starz DENVER INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2004
Music is an integral part of any film, but at this year’s Denver International Film Festival, it plays a lead role for “Blues Divas I: Deborah Coleman, which features the works of documentarian Robert Mugge and Mississippi Foundation for Public Broadcasting head Ty Warren. Filming performances at the birthplace of the blues, the Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, Mississippi, Blue Divas spotlights eight of America’s leading ladies in the world of blues. Hosted by Ground Zero co-owner and this year’s SDIFF Mayor’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Morgan Freeman, the first film in this three part series will premier at the festival along with a performance by Deborah Coleman.
People often visualize images when listening to music, and in the case of “David Hockney: The Colors of Music,” some who may not know about the visual art of opera will experience the collision of music and theatrical design. The film’s footage was taken during the early ’90s, witnessing the passion and dedication Hockney had for his craft and they way he transformed the way people experienced opera. One can be grateful that Hockney’s legacy was chronicled, since he had to retire after losing his hearing due to a genetic condition.
For filmmakers, this year’s festival provides some tasty treats, including the Coffee Talk I: Making Documentary Films, Coffee Talk II: German Cinema, and The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing. The man many a filmmaker states and their biggest influence in perusing their celluloid dream is David Lynch, and this year “David Lynch and the Creative Process,” filmmaker and Denver Screenwriting Center director Alexandre O. Philippe dives into the world of Lynch and what makes him tick, where his obscure and “breaking the mold” ideas originate, and how others can get away from themselves in order to “create personal, unique, meaningful worlds.”
Colorado filmmakers get their own spot on the Showcase schedule, including the first phase that includes “White Noise,” “Hempmento” “Killing Kevin,” “Herbie!,” and “Tiffany at Breakfast” that takes a look at one man’s pursuit of a woman of how the human elements of attraction and betrayal come into play. In the Showcase II, “Two or Three Things I Know About Ohio” takes a comedic jab at a travel documentary, “When Bob Got Psychic” speaks for itself, while “Through Nevada Sometimes” delves into a son’s dealings with his father’s death. “Wrong Number” shows how fate saves a suicidal woman’s life, “Janet & Mark” centers around the world of dating while “Don’t Mess With Texas” revolves around the highs and lows of marriage, and “Slave To The Grind” films the extent to what people will go for their addictions.
Foreign films also dominate this year’s line up, showcasing art and documentaries from all over the world. Here at home, other documentaries cover the surging world of politics, including “From Shock and Awe to Shocking and Awful: Fear and Loathing in a Post 9/11 World,” “Getting Through to the President,” series I and II of “Star Spangled to Death,” along with “Shocking and Awful: A Grassroots Response to War and Occupation” and “WMD: Weapons of Mass Deception.”
As usual, you’ll want to be two places at once when it comes to Denver’s Film Festival, but many movies have at least two showings, so it’s all a matter of calling into work sick a few times. The full schedule is at www.denverfilm.org