Film and TV

Starz Denver Film Festival 2014: The Real Pleasures of The Imitation Game and More

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In the lead-up to The Imitation Game, traffic froze, appropriately enough, on the approach to the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, creating a jam so long-lasting and persistent that after moving half a block in thirty minutes, I bailed down an alleyway, found an outlying pay lot and hoofed it several blocks to the Buell Theatre, where the film was slated to unspool.

Upon my arrival, I discovered that, as with 5 to 7, the upper-levels of the Buell were off-limits due to a sales shortfall. But in contrast to Opening Night, when attendees were allowed to sit wherever they wished, ushers refused entry to the lower section for anyone lacking the proper laminate, despite probably one-hundred open seats -- a stark contrast to the other main-level sections, which were full of the hoi polloi.

That left those who arrived late through no fault of their own with nowhere to go. In the end, my son and I slid past the barrier to the mezzanine when no one was looking. Around fifty others made their way there as well, giving us great views of all those unused seats closer to the screen.

Moments later, the introductions began, and there were plenty of them: Denver Film Society executive director Tom Botelho was followed by DFS board chairman Anthony Paul and Starz chief revenue officer Michael Thornton. Fortunately, all three were able to effectively convey their enthusiasm for this particular Big Night, which capped Denver Arts Week, and The Imitation Game, which was both an Academy Award hopeful and something much more important: a praise-worthy film.

Continue for more about Big Night at the 2014 Starz Denver Film Festival, including additional photos.
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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