Five Films Not to Miss at the Starz Film Festival

November 3 2011, 11:13 AM

Last night, Starz Film Festival brought Hollywood glam to Denver with a red carpet premiere and screenings of big-name movies like Melancholia, Like Crazy, and Wish Me Away. In the aftermath, today, we're focusing on some of the festival's lesser-known films from around the world.

The Conquest Who doesn't love a good political scandal? The Conquest chronicles French politician Nicolas Sarkozy’s rise to power. Just as he is elected president, his wife leaves him for another man, something that’s never happened in the country’s history.

El Sicario, Room 164 Definitely one of the grittier films in the festival, El Sicario (Spanish for hitman) is set entirely in a hotel room on the United States-Mexican border. A former Mexican police officer and university-educated contract killer explains his involvement with vicious drug cartels and corrupt government officials. He remains hooded throughout the film as there is a $250,000 bounty on his head.

Food and the Maiden This unusual film from Japanese director Minoru Kurimura follows three fictional story lines whose common thread is people who have issues with food: a meal skipper, a compulsive eater, and a chef who won’t eat anyone’s cooking but her own. It could be depressing, but the third scenario lightens it up.

Mozart Town Sara is a pianist on a visit to Seoul, and she’s loving every minute of exploring her new surroundings. But for the people who live everyday life in the crowded city, it’s not so cheery. South Korean director Jeon Kyu-hwan’s uses this juxtaposition to explore themes of urban loneliness and desperation in the third installment of his Town Trilogy.

The Sacred Science Filmmakers Nick Polizzi and Dan Bailey follow eight patients suffering from life-threatening illnesses to the Amazon rain forest, where they seek out shamans to heal their conditions.

—Image courtesy of Starz Denver Film Festival, from the movie "Food and the Maiden"