The Lyric gears up for week of cinematic sensation

Scott Powell

Two words: rainbow poodles. Not enough? Here’s two more: Edward Norton. 

And it’s not just Norton; it’s Norton playing a twitching L.A. detective with Tourette syndrome, trying to solve the grisly assassination of his mob boss (Bruce Willis) in “Motherless Brooklyn.”


But wait, why are poodles being dyed to look like rainbows (and not just rainbows, but bighorn sheep, superheroes and even Buzz Lightyear of Star Command), and how on God’s green earth did Norton (or, should we say, Noir-ton) get caught up in such a shady plot?

The answer to these questions, and many more, can be found in the selection of films from the 42nd annual Denver Film Festival, being exhibited now through Nov. 10 at The Lyric. 

The exhibition promises more than mere shocks and absurdity though, presenting a diverse and exciting lineup of films that range from the heartfelt to the thought-provoking to the exciting and adrenaline-pumping.

Starting in 1978, the Denver Film Festival has grown significantly both in scope and renown over its 40-plus year history, making it one of the premier regional film festivals in the nation today. This is evidenced by its impressive lineup of films, many of which come from notable Hollywood directors and present a lot of promise in this year’s awards circuit.

Tickets for the Denver Film Festival at The Lyric can be found on Denver Film Festival’s website

Among the included films is Chinonye Chukwu’s “Clemency,” which tells the story of a troubled warden struggling to come to grips with their mishandling of a death row execution.

Another is Bob Byington’s “Frances Ferguson,” a mumblecore comedy (narrated by the king of the confident droll, Nick Offerman) about, of all things, a teacher dealing with a charge of sexual predation toward a student.

There is also the Colorado-born documentary “Classic,” which tells the story of a small Alaskan town with a peculiar local tradition: betting exorbitant amounts of money (sometimes up to $350,000) on how long it will take for the last of the snow in town to melt.

There’s something in this eclectic lineup for everyone, whether you’re looking for an evening of wacky absurdity or you prefer your cinema more somber and subdued, perhaps enjoyed with a nice, misty-eyed glass of scotch (which, conveniently enough, will be available for purchase at the theater’s bar).

And this isn’t even mentioning the rainbow-colored poodles. But we’ll save those for the festival itself. We don’t want to give away too many secrets, after all.

Tickets for the screenings, as well as a brief description of each entry, can be found on the Denver Film Festival website.


Scott Powell can be reached at or on Twitter @scottysseus