Film Podcast: Annie, Mr. Turner, Big Eyes and So Much More

Categories: Film and TV

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Mr. Turner
We begin this week's Voice Film Club podcast with a strange story about Giles Corey, who famously said, "More weight!" as stones were laid upon him during his witch trial. The end of the year is sort of like that for film critics, who are pressed upon with all the Very Important Movies of the Year. Your hosts Alan Scherstuhl, Stephanie Zacharek, and Amy Nicholson run down many of the movies coming out soon, including:

- Annie
- Leviathan
- Mr. Turner
- The Interview
- Big Eyes
- Unbroken
- Selma
- American Sniper
- Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
- Winter Sleep
- Into the Woods
- The Gambler

Oh! We have an email address now: Send jokes, complaints, poems, or comments to filmpod@villagevoice.com


Marion Cotillard Wins -- Twice -- in Our 2014 Film Critics' Poll

Categories: Film and TV

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Sundance Selects
Marion Cotillard, was voted best actress in this year's film critic's poll.

What kind of circle is time again? A year after blowing the doors off our annual critics’ poll, golden boy Matthew McConaughey won just a single vote for his turn in the loudest movie of the year, Christopher Nolan’s tears-in-space effort Interstellar, which has tied with the unprescient Transcendence as 2014’s worst film. (Transcendence dreamed that Johnny Depp’s character would take over every screen in the world — that didn’t happen.) But his margin of victory lives on, this year in the form of Marion Cotillard, who wins best actress twice: first for the Dardenne brothers’ vote-gathering drama Two Days, One Night, then besting second-place Scarlett Johansson (Under the Skin) with her turn in James Gray’s glorious melodrama The Immigrant, available now on Netflix streaming because Harvey Weinstein doesn’t believe Oscar voters will bite.


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The Colbert Report's Greatness Arrived With Its Very First Episode

Categories: Film and TV

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Colbert in the opening of his show's very first episode.
The funniest and most incisive show on television is ending this week -- so let's look back at how it began. On October 17, 2005, a power-suited Stephen Colbert furrowed his eyebrows and showed off highlights of his new set. Red letters above him shouted, "The Colbert Report." The title of his show was silhouetted in back of those letters, so it appeared twice. The host's last name was also proclaimed by a plasma-screen on the front of his desk, and it flashed four times on a ticker that ran below it, and was even spelled out on either side of that desk -- "which," he pointed out, "is itself shaped like a giant C." There were nine "Colbert"s in all, not counting the initial he sat in.

See also: The Colbert Report's Ten Funniest Videos About Colorado

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Josh Blue on Dave Chapelle, Speaking Wolof and 108 Stitches

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Terry Ratzlaff
Josh Blue is a singular talent with an undeniable facility for hilarious riffs that he seems to casually toss off; he also has an uncanny ability to be instantly likable from the moment he grabs the mike. Blue has been a pillar of the Denver comedy scene for years; he broke out nationally when he won NBC's Last Comic Standing in 2006. Throughout his illustrious career, Blue has managed to mine his cerebral palsy for comedic gold; he doesn't shy away from challenging subjects, either. Blue is closing out a pretty stellar 2014 at the home club where he developed his skills. We caught up with Blue in advance of his holiday shows that start tomorrow at the downtown Comedy Works to discuss opening for Dave Chapelle, telling jokes in other languages and his first big film role in 108 Stitches.

See also: Comedian Josh Blue on the pros and cons of being an "inspiration"

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Mike Nichols: Remembered at the Sie Focuses on Five Films by the Late Director

Categories: Film and TV

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People.com
Late filmmaker Mike Nichols gets a close-up on his career this week at the Sie FilmCenter.
The world of film has its auteurs and icons, and loyal viewers will line up to see a movie based on a director's name alone. But the name of Mike Nichols guaranteed a film experience above almost all others, with a script that was top-notch and impeccable acting.

Nichols had not just talent and vision, but range. After he helmed two beloved stage productions of Barefoot in the Park and The Odd Couple at the renowned Neil Simon Theater, Hollywood came calling and Nichols delivered a stunning one-two debut punch with his electrifying direction of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; he also introduced the world to a young actor named Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate.

When the filmmaker passed away on November 19, he left decades of work that deserves rediscovery -- and the Denver Film Society is unspooling five of his classics in Mike Nichols: Remembered, which runs December 18 through December 21 at Sie FilmCenter. We spoke with Britta Erickson, festival director (and co-founder of Denver's Curious Theater Company) and Ernie Quiroz, DFS programming manager, to learn about Nichols' legacy and the five films they selected to celebrate this lost talent.

See also: All Aboard the '80s Wayback Machine for Mike Nichols' Good Time Charlie


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The Five Best Foreign Christmas Films

Categories: Film and TV

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Courtesy stereootaku.com
"Tokyo Godfathers" is a Christmas tale of three homeless friends who go on a mission to return a missing baby.

Christmas is a shared experience around many parts of the world. There are different traditions and celebrations, but whether it's Joyeux Noël or Meri Kurisumasu, Christmas has central themes that we can relate to wherever we are. This year, put away the tired classics and opt for something with a different flavor. Here are our five best foreign Christmas movies.

See also: Five Christmas Movies to Make Your Skin Crawl


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Michael Moore's Roger & Me Celebrates 25 Years With a Screening and a Skype at the Sie

Categories: Film and TV

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Warner Bros.
Filmmaker Michael Moore (circa 1985) stirs up trouble directing Roger & Me.
Hard to believe that it's been 25 years since audiences first met a frumpy, bespectacled young filmmaker named Michael Moore in his debut feature, Roger & Me, following him on his quest to find and talk to the CEO of General Motors, Roger Smith, about scores of factory layoffs that had hit Moore's beloved hometown of Flint, Michigan.

Marking the film's anniversary with an upcoming Blu-Ray release, Warner Bros. has digitally restored Roger & Me from its original 16mm format -- and the Sie FilmCenter will unveil it this Wednesday, December 17 at 7:10 p.m., with Michael Moore himself Skyping in for a post-film Q&A to discuss the film's history and what its creation did in the long run for his troubled native city.

See also: kART Across America: Michael Moore Offers to Help Local Documentarians

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Todd Barry on the Crowd Work Tour, Podcasts and His best-Known Roles

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In addition to providing the pizza-soaked lifeblood of Denver's comedy scene and sponsoring some of its best local showcases, SexPot has really hung its hat on its namesake showcases at the Oriental Theater. And producer Andy Juett has pulled out all the stops for the one-year anniversary show, "A Chilly Evening with Todd Barry," landing SexPot's biggest headliner yet for the December 19 event. Todd Barry is a veteran standup best known for his appearances on such TV shows as Flight of the Conchords and Louie, as well as films like The Wrestler. Fresh off his last special, The Crowd Work Tour -- which consisted of nothing but crowd-generated riffs and good-natured mockery -- Barry has a fresh bundle of jokes for SexPot's loyal crowd. Although this month's showcase concludes SexPot's monthly engagement at the historic Oriental (which will hitherto be reserved for high-drawing headliners and special occasions), the SexPot brand is charging forward, relocating the monthly show to that Baker staple, 3 Kings Tavern, in 2015.

In celebration of SexPot's special showcase, Westword caught up with Barry to discuss working on new jokes after his Crowd Work Tour special, his European podcast fans and his most well-known film and TV roles.

See also: Sexpot Comedy Launches Website That Takes Local Funny Business Seriously

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Colorado Tattoo Artist on Ink Shrinks Debut Tuesday on Spike TV

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Tattoo artist Justin Nordine stars in a new television show on Spike TV.
In a half-dozen years, Justin Nordine has gone from art teacher to tattoo artist to television star. Now working at The Raw Canvas Tattoo Studio, he's also part of a team of artists and therapists on Spike TV's new television show, Ink Shrinks. The pilot episode will air on Tuesday, December 16; if it's well-received, the show will be signed for a full season.

See also: Tattoo Artist/Rock Star Corey Miller on Music, Ink and Television

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Jingle Bell Rocks! Unwraps the Secret World of Alternative Christmas Music

Categories: Film and TV

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Oscilloscope
Santa would approve of the alternative Xmas songs found in Jingle Bell Rocks!
A new documentary called Jingle Bell Rocks! hopes to tear away the wrapping on a unique underground scene: alternative Christmas music junkies. This is a label not to be worn with the shame of an ugly holiday sweater, as discovering or even producing an alternative to the well-worn jingles of the days of yore can be fun and even lucrative. (Just ask Mariah Carey, whose All I Want For Christmas Is You has kept her rolling in diamonds and Hello Kitty toys for the last twenty years.)

Jingle Bell Rocks! turns its lens on the avid collectors who scour record stores for heaps of discarded vinyl, in hope of finding an amazing gem for their annual Christmas mix tape, and even talks to the talents who put together some of these jams, including Reverend Run of Run D.M.C, whose Christmas In Hollis can soothe even the most frenzied shopper in a department store when it comes on. John Waters, Wayne Coyne and other contributors to holiday fun also get their moment in this celebratory doc that screens Sunday and Monday, December 14-15, at the Boedecker Theater in The Dairy Center for the Arts and also December 17 at the Sie FilmCenter. While you wait for those screenings, enjoy the Top 5 craziest Xmas tunes selected by Shawn Morrison, a local Christmas enthusiast who knows a thing or two about some of the holiday's musical deep cuts.

See also: Five Christmas Movies to Make Your Skin Crawl

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