Movies Blog

Still Flying: 'Serenity' @ DPL's Steampunk Film Series

Serenity Movie Poster

With, Serenity (2005) -- the third installment of DPL's Steampunk Film Series -- Joss Whedon takes us 500 years into the future where the overpopulation of Earth has scattered humans across the universe. The crew of the spaceship Serenity must evade the totalitarian government and the assassin dispatched to hunt them down.

Whether you are a longtime fan of Joss Whedon, or are new to his work, Serenity is an action-packed film with elements from the Western, Science Fiction and Steampunk genres. It is also one of the few movies that I can think of that was developed after the TV show it was based on, Firefly, was canceled.

Prepare to be Astounded: 'The Prestige' @ DPL's Steampunk Film Series

The Professor and Olivia onstage

With The Prestige (2006) -- the second installment of DPL's Steampunk Film Series -- Christopher Nolan paints a vibrant portrait of magic and science in the Victorian era that brims with historical detail while remaining thoroughly modern in its tone and themes. It's a complex and visually striking film that begs to be viewed on the big screen.

Adapted from Christopher Priest's 1995 novel of the same name, The Prestige features the kind of multi-layered, time-shifting narrative that has become a Nolan signature. At its heart is the epic rivalry between two stage magicians, Borden (Christian Bale) and Angier (Hugh Jackman), that subtly echoes the real life power struggle between scientific wizards Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla. In the figure of Tesla -- played by an otherworldly David Bowie -- the fragile boundaries between science and magic collapse.

When Cuteness Attacks: Scene-Stealing Movie Animals

Ahhhhhhhhhhh!

The warning "Never work with children or animals," is attributed to W.C. Fields, who was known to lace Baby LeRoy's bottle with gin to get him to stop crying on the set. Below are some films that feature animal actors who upstage their two-legged co-stars.

Although he never protested that he was young and he needed the money, one of the earliest animal stars, Rin Tin Tin, started out his acting career playing wolves. His movies eventually became so popular that he is credited with saving Warner Brothers, and he eventually earned his own paw print on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Film on the Rocks Summer Lineup Announced

Film on the Rocks logo

My favorite herald of summer, the lineup announcement for Film on the Rocks, happened this morning!

It is a uniquely Colorado experience to be nestled in the breathtaking alcove of Red Rocks, watching the sun set over Denver, while reveling in a warm Summer evening and anticipating a beloved film. Each event is full of music, film and camaraderie. I have fond memories of seeing Saving Private Ryan and The Big Lebowski in years past.

"Steampunk is What Happens When Goths Discover Brown" -Jess Nevins

steampunk

Welcome, welcome, welcome ladies and gentlemen to the weird and wonderful world of steampunk. What is steampunk you ask? Why, it is many things, but let's call it an aesthetic sensibility. Gears, corsets, dirigibles, and don't forget your goggles. There is steampunk music, fashion, art, and of course books!

Steampunk has its roots in the scientific romances of the mid-19th century but really took flight (steam powered of course!) in the 1980s and most recently in the aught-aughts. A group of writers (Jeter, Blaylock, Powers) working in southern California would meet up at their local watering hole and realized they were all writing similar works, as a joke they called it "Steampunk".

Right Neighborly

Getty Image - Man smacking his head and standing behind white picket fence.

Ah, home sweet home...um, maybe. That urban castle of solace can quickly turn into one of strife if you are plagued by nosey or noisy neighbors.

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood never prepared us for the Griswolds and Mr. & Mrs. Smiths of the world. Now that the weather is improving, you can't rush past your neighbor because it's too cold to chat. So how can you move from avoidance to acceptance and appreciate the neighbors you have?

How Does Hollywood Cry Uncle? Get Bruce!

When you laugh at something funny that an actor or entertainer has said at an awards show, in an interview or as patter in a concert event -- you likely have this man to thank. Hollywood's secret weapon is exposed in the documentary Get Bruce!

Check out this funny documentary at our upcoming film night at the library:

Get Bruce!(1999), Tuesday, April 30, 6:30-9 p.m., Central Library, Level B2 Conference Center

Cinema in the Stacks: Great Library Scenes

Public library in David Fincher's Se7en

Libraries are sites of imagination and possibility. Each book contains a tiny world capable of transporting the reader into a radically different time and place. In a similar way, the space of the library itself -- whether dark and dusty or bright and modern -- also has the potential to transport us out of the realm of the ordinary.

In honor of National Library Week I'd like to present a few of my favorite cinematic libraries. All these titles are available to check out through DPL.

Funny Business: Documentary Film Series

Not since Garbo laughed in the film, Ninotchka, has so much been done by one American to make a Russian laugh -- according to the documentary film, Exporting Raymond. Denver Public Library Film Series kicks off its 8th annual documentary showcase this Tuesday.

Denver Public Library’s Film Series has put together a mini-collection of docs that explores the world of comedy entertainment. Documentary films are often funny accidentally. These are no exception – but they also chronicle the world of professional comedy and comedy writing. It’s serious fun to watch other people try to be funny, with varying levels of success!

CHANGING MOVIES IN THE MIDDLE OF A STREAM

David and Jackie Siegel

Feature films are supposed to be entertaining, while documentaries present us with grim reality. But the best documentaries often introduce us to extraordinary and intriguing people -- and sometimes go places even the filmmakers didn't anticipate. Here are some documentaries with a few unexpected twists.

Watching a movie doesn't usually make me want to fill up my car with items for the Goodwill, unless that movie is The Queen of Versailles. Filmmaker Lauren Greenfield started out wanting to tell the story of billionaire David Siegel and buxom third wife Jackie's quest to build the largest and most expensive house in the country. In the middle of filming, though, the housing crisis nearly wiped out Siegel and his predatory timeshare business.

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