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October 15, 2012

Starz Denver Film Festival 2012 - The Schedule


Before I discuss any of the movies schedule for this year, I have to express some enthusiasm for the new festival venue. In terms of watching movies, the UA Pavilion 15 will provide a much better viewing experience with nicer seats, more legroom, as well as bigger screens and stadium seating. The former AMC Tivoli provided a history of seeing some great movies, but was not always that good if you wanted to actually watch the film, forcing me to usually grab a seat in the rear to minimize the possibility of someone blocking my sightline, and always from an angle as the seating was split widely down the middle. The other bonus is that there are plenty of open restaurants in the Pavilion itself, as well as nearby throughout the heart of downtown Denver. The Starz theater was part of a shopping center, repurposed as part of a school campus, and the few restaurants that usually cater to students were inconsistent at best during the film festival. Not everybody is going to see movies back to back, even if they see more than one film in a single day, so it's nice to know there will be several places warm and opened during a lull between screenings.

Other screening will be held at the Denver Film Society's year old venue, with a choice of several nearby restaurants. The theater itself provides a good viewing experience, one that in some cases might be aided by the availability of alcoholic beverages on the premises.


The festival is in its 35th year, and is in a peculiar situation. Back when it started, there wasn't the proliferation of film festivals that currently exists. Major stars and filmmakers like Bill Murray, Steve Martin, Jonathan Demme and Robert Altman came to town. George Miller held a Q & A after a screening of The Road Warrior. This is the second year that the festival is held during the same time as the AFI Film Festival. Even though some of the same films will be screened, most eyes will be on the AFI's festival. Not as many stars will be seen at the Starz.

One star that will be coming is Tippi Hedren, appearing in Billy Bob Thornton's Jayne Mansfield's Car, but also for a special screening of The Birds.

The schedule features a few high profile films making the festival circuit, most notably The Silver Linings Playbook. Argentina will be the country featured extensively, featuring films and festival guest Daniel Burman, whose films I've written about earlier. One of the more significant inclusions in the schedule is Mark Cousin's The Story of Film, the fifteen hour documentary, to be shown in the course of seven individual screenings.

Due to a new job and work schedule, my coverage will not be as heavy as before. In terms of Asian cinema, the festival is very light, and I have written about Headshot in conjunction with its U.S. release a couple of weeks ago. There will be the newest film from Hong Sang-soo, In Another Country, starring sabelle Huppert. I will have a better idea of what I will write about when I am able to spend more time reviewing the schedule, and my own postings should coincide with the November screening dates.

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Posted by Peter Nellhaus at October 15, 2012 08:46 AM