The Geiger Counter: Visiting Hollywood from the comfort of Breckenridge
Don’t know what to do this weekend? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Pull up a seat to the counter, and I’ll tell you about everything that’s hot and happening.
I have a love-hate relationship with awards shows. Basically, if everyone I think should win walks home with accolades, then the judges or voters know what they’re doing. But if my favorites get snubbed, then it’s a rigged and meaningless ceremony that shouldn’t be put on such a high pedestal.
Regardless, they’re great entertainment if you’re earnestly tuning in or hate-watching. And the Academy Awards is the king of divisive water cooler talk with #OscarsSoWhite and floating the idea of a popular film category on one hand, and finally giving people like Spike Lee their due on the other. Each year is bound to be full of surprises with funny (or not-so-funny) presenters, upsets, gaffs and memorable speeches. In years past, my friends and I have played games on what flicks will dominate which categories, and it’s always an interesting challenge to figure who should win versus who will win.
Therefore, going to or hosting a viewing party — no matter if you’re a cinephile or glutton for punishment — is probably the next best thing to do on a Sunday night in early February save for the Super Bowl. That’s why the Breck Film Fest is throwing a watch party at 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9, at the Breckenridge Speakeasy, 103 S. Harris St. Attendees get to enjoy wine from Carboy Winery and pizza from Fatty’s Pizzeria all while lounging about and possibly giving snarky color commentary.
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Unlike past years, this is not the organization’s annual fundraiser but merely a fun community event. The fundraiser previously known as Hollywood & Wine will be held in April.
Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 the day of the watch party. Comfortable couch attire is encouraged — you’re not the one on the red carpet. Visit BreckFilmFest.org to purchase.
If the Oscars leave you with wanting more, you’re in luck. The Summit Film Society will screen this year’s nominated animated shorts Tuesday, Feb. 11, at Breckenridge Theater, 121 S. Ridge St., Breckenridge.
Shorts are notoriously hard to come by since they aren’t distributed as widely as Best Picture nominees, so this event will bring “Daughter,” “Hair Love,” “Kitbull,” “Memorable” and “Sister” to more eyes. Though it takes place after Sunday’s awards presentation, you’ll likely view whichever wins with a more appreciative and critical mindset.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7. General admission tickets are $14, and Vail Resorts employees only have to pay $12 with identification. Visit BreckFilmFest.org to purchase.
I’m way behind in my movie backlog. It was 2017 when the infamous blunder happened during the Academy Awards that accidentally bestowed the title of Best Picture to “La La Land” before correcting to award it to “Moonlight.” In the years since, I had only seen “La La Land” until this week.
Summit County Library saved me from my mistake with the free Kanopy streaming service. The pickings frankly are slim for the average, mainstream movie fan: the tagline is “Thoughtful Entertainment,” after all. You won’t find the latest Michael Bay blockbuster or Pixar release. Yet in addition to the documentaries and foreign titles, you will find almost every film from distribution company A24, such as “Room,” “Ex Machina” and “Hereditary.” I had a hard time deciding which to watch first, but “Moonlight” was the right choice.
The coming-of-age film tells the tale of Chiron in three segments with the character played by Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders and Trevante Rhodes as he grows up. Along with stellar performance by Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris and Janelle Monáe, it is a poignant piece of cinema that deals with race, masculinity and sexuality.
There are also other classics like Akira Kurosawa’s “Rashomon,” Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” and a catalog of Charlie Chapman films, making Kanopy the gift that keeps on giving.
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