The Starz Denver Film Festival inspired us to rethink the classic dinner-and-a-movie date. Last year, we interviewed Brit Withey, the artistic director of the film festival, to get his favorite films, and this year, his expertise did not disappoint. Rent one of the these films and we’ve got a perfect dinner pick for you.
Date 1 Get ready for some Charlie Chaplin-esque humor in the French/Belgium movie, “The Fairy.” The narrative arc is almost, not quite, incidental as it is the physical comedy that moves this film forward. It’s a style of film not many American audiences get to see, but Withey believes it’s worth your while. Continue the retro-feel of this movie at The Green Russel (1422 Larimer St.) for some 1920s-inspired cocktails, music, and ambiance.
Date 2 “The Bengali Detective” is a charming, Indian documentary that is equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking. This is the tale of an earnest, yet unsuccessful, detective agency who dance together once the work day is done. But it’s the love story between the lead detective and his dying wife that will make the tears flow. Keep the Indian-theme going at Bombay Clay Oven (165 Steele St.) where you can sit cross-legged at the dewan and indulge in the lamb rack and chicken vindaloo.
Date 3 This year the $10,000 Maria and Tomasso Maglion Italian Filmmaker Award was presented for the Italian film, “Martino’s Summer.” It’s a coming-of-age story about a 13-year-old boy living on the Italian coast and the unlikely friendship he forms with an American soldier. Reserve a booth at North (190 Clayton Ln.) and split a caprese salad, flat bread pizza, and a bottle of Italian wine after the movie.
Date 4 This film is dark, but, in Withey’s opinion, it has some of the best acting out of all the films at the festival. “Tyrannosaur” is the tale of a cranky, grouchy drunk and his strange relationship with the strong, bible-wielding owner of the local fabric shop. And after such a heavy ending, you’ll be in need of the fun, upbeat, vibrant crowd at Sushi Den (1487 S. Pearl St.). Share an order of edamame and then order up your favorite sushi rolls.
Date 5 “You’ve Been Trumped” is the true story of Donald Trump’s decision to build a golf course on the Scottish coastline and the incredibly negative socio-environmental impact that this has on the local population. After such a socially-conscious film, dinner at Root Down (1600 W. 33rd Ave.) seems in order. The food is all locally farmed and organic. Plus, everything is recycled. Start with the beet salad and see where the night takes you from there.
—Photo of The Green Russel courtesy of Michael McGill