The 32nd Starz Denver Film Festival

32nd Starz Denver Film Festival satellite screenings at The International Film Series in Boulder.

There are thousands of film festivals out there, and most of them are small D.I.Y. affairs that lean heavily on digital projection and extremely low-budget projects that happily take up any host that will notice them. And that’s fine. But I’ve also seen an abuse of local media by some of these overzealous festival promoters who know that the over-worked and harried journalists at shrinking newspapers often times won’t question their outrageous claims at being the “Cannes of the (your location here)” or other such nonsensical hyperbole. So it’s with great pleasure that I announce the return of a “reel” film festival that’s been around for several decades and that ambitiously brings in ten days of very eclectic programming, most of which is still on 35mm film: The 2009 Starz Denver Film Festival (Nov. 12 – 22). [...MORE]

Goldentusk Does The Movie Themes

YouTube sensation Goldentusk, a.k.a. Andrew Goldenberg, as Superman

Okay, so I’m again officially the last to know something.  This marvelous young actor/comedian named Andrew Goldenberg, a.k.a. Goldentusk, has been writing, producing, and starring in a series of imaginative original videos, taking movie theme songs and putting his own words to them, and playing all the characters.  Maybe you’ve seen them — I hadn’t until yesterday, actually — but I’m now officially in love. 

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The Madcap Mind of Juliusz Machulski

For aficionados of foreign film, great Polish cinema generally brings to mind such names as Wajda, Kieslowski, and Zanussi. Those are the directors who inspire retrospectives at film festivals and whose careers are studied in film schools. But, these type of directors no longer typify Polish cinema, which has managed to survive the many changes and struggles of the post-communist era with commercial fare often patterned after Hollywood genres.  The director considered the most commercially successful in all of Polish film history has dominated the Polish box office since the early 1980s, bridging the late communist era and the contemporary commercial industry. His name is Juliusz Machulski, and his string of oddball satires and genre flicks have such a madcap craziness about them that they are immediately recognizable as his.

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            The son of popular Polish actor Jan Machulski, Juliusz graduated from the famous film school in Lodz in 1978. In 1981, he made his first feature film, Vabank, a caper film in the spirit of Rififi or The Sting. Vabank starred Juliusz’s father, Jan, and it introduced the Polish audience to what would become the Machulski style—broad comedy, slick production values, a Polish twist on a familiar genre, a manic energy, and a preference for oddly imaginative production design.  

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