round of Mamma Mia? Here are ten ways to get off the multiplex merry-go-round in July.

A Clockwork Orange
Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue
Tuesday, July 3, 7 to 10 p.m.
$7 to $11.50

Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, an adaptation of the Anthony Burgess dystopian novel about lawless, sociopathic Droogs acting out in a stifling future society, never gets older; it just becomes more chilling with age. But it also has a memorable synth soundtrack by electronic-music maven Wendy Carlos, with disturbing forays into Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and “Singin’ in the Rain.” To play up that piece of the controversial film, Denver author Jason Heller, author of the new book Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded (which we wrote about here), will stand up at the mic for a pre-film discussion on his personal bailiwick, the intermingling of science fiction and music, before the movie rolls.

Fireworks & Goats in RiNo
LFX Filmworks, 1701 31st Street
Tuesday, July 3, 6 to 11 p.m.
$18 donation

Francis Ford Coppola's One From the Heart, a movie that takes a bite out of the Tom Waits canon, live Waits tunes by the Lost Dog Ensemble and a perfect night for fireworks…plus goats. Why not goats? Goats in RiNo, an ongoing film fundraiser for the Broken Shovels Farm Sanctuary, is bundling all of it, complete with popcorn, sodas, a vegan food truck TBA and a bird’s-eye view of the Coors Field Independence Day Eve fireworks show. About the goats: They are the sanctuary’s mascots, and you can make friends with them using goat-friendly treats available for purchase — that should take care of the kids! The movie screens at 7:30 p.m., live music follows at 9 p.m., and the fireworks pop around 10. Bring your own chairs, and leave your own food and drink at home.

Scream Screen: Beyond Elm Street: A Tribute to Wes Craven
Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue
Fridays, July 6, 13 and 20, 9:30 p.m., $7 to $11.50
Scream Screen Scream-A-Thon: Saturday, July 28, noon, $25 to $30
Purchase tickets in advance at denverfilm.org

Scream Screen hostess and creepy cosplayer Theresa Mercado is back at the Sie FilmCenter, with another round of live-music combos paired with the horror classics she knows and loves. The focus this month is Beyond Elm Street: A Tribute to Wes Craven, which means a solid wall of weird from start to finish, beginning with The Hills Have Eyes on July 6, and continuing weekly in July before wrapping up on July 28 with a first: the Scream Screen Scream-a-Thon, a long, lurid afternoon featuring the full quartet of Cravens’s Scream series.

Ten Great Film Events in Denver in July
Dick Alweis

Alamo Drafthouse Sloan’s Lake, 4255 West Colfax Avenue
Saturday, July 7, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Veteran Denver documentarian Dick Alweis followed five DACA recipients through their daily lives, chronicling the tension they feel as their hard-won safe status in the U.S. is threatened by changing policies under the Trump regime. As a film that plugs into hot current events and immigration issues, the short doc offers larger problems from a personal point of view on a human level. Presented by the Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales Branch Library, the screening is free, and will be followed by a discussion and Q&A session with Alweis and DREAMers from the film. Bring your own story to share, or just learn something new about the pitfalls of recent immigration policies.

Film on the Rocks: The Big Lebowski 20th Anniversary
Red Rocks Amphitheatre, 18300 West Alameda Parkway, Morrison
Monday, July 9, 7 to 11 p.m.
$15 general admission, $30 reserved seating

The Coen Brothers film that turned Jeff Bridges into a cult figure and has, over the years, cultivated a rabid following of its own after a difficult start, stuttered at the box office when it first hit the screen twenty years ago. In the present, fans of Film on the Rocks know that The Big Lebowski is a perennial for the summer series at Red Rocks, attracting folks who call themselves “achievers,” in reference to the unforgettable, White Russian-guzzling Dude’s favorite charity, Little Lebowski Urban Achievers. But does the fan favorite’s anniversary make this year’s screening even better? Wear your robe, pick up your own White Russian at the bar (over 21 only), and find out for yourself. RL Cole & the Hell You Say and High Plains Honky start the evening before the film screening at dusk.

Yum Cha: Shaolin Soccer
Alamo Drafthouse Sloan’s Lake, 4255 West Colfax Avenue
Sunday, July 8, 2 to 5 p.m.

Alamo Drafthouse is throwing the strangest tea party you’ve ever been to by mixing kung fu comedy and artisanal-tea sipping (courtesy of Littleton's iN-TEA shop) and go-with snacks. Awaken the tea connoisseur within and enjoy Stephen Chow’s Shaolin Soccer, an action-heavy laugher in every sense of the word, in which a kung fu master, hoping to win a big cash prize at a soccer match, gathers together a team of has-been martial-arts warriors on par with the 1989 comedy Major League’s loser baseballers. Chow shines as co-writer, director and lead character in Shaolin Soccer, a favorably received 2001 precursor to the bigger hit Kung Fu Hustle. Drink it up.

Yellow Submarine 50th Anniversary

Landmark's Chez Artiste Theatre, 2800 South Colorado Boulevard
Monday, July 9, and Wednesday, July 11, 7 p.m. nightly

Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue
Tuesday, July 10, at 7:30 p.m.

Landmark’s Esquire Theatre, 590 Downing Street
Friday and Saturday, July 13 and 14, 11:59 p.m.

The color-saturated animation that made the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine so great when it was first released fifty years ago still looks and sounds fresh in 2018, with its pop-art style, classic Beatles music and British humor. It can only be better with the new 4K digital, remixed restoration by Triage Motion Picture Services and Eque Inc., the product of a rigorous, frame-by-frame rehab process, which hits local art theaters in July for special screenings. Looking for a theater closer to you? Yellow Submarine will also screen at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Littleton and in Boulder at the Boedecker Theater.

Sci-Fi Film Series
Phipps Theater, Denver Museum of Nature & Science
2001 Colorado Boulevard
Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue
Wednesdays, July 11 through August 15
$12 to $15 per film, $55 to $75 series pass

Because sci-fi in a cool theater fits summer like an intergalactic glove, this collaboration between the Denver Film Society and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science has become an annual escape for film lovers, with a curated schedule of sci-fi classics brand-new and old but everlasting. Every screening includes a discussion led by Dr. Vincent Piturro, English and film professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver, and a round robin of DMNS scientists with expertise in a field related to each film. The kick-off selection is Alex Garland’s Ex Machina, an AI thriller, followed on consecutive Wednesdays by 2010 The Year We Make Contact, Dark City, Annihilation, The Shape of Water and Blade Runner 2049; screenings are split evenly between the two locations.

Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue
July 18 though 22
$70 to $85 full festival pass
$20 to $25 opening night: The Miseducation of Cameron Post
$20 to $25 CinemaQ Centerpiece: McQueen
$20 to $25 closing night: Ideal Home
$10 to $12 individual screenings

CinemaQ is an LBGTQ town’s dream come true: a concentrated film festival screening some of the best gay-themed films the world has to offer; the series also hosts screenings throughout the year at the Sie FilmCenter and at the Denver Film Festival. The Miseducation of Cameron Post, the story of a teen girl sent to a gay conversion-therapy center to be “cured,” will be this year’s opening-night flick, on Wednesday, July 18, at 7 p.m. Other highlights include the long-awaited McQueen, a documentary about the radically creative fashion designer Alexander McQueen and our best bet, screening on Saturday, July 21, at 7 p.m., followed by a high fashion party for film-goers;this year’s closing film, Ideal Home, with Paul Rudd and Steve Coogan as a settled “guppie” couple thrown together with a ten-year-old boy, caps the fest on Sunday, July 22, at 7:15 p.m. Find a complete schedule and tickets online.

Open Screen Night Red Carpet Extravaganza
Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo Street
Tuesday, July 31, 7 to 9 p.m.
$5 at the door

Open Screen Night is the audio-visual equivalent of an open mic, only this one comes with cool prizes for short-short homemade videos. It’s anything goes for submissions, as long as the subject matter isn’t hateful or abusive, and your video clocks in somewhere between two and ten minutes long (submit entries up to one week before the show at openscreennight.com). And as far as spectating goes, it’s wild and weird and silly and noisy in only the best way, and one of the cheapest thrills in town without being completely free.

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

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