Some say October is the month when the veil between the dead and the living vanishes. For movie lovers, this is no rare thing: We're used to the shadows of the past flickering before our eyes and yesterday's voices flooding our ears. And not just in horror films; after all, every movie -- even science fiction -- is a blast from the past.
But this October, Denver's theaters will be showing more than ghosts, guts and gore. Whether you're a foodie looking to learn about cutting-edge cooking techniques, a hip-hop fan eager to discover the creative process behind one of the greatest all-time albums, an art-film enthusiast, a nostalgic Saturday morning cartoon fiend or a blockbuster junkie, you'll find something to see in Denver's buzzing film scene. Here are our picks for the ten best movie events in October.
10) Nas: Time is Illmatic 7:30 p.m. Thursday, October 2 SIE FilmCenter
Filmmakers One9 and Erik Parker spent over ten years making Nas: Time is Illmatic, an exploration of hip-hop artist Nas's critically acclaimed debut album Illmatic, considered by many to be the greatest hip-hop record of all time. The documentary follows the artist from childhood through New York's rising hip-hop scene and shows the struggles he endured on his way to the top. The film will have a one-night, nationwide release at the SIE FilmCenter; tickets cost $7 for Denver Film Society members and $10 for non-members. Find more information here.9) Indigenous Film & Arts Festival Tuesday, October 7 through Monday, October 13 Various Locations
Around the world, indigenous communities have created a network of filmmakers who are producing some of the most urgent documentaries and fresh takes on the feature fiction film. The Indigenous Film and Arts Festival will bring together directors, artists and audiences to celebrate the creative surge coming out of native communities around the globe, with showings that include White Lies, This May Be the Last Time and Ingredients: Hawai'i. For a complete schedule, go to the festival website.
Internationally acclaimed artist, filmmaker and animator Karen Yasinsky digs into morbid subjects: suicide, violence and depression. Instead of tackling these issues with melodrama or tragedy, though, she constructs unsettling, poetic, anti-narrative films that attack the conventions of traditional movie-making. Her work is animated, violently quiet and filled with discordant imagery that crosses cultural, narrative and philosophical boundaries. Tickets to this First Person Cinema program are $4; find more information here. Keep reading for seven more of the best movie events this month.
7) Mudbloods 7 p.m. Thursday, October 9 SIE FilmCenter
"It's better to be seen as a little weird and to be happy than to not be seen as the person you are," says one character in the trailer for Mudbloods, a feel-good, coming-of-age documentary following members of a real-life Quidditch team -- the fictional sport played in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series -- as they battle their way to nationals. To the chagrin of traditional athletes, these players merge athleticism and nerdiness. While the nonfiction version of the sport doesn't involving flying and magical balls, it requires the same bravery, enthusiasm, dedication and risk required in the most beloved professional sports. Tickets are $7 for Denver Film Society members, $10 non-members; find more information here.
With the Emily Griffith Foundation's focus on paving a way for all adults to experience post-secondary education, the organization does not seem like it could have the time and resources to curate a cutting-edge film festival. But the lineup for the Emily Griffith Film Festival: Stories of Immigrants and Refugees looks stellar. The opening night film, Underwater Dreams, tells the story of a group of immigrant youth who enter a competition to build an underwater robot and defeat a team from MIT. For a full schedule, go to the Denver Film Society website.
5) Cartoon Cereal Party: Halloween Edition 10:30 a.m. Saturday, October 11 Alamo Drafthouse
Crawl out of bed, put on a fresh pair of pajamas and head to the Alamo Drafthouse for this month's edition of the legendary Cartoon Cereal Party. Travel back in time to the '80s and '90s to see the witches, goblins and ghouls featured in some of the greatest Saturday morning cartoons from the era, all while eating the best of the worst sugary cereals. For details, go to the Alamo website.
4) Flatirons Food Film Festival Wednesday, October 15 through Sunday, October 19 Various Locations
Foodies and cineastes, delight: The Flatirons Food Film Festival has cooked up a feast of films and culinary events to satisfy any appetite. Whether you're hoping to dine on films about food politics, the sensational stories of chefs or an exploration of how a twelve-course, multimedia, culinary opera comes together, this delicious lineup of food-focused films has something to satisfy every appetite. For a full schedule, go to the festival website.
Keep reading for three more of the best movie events this month.
Colorado boasts some of the nation's most celebrated and locally ignored experimental filmmakers. One example: CU Boulder professor Kelly Sears, who works in the longstanding tradition of experimental animation that repurposes found footage to comment on the social conditions that created them. Her work looks at Post-World War II culture and offers a fresh critique of manifest destiny, surveillance and U.S. expansionism. Tickets to the First Person Cinema show celebrating her work are $4; find out more here.2) Color Commentary: American Psycho With live commentary from screenwriter Guinevere Turner Tuesday, October 21 Alamo Drafthouse
Based on Brett Easton Ellis's novel satirizing the sociopathic nature of young, urban professionals, the filmAmerican Psycho
, a chilling and brutal adaptation, was written, in part, by Guinevere Turner, the beloved actress and writer ofGo Fish
. At Color Commentary, Turner will provide an in-person narration over the film, giving audiences a behind-the-scenes look at the making of this modern classic. Find out morehere
.1) Christopher Nolan Retrospective Thursday, October 23 through Sunday, October 26 SIE FilmCenter
Few filmmakers have bridged the divide between art cinema and the Hollywood blockbuster with the originality and vision of Christopher Nolan. From his earliest films like Following and Memento all the way through the mindbogglingly surreal Inception and his grim vision of Batman, his work is a testament to Hollywood's capacity to produce relevant, challenging and emotionally engaging films that keep audiences coming. This retrospective will fill an entire weekend with his work; see the complete schedule here.
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Find me on Twitter: @kyle_a_harris