With summer fading away, the studios are releasing the last blockbusters and many moviegoers are dreading the pre-Oscar lull. Fear not, cinephiles. Denver's movie scene is vibrant. This month you can huddle up and catch a doc at Sports Authority Field, drink a beer and watch a horror flick at Crash 45 or sit back in the comfort of the Alamo Drafthouse and have dinner and drinks watching 1970s New York street gangs clobber each other to death. Whether you love classics, horror, sci-fi, sports or art films, August has plenty for you.
10) Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory August 4 Infinity Park Gene Wilder stars as the title character in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, a hallucinogenic children's film about a Dickensian boy, Charlie, reared on cabbage soup and squalor, who wins a golden ticket to tour the eccentric Wonka's candy factory. Charlie joins a cadre of bratty ticket-winning kids who plummet into infinite trouble as they tour the factory, which is as magical as it is perilous. This free screening starts at 8. 9) 28 Days Later August 5 Crash 45 While this year's Cruel Summer Horror Series features a variety of terrifying zombie films, if you can only see one, check out Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later. Head for the patio at Crash 45, grab a drink, and brace yourself for the 2002 post-apocalyptic zombie feature that paved the way for The Walking Dead and World War Z. This free screening starts at 8:30. 8) Gravity August 2 Skyline Park Get swept off your feet at Skyline Park by Alfonso Cuarón's anxiety-inducing Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Merging technological achievement with narrative minimalism, the riveting film is proof that science-fiction producers need not blow up the universe to create stories that audiences care about. This free screening kicks off at dusk.
Read on for the rest of the best ten screenings in August.
7) The Wizard of Oz August 29 Acoma Plaza When a tornado swept Dorothy away from her black and white, dreary life in Kansas into the Technicolor Land of Oz, cinema history changed forever. The Wizard of Oz teaches audiences that glitz, glamor and fantasy come at a price, and that sometimes it's better to just stay home. But not for this film. Pending twisters and flying monkey attacks, this free screening starts at dusk. 6) DeepSea Challenge: 3D Opens August 8 A theater near you On earth, there is no place that harbors such weird and unseemly creatures as the depths of the sea. Filmmaker James Cameron (Titanic, Aliens, The Abyss) embarked on a record deep, submarine dive to encounter the mysteries lurking at the bottom of the ocean. DeepSea Challenge 3D documents his heroic journey and previously unseen parts of the world. The film will open at multiplexes throughout the city.
5) Quentin Tarantino's Bad-Ass Broads Every Monday in August SIE FilmCenter Few filmmakers have tackled violence with the moral (and occasionally amoral) rigor of Quentin Tarantino, who has crafted female heroes who defy many of the old, gender stereotypes Hollywood peddles. Denver Post film and theater critic Lisa Kennedy will be hosting Quentin Tarantino's Bad-Ass Broads, a series of screenings and discussions about what Tarantino's films suggest about our evolving cultural fantasies about women and violence. Classes start at 7 and cost $150 for non-members and $125 for Denver Film Society members.
4) The Warriors August 19 Alamo Drafthouse In the 1979 cult classic The Warriors, a gang, falsely accused of murdering a militant leader attempting to unite New York City's underground world, struggles to make it home while every other gang in town tries to catch and kill them. Some of the groups of young thugs are terrifying and others are hilarious. For example, the Baseball Furies, dressed in Yankees outfits and wearing creepy face-paint, wield bats and silently stalk their prey. The show starts at 7 p.m. and costs $10.75.
Read on for the rest of the best ten screenings in August.
3) Forgotten Four: The Integration of Pro Football August 2 Sports Authority Field Head back into the history of sports, when the NFL wrangled with segregation. Forgotten Four: The Integration of Pro Football tells the story of four African Americans who bravely entered the segregated game and the coaches that supported them. Before the screening, checkout the Broncos practice and scrimmage all morning long. Festivities start at 8:30 and the movie kicks-off at 1:30. 2) From Deep August 16 The Sidewinder Nothing to See Here has been pushing the limits of cinema, sound and video art in Denver for half-a-year. This month, they're showing From Deep, a feature documentary essay about the evolution of basketball from its origins in small-town New England into a nationwide phenomenon that converged with hip hop and eventually gave way to corporate branding. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the film starts promptly at 8:30. There is an $8 suggested donation. 1) A Short Film About Killing August 15 SIE FilmCenter The SIE FilmCenter is hosting a series of Polish films curated by Martin Scorsese. One of the bleakest and best is A Short Film About Killing, a film against the death penalty. The movie yields moments of bitter laughter--the kind you choke on--and then resolves, not with catharsis but sorrow that society is unjust from the top to the gutters. The show starts at 10 p.m. Tickets cost $10 for non-members and $7 for members.
Find me on Twitter: @kyle_a_harris
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