Starz Denver Film Festival: Brit Withey picks Sister and other weekend must-sees

Categories: Festivals, Film

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Videos below.
Again this year, Starz Denver Film Festival artistic director Brit Withey is offering his must-see picks for each day of the fest -- including many flicks that movie lovers might otherwise miss amid the flood of silver-screen goodies.

Here, he shares his takes on Friday's Sister, Saturday's Consuming Spirits and Sunday's Evening with Stacey Steers.

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Brit Withey.
Sister
Directed by Ursula Meier
7:30 p.m. Friday, November 2
Denver Pavilions

"Sister is Switzerland's choice for Best Foreign Language Film for the upcoming Academy Awards," says Brit Withey. "It's a story about a brother (Kacey Mottet Klein) and sister (Léa Seydoux) who live alone at the foot of a mountain -- and there are amazing performances by these two young actors.

"They really have to fend for themselves," he continues, "and being in her late teens or early twenties, she does what someone that age does, which is date and drink and party. So he's left more or less on his own, and to keep things afloat, he ends up stealing lots of things from the resort -- skis and goggles and masks -- and selling them to his friends. It's a great story with a fantastic twist at the end."

Withey adds that director Ursula Meier is traveling to Denver from Switzerland to be present at the screening.

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Consuming Spirits
Directed by Chris Sullivan
7 p.m. Saturday, November 3
Denver FilmCenter/Colfax

"This is an epic piece of work," says Withey of Consuming Spirits. "It's a feature-length animated film, and the director (Chris Sullivan) has been working on it for almost fifteen years. He uses every conceivable form of animation. It's old-school animation -- no computer-digital -- with pencil on paper, stop motion, figurines cut out and hand-moved."

But the film is more than just an exercise of technique, Withey stresses. "It's an incredibly intense, dark story about several families that are interwoven in this very small town. You don't know exactly how they all fit together until the end, but when it does come together, it's in this very strange and interesting way. The characters are all incredibly compelling and incredibly sad. But it's an amazing thing to watch."

Sullivan, too, will be on hand for Saturday's screening.

Continue for Withey's pick for Sunday, November 4, and to see videos from all three of his selections.


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