Boulder has long been known as one of the more creative communities in the country. Which is why it makes one wonder why the hell we have so few moviegoing opportunities in town. And also why, hey, where the hell is our version of community-galvanizing "Slacker"? Never fear, because here are a few new goings-on that will make your next year even more cinematic than ever...
Cox is coming
That's right: Alex Cox, the director of such cult classics as "Repo Man" and "Sid & Nancy," is joining CU's film faculty. And who knows what other movie mavens Cox might be bringing out on occasion to speak at the school or to help him with his new edification endeavor. The school hopes that bringing Cox onboard will expand their already impressive repertoire to include not only the best in avant-garde, but also now narrative filmmaking, as well. The Southern Sun hopes Cox will leave some of their Java Porter for the other customers. (Cox has professed a love for said suds.)
Boedecker is bodacious
Right before school ended last year, the Dairy Center was proud to inaugurate the new Boedecker Theater that will help to show more limited-release art films in town. The sound system is particularly killer, and concessions include -- along with the usuals of candy and popcorn -- some good ol' beer (they'll actually be changing up the taps for the new season). You can look forward to such upcoming screenings as "Crazy Wisdom," as well as series like DocuWest and September's avant-garde program which will include a newly released "lost" sci-fi film of one of the greatest and craziest directors of all time, Rainer Werner Fassbinder ("World on a Wire").
Century Boulder goes digital
29th Street Mall's Century Boulder megaplex has now gone completely digital. For the city's moviegoers, this means that "films" will now be shown in a cleaner fashion with a sound quality that will hopefully be more in line with what the filmmaker originally intended (no more cracks and pops). Some celluloid purists may be a little pissed about this development, but then again, they probably don't bother going to the megaplex anyway. (It's not exactly like Century Boulder ever played rare prints of "Un Chien Andalou," am I right?)
International Film Series starts Sept. 7
Boulder's one and only true-blue permanent independent film series (not to be confused with the Independent Film Festival, which doesn't actually exist) goes into its 71st year -- making it one of the longest-running festivals the world over, by the by -- kicking off for the season this September. Be on the lookout for some flicks through IFS at Muenzinger Auditorium that you probably won't be able to see anywhere else. Special upcoming events include: a free screening of Francis Ford Copolla's "Tucker: The Man and his Dream" with the film's sound designer as special guest, the use of the new Visual Arts Complex for documentaries and "discovery" films and five films of Japanese master Yasuzo Masumura's that have yet to be released on DVD.
Boulder International Film Festival turns 8
In case you weren't here last year, the 2011 BIFF brought out Oliver Stone and James Franco (about a week before he co-hosted the Oscars). With Alec Baldwin having hosted the fest the year before, who knows who the BIFFers will be bringing in for the film-ness in 2012 when they put on their eighth festival February 16-19. The festival has been growing exponentially every year -- in films shown, attendees and in international reputation -- so 2012 should be a real hoot for our little town's own acclaimed fest.
Look at the library
The Boulder Public Library (Main Branch on Arapahoe across from Alfalfa's) will be continuing its free screenings through the Library Cinema Program, which takes place on the gallery side of the library in the Canyon Theater. This September, the program will be showing works by some local filmmakers along with a dance-related film series in October. On September 22, you can check out Home Movie Day, curated by Boulderite Dwight Swanson. There will also be an upcoming series of films surrounding the "Alice and Wonderland" fascination of local literary legend Florence Becker Lennon (1895-1984). And you can bet you won't be seeing any Disney films at this show.
Some serious series
FLIC (Food Libations and Independent Cinema, flicboulder.org) will be continuing to screen monthly films at local eateries where you can network, gnosh and know you're getting the best in recent independent fare in downtown Boulder. Also head out to the brand new Old Town Cinema series (facebook.com/oldtowncinema), taking place in Louisville, for some food, drinks, fun and films. Both regularly occurring events are full evenings in themselves -- dinner and a movie, dig -- so keep your evening calendars open!
Home at the Nomad
North Boulder's adorable little nook known as a the Nomad Theater always has something going on, and they're really doing their best over there to reach out to the film community these days. Whether it's a local filmmaker showcase or special screenings of films traveling the national circuit, the Nomad's a great place to meet up with friends and see a part of the town you might normally not discover otherwise.
And then there was one
Forgetting Blockbuster (everyone else has, including their parent company), with the recent closing of North Boulder Video, Boulder now only has one place you can go to rent vids: mainstay The Video Station that, in addition to having one of the largest selections of films in the entire country, also was a kind of "film school" incubator for local legends like "Blue Valentine" director Derek Cianfrance who worked there when he lived in town as younger man. Yeah, you could go Netflix-style, but Video Station is known for having folks who work there and can tell you which movie you're looking for "with that one guy in it who was in that other movie where the thing was all like, bloooom, and crrrush and then, you know, you know which movie I mean?".
Word around the campfire is that the "civic pad" on ninth and canyon near the St. Julien Hotel might end up becoming some kind of eat-and-drink arthouse movie theater. The space is definitely up for redevelopment, and Downtown Boulder Inc. has already spoken with the owner of Violet Crown -- such a theater in Austin, Texas -- who also used to be the CEO of Landmark Theaters, about bringing the goods to Boulder. Oy, could you imagine? We'd actually have our choice of which theaters to go to in order to see a cornucopia of different kinds of movies (even weirdo limited-release shit!) while getting loaded in the theater as though we lived in Portland or sumpin'. To quote Thomas Pynchon: "Oh, boy!"