Best Performance by Colorado in a Film

Ink

The independent flick Ink, which concerns so-called dream people fighting for souls, turned out to be a dream come true for the local film community. The movie was shot entirely within the state, at locations ranging from the plains of Brighton and the peaks of Crested Butte to the Evergreen foothills and downtown Denver — and as a bonus, the crew was entirely local as well. Clearly, Colorado was ready for its close-up.

Best Performance by Colorado in a Hollywood Film the Rest of the Country Will Be Seeing Soon

Imagine That

The last time a big Hollywood production descended on Denver was in late 2007, when Eddie Murphy's Nowhereland spent two weeks showcasing downtown and LoDo. The film was originally slated to hit screens in the fall of 2008, but it was delayed — seldom a good sign. It's currently expected to reach theaters in June, complete with a new title: Imagine That. We'd like to imagine that Denver will still get its due...but we have our doubts.

Best Performance by Colorado in a Homegrown Film the Rest of the Country Will Be Seeing Soon

Skills Like This

Directed by Colorado's Monty Miranda and produced by Donna Dewey, the state's latest Academy Award winner, Skills Like This, has been a darling on the festival circuit since 2007, when it won its first Best of Denver award. Unfortunately, only a handful of viewers have gotten a chance to see the flick, which features scenes shot at Union Station and Arvada's 12 Volt Tavern, among other area locales. But beginning in April, the movie will get a wide national release, including a return engagement in its home town. The aptly named Skills Like This is finally earning some long-deserved recognition for its very skillful filmmakers.
Slumdog Millionaire was a great film. But did you wonder what was up with all the spontaneous choreographed dancing? Welcome to the wonderful world of Bollywood, where popular Indian films and Top 40 songs are married into fast-paced, colorful dance productions reminiscent of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" (but with less groaning). And along with providing an excellent workout, the East Indian dance styles are wildly campy and just plain fun. More than a few Denver gals have become addicted ever since Bollywood West's Renu Kansal came to town from New York. Along with a regular slate of classes for all levels in Denver and Boulder, Kansal also leads the Bollywood West dance troupe, which made a splash last fall at the Denver Film Festival party for Slumdog Millionaire, co-hosts the occasional Passport to Bollywood dance party at Zen Ultra Lounge and helps promote Bollywood Movie Night screenings at the Regency Tamarac Square Cinemas. And, yes, that is our final answer.
Bud Shark opened Shark's Lithography in Boulder back in 1976. Twenty-some years later, he moved to Lyons, changed the name to Shark's Ink and has been there ever since. Shark is a master printer who has worked with many internationally known artists, some of them over and over again. In putting together this stunning show, outgoing curator Cydney Payton chose works that expressed those long-term relationships. On view are pieces by Betty Woodman, Enrique Chagoya, Don Ed Hardy and Bernard Cohen. Of particular interest are the three-dimensional works by Red Grooms, in which the prints are cut up to make sculptures.
Back in the 1980s, the late Fred Mayer and his wife, Jan, began putting together a collection of prints dating to the first half of the twentieth century, a golden age for the medium. Then, as now, the prints were relatively inexpensive, and that fact, combined with the Mayer family's great wealth and good taste, allowed them to assemble a world-class collection ranging from Ashcan School examples, works of social realism, and pieces that were part of the then-nascent modern movement. The couple acquired many big names, including Thomas Hart Benton, Grant Wood, Rockwell Kent, Paul Cadmus and Denver's own Vance Kirkland. Singer Gallery curator Simon Zalkind selected some of the best for Good Impressions, and his choices left a good impression on us.
A Fluid reunion show seemed unlikely fifteen years after the band broke up, but fortunately for us, it happened. Even more unlikely was the reunion of one of the true punk-rock legends of the Colorado scene: the Frantix. Before Matt Bischoff and Ricky Kulwicki helped to form the Fluid, both were in the Frantix, an act whose infamous song "My Dad's a Fuckin' Alcoholic" earned lasting notoriety, even though the outfit broke up in 1983. In the fall of 2008, the band got back together for one show at Wax Trax to remind us that real, raw, ferocious punk rock happened in our town long before most of us ever got to hear it.

Best Rapper East of Colorado Boulevard

F.O.E.

While Jewell Tyme Music may be the best hip-hop label in Colorado, the star of the label has to be F.O.E. (Father of Enemies). Last year he dropped the excellent King of the Mountain mixtape, shined on the Music, Money, and Roundtables comp and kills every venue he's booked at. He's also been tapped by ManeLine, Diamond Boiz, Joe Thunder and other notables to appear on their projects, and he rips it every time. If that's not enough, his plate is full with a new album (A New Welcome), a mixtape with B Blacc (Return of the Drama Kings) and a mixtape with DJ A-What! (The Format), plus his hands are on everything Jewell Tyme puts out.

Best Rapper West of Colorado Boulevard

Whygee

The curious case of Whygee: He's an unaffiliated Colorado hip-hop nomad who wanders all around the city but is mostly found near the center. His unique gruff voice is instantly recognizable and, with his thought-provoking and brash lyrical prowess, he's one of the best MCs in Colorado. He's proven this not only during his live show, but also on the excellent Suicide Watch EP, a collaboration with rapper Sunken State and producer Kid Hum. He's currently working with Naeem Oba as N.O. Why, on a project titled You're Not One of Us, which is due out in April, followed by a new mixtape with DJ Sounds Supreme featuring DJ Low Key that will drop sometime this summer. After that, there's a hip-hop/soul collaboration on tap with singer charleyBRAND slated for sometime next year. And he promises it will all be free. Word, gee!
In the fall of 2007, investor Andrew Kalmar opened the elegant Gallery T at the corner of West Ninth Avenue and Santa Fe Drive and hired Ron Judish to run it. An art-world veteran, Judish was an early member of the Spark Gallery co-op and later ran two of his own galleries. When the second of those galleries closed some years ago, Judish thought his days in the art world had ended — at least until he met the young and brash Kalmar. Under Judish's guidance, T has shown a mix of local and international art stars. And thanks to Kalmar, we've got Judish's accomplished eye back on the local exhibition scene.

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