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Starz Denver International Film Festival – November 10 – 20, 2005



Denver goes Hollywood and very worldly as the Starz International Film Festival gets going this week, and will continue through November 20.

Flipping through the program and schedule is as overwhelming as walking into Home Depot for the first time to buy a wrench – you don’t know where to turn first. There are short films, both foreign and Colorado made movies, comedies and endearing documentaries, and everything in between.

Then there’s the parties – from Opening Night, to the Big Night Film Premier featuring Cassanova at the Opera House, and then Closing Night on November 19 featuring Brokenback Mountain.

This Sunday at the King Center the film festival gets our curiosity as keen as a cat with their “mystery” screening of what is expected to one of the highlights of the festival. We encourage you to sign up for the Daily Dish, a daily newsletter that reviews what took place the day before, Best Bets, Gallery pictures, and more. Look for moi in Monday’s issue as I review the Mystery Screening night as a Starz featured writer.

Once again the Colorado filmmakers get their moments of glory during the showcase nights on November 14 and 19 for Showcase I and November 15 and 20 for Showcase II. Some films that caught our eye include: Beers, Steers and Queers, Havana Centro, Unstoppable, which won this year’s screenwriting contest, and Artsy Fartsy that pokes fun at the elitist attitude towards artistic endeavors.

Brokeback MountainAnd of course, many Denver peeps will enjoy the star infested scene of Hollywood right here in our own backyard. No need to visit L.A.’s Coffee Bean, you can meet David Schwimmer Tuesday night as he discusses what he’s up to these days. You too can be the annoying person in the crowd that will ask him if the cast of “Friends” will ever do a reunion show. Saturday night the festival will screen Duck starring Philp Baker Hall (Dogville, The Truman Show, The Talented Mr. Ripley), who will be presented with the 2005 John Casssavetes Award that night. For fans of director Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Eat Drink Man Woman, The Wedding Banquet), you can’t miss the screening of Brokeback Mountain Friday, November 18 where Lee will be interviewed by the lovely Lisa Kennedy of the Denver Post following the movie.

This Saturday, November 12 the festival will pay tribute to Hunter S. Thompson at Remember Hunter, which will commemorate his life and premier filmmaker Wayne Ewing’s short documentary. Along with the film’s interviews with his friends Johnny Depp and Sean Penn, it is noted that alcohol and antics will be served.

Other activities to check out are the Coffee Talks, where filmgoers can chat and exchange their notes and thoughts of the festival, along with the Japanese Reception on Friday, November 11, the French Reception on Saturday, November 12, and the Director’s reception Thursday, November 17.

Have fun and look for our movie reviews in next week’s Film Buzz. If you have any pictures you would like to contribute to our gallery, please email me at kim[at]



Today romance seems to only take place on the big and small screens. We’re left with online dating, or worse, speed dating because who has time to actually have a conversation with someone. The overall narcissism of many men and women leaves them with such a thick, protective wall of baggage that it’s amazing that the wedding industry is still making billions, but not a shock that as much money is probably being made in divorce court.

Tonight we get to escape our modern day relationship tragedies and return to a time when men were gentlemen and knew the power of romance. The man who invented this lost art of seduction was none other than Casanova himself, and the movie of the same name premiers at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House with fabulous grandeur and a black-tie affair after the movie. We all get to play dress up and go back to a time when people took a night at the movies a lot more serious than grabbing a candy bar and popcorn for $20 bucks.

Academy Award-nominated director, Lasse Hallstrom, wowed film fanatics with Cider House Rules and the DVD owner, Chocolat. This time around he takes the life of Casanova and throws it around with a humanistic spin, shedding light in a comedic fashion, the imperfections of this suave man about town who isn’t safe from getting his heart broken. Played by the incredibly hot Health Ledger, he shows the other facets of this world renowned lover, his antics as a Renaissance-era spy and soldier, and the softer side of his persona as a philosopher, writer, and self analytic poet.

Other picks for the remaining days of the festival include:

Friday, November 18

Drugging of Our Children – 6:15pm
Duck –6:45pm
Monster Thursday – 7pm, Boulder
I Am a Sex Addict – 9:15pm
Brick – 9:15pm

Saturday, November 19

Sophie Scholl: The Final Days – 1pm
Music is My Life, Politics My Mistress – 1:15pm
Drugging of Our Children – 1:30pm
Colorado Filmmakers I – 1:30pm
Duck – 3:45pm
Monster Thursday – 9:45pm

Brokeback Mountain starring again Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, directed by Ang Lee – Friday, November 10, 7:30pm, Closing Night party. Following the screening Ang Lee will be interviewed by Lisa Kennedy from The Denver Post.

Sunday, November 20

Colorado Filmmakers II – 12:30pm
PuzzleParis – 12:45pm
Combover: The Movie – 4:15pm
Turning Point – 7pm


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