Missed them at Aspen Filmfest? Catch these at virtual Denver Film Festival
If there’s one silver lining of the 2020 hellscape for cinephiles, it’s the democratization of film festivals for the masses.
Without full in-person festival crowds due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, most film festivals have had to cancel or go virtual. And going virtual has meant opening up the gates for viewers from anywhere geographically. No more velvet ropes or guest lists, no need to get on a plane and book a hotel — anybody can buy a ticket and see the latest on the festival circuit this year.
That said, I love film festivals and sitting in dark rooms with strangers in theaters and talking in crowded lobbies afterward. I miss the fall rhythm of Aspen Filmfest here and then Denver Film Festival on the Front Range when we can binge on the year’s best. This year, I’m doing both virtually and so can you. If you missed an anticipated title at the virtual Aspen event, or you’re looking for something new, check out these out of Denver.
Screenings are hosted on eventive.org, the same platform that ran – smoothly, in my experience – both Aspen Filmfest and 5Point Adventure Film Festival last week.
MISSED IT IN ASPEN
If you couldn’t catch everything you wanted to at the Aspen FIlmfest this month, several of the best titles from the virtual screenings here are going to Denver virtually, too. Among them are the revealing documentary “MLK/FBI,” the madcap Robert DeNiro Hollywood comedy “The Comeback Trail,” critical darling “Gunda,” family drama “Here We Are,” the Greta Thunberg doc “I Am Greta” and the immigrant tale “Minari.”
If you’re up for road-tripping, there are also drive-in-style events and outdoor screenings at Red Rocks Ampitheatre including Aspen favorites “Nomadland” and “Amonite.”
Always a high point of the Denver festival, this year the series on homestate-made films and filmmakers includes two Colorado-made short film programs, the romantic comedy “Most Guys Are Losers,” the documentary “Crestone” and the dark Boulder-based family drama “Monuments.”
SPOTLIGHT ON SOCIAL JUSTICE
New this year, the program includes Frederick Wiseman’s acclaimed four-plus hour documentary “City Hall” and Steve James’ latest “City So Real,” along with documentaries on the Irish abortion ban (“The 8th”) a muckraking look at late capitalism (“The New Corporation”) and the Black Panther Party (“Dope is Death”).
‘KUBRICK BY KUBRICK’ & ‘THE TRUTH ABOUT LA DOLCE VITA’
A dream double-bill for film lovers, these movies tackle the life’s work of filmmaker Stanley Kubrick and the making of Federico Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita.”
An imaginative must-see, this acclaimed film is co-written by and stars Riz Ahmed, who continues to make a case for himself as the most interesting film artist working today. This tale of a rapper struck by a strange auto-immune disease is directed by Bassam Tariq.
Denver Film always packs their lineup with new music videos and documentaries that I can never find elsewhere. The most promising of 2020’s feature-length music movies is this one from Loveland director Chelsea Christer about the ups and downs of the band The Matches, which won prizes at both the Dances with Films festival and SF DOC Fest.
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