George Lucas made Star Wars. Steven Spielberg made E.T. It took both of them working together to make Raiders of the Lost Ark. Expect a similar level of awesome when two great powers in the local film scene -- the new-to-Colorado Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (which will open its first Colorado location in 2013) and Boulder's long-running International Film Series -- join forces starting this week. Under the name IFS Underground, the two film scene titans have come together to bring a series of quirky cult films -- the Drafthouse's specialty -- to the IFS.
"Pablo [Kjolseth, IFS director] is a very skilled and experienced programmer and curator. He actually ended up presenting us with a program list. It was really strong, and we put our input into it as well -- it didn't take much," explains Tom DeFrancia, Alamo's Denver partner . "We came up with the specific series that we can endorse and present. Three films [are] Drafthouse Films -- Drafthouse has a distribution arm called Drafthouse Films."
The partnership came about as a natural outgrowth of the University of Colorado Boulder film studies program, under which the International Film Series operates. DeFrancia is a graduate of the program, and he saw the partnership as a way to give something back while helping Alamo establish itself locally.
"I had reconnected with Pablo once I became involved with the Drafthouse, and let him know how we would like, at the Alamo, to involve ourselves with the film school in any way that could benefit those guys," DeFrancia says. "I think it's just wise to be affiliated with them."
The series starts Thursday, September 13, with Miami Connection, an insane '80s era film about a synth-rock band fighting the ruthless motorcycle ninjas who control Miami's drug trade. The following weeks offer everything from the ultraviolent dystopian classic RoboCop to the Academy Award-winning There Will Be Blood. Legendary director Alex Cox (Sid & Nancy, Repo Manwill) personally introduce October's first entry, the rare spaghetti western The Great Silence, and the final entry in the series is an audience-participation friendly take on Labyrinth.
"Labyrinth is actually a quote-along, our Alamo-style quote-along where we put the words on the screen and encourage people to quote the film as it plays," DeFrancia explains.
If the series goes over well, DeFrancia says it will lead to more good stuff down the road.
"We look at this as a long-term relationship, and ... an opportunity to really grow, and see what the students are looking for on campus, to provide a more enhanced movie-watching experience and bring a little more of the Alamo signature next time around," he says.
Miami Connection September 13-14 There Will Be Blood September 20-21 The Ambassador September 27-28 The Great Silence (intro by Alex Cox) October 4-5 Robocop October 12 The Frightened Woman October 18-19 Possession October 25-26 The Room November 1-2 Wake In Fright November 8-9 Labyrinth (quote along) November 15-16
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All showings are at 8 p.m. in the basement auditorium of the VAC on the University of Colorado Boulder campus. For more info, visit the International Film Series website.