Film on the Rocks 2013 announced: Back to the Future opens and The Princess Bride returns

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The official start of summer is over a month away, but the unofficial start is upon us, with the release of the Film on the Rocks 2013 schedule. There's certain to be some controversy over the selection, but as in years past, the Denver Film Society -- led by FOTR Program Director Britta Erickson -- has taken great care in curating a series of both crowd-pleasing and interesting movies. Kicking off with Back to the Future on May 29, the line-up also includes titles like Wet Hot American Summer and Die Hard.

"I think it's a really great combination and caters to an array of generations," says Karla Rodriguez, audience development and social media manager for FOTR. "It's not just movies you want to bring your kids to -- it's movies you want you want to bring your parents to."

See also:
- 2012 Film on the Rocks includes fan-favorite The Notebook, but no Big Lebowski
- 100 Colorado Creatives: Keith Garcia, Denver Film Society
- Best of Denver 2013: Pre- and Post-Movie Party Spot- Sie FilmCenter


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Five looks inside the Denver Animated Pixelshow

Categories: Colorado Film

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Denver's animation scene gets a turn in the limelight when the Denver Animated Pixelshow comes to the Bug Theatre Thursday night. More than two hours of locally made animated shorts will be screened, with most of the filmmakers on hand to talk about their work and answer questions. And you're going to have some questions, because some of these are weird. Maybe it's the influence of our pervasive medical marijuana industry, or maybe people who spend hundreds of hours painstakingly stitching together images into seamless animations are just a little on the odd side, but whatever the reason, there's some strange stuff going on here. That's not to say it isn't cool -- on the contrary, a lot of this is great in part because it's so off the wall.

To give you a taste, we chose five of the pieces from the show that highlight the variety of approaches in both style and subject matter. From Plato to GI Joe, these are a few of our favorite Denver animated things.

See also:
- Event: Denver Animated Pixelshow
- GI Joe Fest 2012 canceled!
- Animation, epilepsy and all the things you can do with LEGOs

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Filmmaker Alex Cox on Repo Man, his next project and the beauty of black and white film

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Alex Cox dressed in one of the costumes for Bill, the Galactic Hero.
When filmmaker Alex Cox finished shooting Repo Man in 1983, the first thing he did with the left-over money was option the film rights to the science fiction novel Bill, the Galactic Hero. Now both projects are back in the spotlight. The Criterion Collection recently released a Blu-Ray edition of the 1984 sci-fi punk cult classic, and the Alamo Drafthouse will screen Repo Man at 7 p.m tonight as its first presentation on 35mm -- with Cox in attendance for a Q&A.

And thirty years after he optioned the book, the prolific Sid and Nancy filmmaker is on his way to making Bill, the Galactic Hero into what he calls the biggest student film ever made, with the help of the film students he teaches at the University of Colorado Boulder. A $100,000 Kickstarter campaign (which you can donate to through April 21) will help turn the anti-war sci-fi novel into a black-and-white film shot on 35mm.

We caught up with Cox in advance of tonight's screening to talk about the inspiration for Repo Man, why he loves black and white, and the future of independent film.

See also:
- Artist Jay Shaw on his love of bizarre cinema and even more bizarre film posters
- Tod Davies on storytelling, lost superheroines, and tonight's screening of Wonder Women!
- Photos: Alamo Drafthouse will open Monday; here's a sneak peek


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100 Colorado Creatives: Keith Garcia, Denver Film Society

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Carly Rose Moser
#80: Keith Garcia
For a certain cross-section of local cinemaphiles, Keith Garcia is a beloved figure. The longtime program director for the Denver Film Society and its commercial film venue, the Sie FilmCenter, he knows his medium backwards, forwards and inside out, from the revered classic canon to the outer limits of genre film. And as a deftly creative programmer, he aims to please the widest-possible cross-section of filmgoers.

See also:
- Lucky '13: Keith Garcia, programming manager for the Sie FilmCenter
- Best Movie Theater -- Programming, 2013: Sie FilmCenter
- Best Film Advocate, 2012: Keith Garcia

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Tattoo Nation director Eric Schwartz on the oral history of the Chicano black-and-grey art form

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The first home of Tattooland on Whittier Boulevard in East Los Angeles, 1978.
When Denver-based fine-art photographer Eric Schwartz set out to photograph people with tattoos, he didn't expect to find a detailed history underneath the artwork. After a chance meeting with California tattoo legend Edward "Chuco" Caballero at a national tattoo show, the story for Schwartz's first film, Tattoo Nation, began to reveal itself -- the documentary profiles some of the biggest artists and tattoo recipients to come out of the the early Los Angeles-based, Chicano black-and-grey tattoo scene.

In advance of Tattoo Nation showing at two theaters in Denver this Thursday, April 4, Schwartz spoke with Westword on how the photography project became a film, and the people he met along the way.

See also:
- Photos: Stovall Costilow Collective blends a tattoo studio with an art gallery
- The most ridiculous tattoos at Water World this weekend
- Water World: Where your bad tattoos take on a new meaning


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Photos: Colorado's first Alamo Drafthouse opens with a Pam Grier party

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All photos by Byron Graham.
Last night, during the grand opening of Colorado's first Alamo Drafthouse theater, badass actress and Denver native Pam Grier got personal with an audience of cinephile strangers. Grier, a funny and engaging public speaker, freely discussed a wide array of topics including moving accounts of her personal struggles and tragic early victimhood and lighter subjects such as shooting women-in-prison exploitation films in the Philippines and famous exes Kareem Abdul-Jabar and Richard Pryor. The night's host, Devin Faraci of Badass Digest, guided the evening through many of the highlights of Grier's film career. Throughout the evening, Faraci occasionally wore the starstruck expression of man sharing a mental high-five with his 12-year-old self -- especially while Pam Grier straddled his lap during an anecdote.

Aside from screening first-run movies and offering a wider array of food and beverage options than your average concession stand, events like these are what make a boutique franchise like Alamo Drafhouse stand out -- events that celebrate cinema while elucidating the humanity of those behind and in front of the camera. Continue reading for more photos of Alamo's first night.

See also:
- Alamo Drafthouse offers bargain movies Friday, Pam Grier Monday, Signature Events
- Photos: Alamo Drafthouse will open Monday; here's a sneak peek
- The top 5 ass-kicking Pam Grier roles


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Gears, Grease and Guitars revs up again at the Oriental Theater after five years

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Five years ago, Denver filmmaker M Van Michaels (then working as Mike Olafson), released a documentary, Gears, Grease and Guitars, that traced the intertwined cultures of hot-rodders, rockabillies and, eventually, '60s garage rockers, all from a local perspective. The fun flashback is packed with interviews and archival footage, and just because, Michaels will present a five-year screening of the film at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Oriental Theater, where it first screened in 2008.

See also:
- Go, Cat, Go!
- Previews: a sneak peak at the bloody Colorado thrill-ride Motor Vixens
- Revved and Rockin'


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Kickstarter campaign for Denver comedy documentary Joke Life now live

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Sam Tallent and Ben Overzet.
With Joke Life, a documentary film chronicling the career trajectories of three generations of Denver comics, producer/ director Ben Overzet hopes to draw attention to this city's exploding comedy scene, celebrate three of the scene's most original voices, and document the every-day struggles of people trying to eke out a living by performing stand-up.

Overzet, a local filmmaker and self-described comedy nerd who produces Too Much Funcast, a weekly podcast from the Fine Gentleman's Club, has set up a Kickstarter fundraiser to complete his documentary project. We recently talked with Overzet about comedy fandom, his goals for Joke Life's Kickstarter campaign, and where he hopes to take his movie.

See also:
- Everybody Loves Ben Roy: Denver comics weigh in on their longtime colleague
- Five choice moments from Denver's standup comedy scene in 2012
- Sam Tallent talks about his comedy mixtape Joke Life, and his Fine Gentleman's Club


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Five picks from the Women + Film Voices Film Festival

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Maritza Santiago Hernandez and Abbie Cornish in The Girl.
As with past editions, this year's third annual Women + Film Voices Film Festival aligns with the celebration of International Women's Day -- which is Friday, March 8. Curated by festival producer Tammy Brislin, FilmCenter artistic director Brit Withey and festival director Britta Erickson, narratives and documentaries alike get top billing in this collection of women-centered pieces from around the world.

The festival kicks off this Sunday, March 3, with a live performance of A Conversation With Edith Head, followed by more than two dozen movies screening throughout the week. In advance of all that action, Brislin took time to share her favorite films in this year's lineup:

See also:
- Susan Claassen becomes a fashion icon in
A Conversation With Edith Head
- Q&A: Director Joan Grossman talks about Drop City, her latest Colorado-connected film
- Shoot your heart out: VOICES Mobile Film Festival is now taking short film submissions


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Top five picks for the Boulder International Film Festival from Kathy and Robin Beeck

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The Boulder International Film Festival opens tonight with Muscle Shoals and continues through the weekend with three more days of independent cinema, symposiums and events featuring special guests from all over the world. It can be tricky to pick films from the festival's extensive schedule, so we asked co-founders Kathy and Robin Beeck for their top five picks. And they are:

See also:
- Weird love: Film's 10 strangest screen couples
- CU-Boulder's International Film Series wants it both ways in the booth
- The Die Hard franchises's five best kills -- and how you can win tickets to the marathon


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