August 22 2008, 3:07 PM
FILM What: Hollywood's obsession with Spain continues with two recently released Oscar-worthy films: Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona, about an illicit vacation to Barcelona, and Elegy, which is based on Philip Roth's novel The Dying Animal. Why: Be one of the few Denverites with a non-DNC-related conversation starter. Bonus: The movies feature some of L.A.'s biggest stars. Javier Bardem and Scarlett Johansson star in Allen's flick, Ben Kingsley and Patricia Clarkson share the screen in Elegy, and PenÃ©lope Cruz is in both. Details: Elegy: Opens Fri, times vary. Esquire Theatre, 590 Downing St., 303-733-9939, www.landmarktheatres.com. $9.75. Vicky Cristina Barcelona: Playing at multiple local theaters, including United Artists Denver Pavilions, 501 16th St., #310, 800-326-3264. MUSIC What: The usually sleepy Five Points neighborhood comes to life during the annual After 5 Jazz and Blues Festival--a showcase of Latin jazz, blues, African jazz, and old school. Why: You'd have to visit Dazzle Restaurant and Lounge for weeks to hear this variety of music. Bonus: L.A.-based saxophonist Gerald Albright and Latin jazz master Poncho Sanchez are only a couple of the established names you'll see live. Details: Aug 23-29. Times vary. 26th and Welton streets. $59-$119. For more information, call 303-296-2701 or visit www.denverjazzfestival2008.com.