The Ten Best Movie Events in Denver in December

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The Starz Denver Film Festival is over and the holidays have begun. This December, expect a flurry of films, including holiday fare, movies made by luminary students, one geared for people with sensory disorders, a few wildly experimental films, a Technicolor classic and a social documentary. Whether you're a Scrooge or a sentimentalist, our list of the top ten movie events in December has something for you.

See also: Starz Denver Film Festival 2014: Keep On Keepin' On Highlights Fest's Closing Week

10) Vincent Grenier 7 p.m. Monday, December 1 CU Boulder's Visual Arts Complex Auditorium, 1B20 This year's First Person Cinema series wraps up with a program of shorts from Ithaca, New York-based experimental filmmaker Vincent Grenier. His work, often featuring mundane landscapes, gives viewers a chance to see the world anew. Exploring color, line, gesture and texture, Grenier's movies are sure to challenge the patience of some and wow others. Either way, the experience of watching his films is always a memorable one. The screening costs $4; for more information, go to the First Person Cinema website. 9) Collaborating with Nature 7 p.m. Friday, December 5 Counterpath Viewers often assume all films are shot with a camera and edited. This isn't always the case, as demonstrated by the program Collaborating With Nature. Some have been hand-processed in polluted lakes, exposed to bio-luminescent plants, subjected to decay, printed with mushroom spores and altered with magnets. No matter what the process, these films all deal with environmental concerns and push the boundaries of what the art form can be. The program is free; for more information, go to the Counterpath website.

8) Penguins of Madagascar Sensory Screening Saturday, December 6 Four metro AMC theaters If you don't deal with sensory disorders, it's easy to forget how difficult watching movies can be for people who do when the volume is blasting, the lights are off and viewers are expected to sit quietly in their seats. AMC remembers, though, and has started a new series, Sensory Friendly Films, featuring various hit Hollywood movies. Lights will be up, sound will be down, and audiences will be allowed to wander the theater, dance, wiggle and make noise. On December 6, AMC will be showing Penguins of Madagascar at four area theaters; for more information, visit the AMC website.

Read on for the rest of December's best movie events.

7) The River 2 p.m., Sunday, December 7 SIE FilmCenter

Few dispute that French filmmaker Jean Renoir was one of the greatest directors of all time. While he produced many of his films during the silent era, he did make forays into sound and color. Tattered Cover Classics will present

The River

, his first color movie, which is based on Rumer Godden's memoir about childhood in India. Film critic Howie Movshovitz will host the event, which costs a mere $1 and takes place; for more information, go to the

FilmCenter website


6) Colorado Film and Video Association Holiday Party 6:30-9:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 10 The Corner Office If you are interested in getting involved in Colorado's ever-growing film scene, the Colorado Film and Video Association's annual holiday party is the place to be. Enjoy a drink and appetizers and chat with local filmmakers. The event is free for CFVA members and $10 otherwise; rooms will be available for CFVA members at a discounted rate. For more information, go to the CFVA website.

5) Jingle Bell Rocks! 7 p.m. Wednesday, December 10 SIE FilmCenter

Do you ever get tired of Bing Crosby crooning "White Christmas"? Does "Joy to the World" drain you of joy and "Silent Night" make you want to scream, "Can't we just have a 'Shut Up Night' instead?" Never fear. In

Jingle Bell Rocks

, director Mitchell Kezin journeys into the world of alternative Christmas music, palling up with Dr. Demento, John Waters and Joseph "Rev Run" Simmons of RUN-D.M.C. to look for the twelve best alternative Christmas songs. Tickets to this screening are $10; go to the

FilmCenter website


4) Colorado Film School Student Show 7:30 p.m., Thursday, December 11 Harkins Northfield Check out some of the state's best up-and-coming filmmakers at the Colorado Film School's semiannual student show, where the lineup includes works hand-picked and awarded by faculty. Each year, the show boasts a wide variety of comedy, drama and genre flicks, a handful of documentaries and an occasional animation. After the free program and awards ceremony, head to La Sandia Cantina, 8340 Northfield Boulevard, for an after-party. For more information, go to the Colorado Film School website.

Read on for the rest of the best December movie events.

3) Remote Area Medical 7 p.m. Friday, December 12 SIE FilmCenter

Filmmakers Jeff Reichert and Farihah Zaman's documentary,

Remote Area Medical

, takes viewers into the nightmare of the U.S. health-care system by focusing on the struggles of patients in rural Tennessee at a NASCAR racetrack turned makeshift hospital. The patients suffer through lines -- sometimes two days long -- as they wait to have their basic medical needs met. This film will have an exclusive opening at SIE; tickets are $10 at the

FilmCenter website


2) Bootleg Theater: The Star Wars Holiday Special 9:30 p.m. Friday, December 19 SIE FilmCenter

George Lucas' newest

Star Wars

releases (Episodes 1-3) offended many diehard fans. But true aficionados of the franchise know that the worst

Star Wars

movie was released on television on November 17, 1978:

The Star Wars Holiday Special

. For years, the show was never officially released on video; the only copies floating around were good old-fashioned bootlegs. Tickets for this very special screening are $10; for more information, go to the

FilmCenter website


1) It's A Wonderful Life 7:10 p.m. Saturday, December 20 and 2 p.m. Wednesday, December 24 Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings -- and cornballs delight. With Christmas around the corner, the Alamo Drafthouse cinema is hosting holiday showings of Frank Capra's classic It's a Wonderful Life. Donna Reed and Jimmy Stewart star in this heartwarming story about individual despair fixed by community support and heavenly intervention. Tickets are $10.75; reserve your spot on the Alamo website.

Find me on Twitter: @kyle_a_harris

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