This week in Film — MAMMA ROMA

Mamma Roma, or: The past you will always have with you.

Thirty-three years separated its premiere at the Venice Film Festival and a stateside theatrical release, but now Mamma‘s back and better than ever. CU-Boulder’s International Film Series screens Mamma Roma on 35mm with a special introduction from Film Studies professor Sabrina Negri.

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This week in Drink — Colorado Craft Beer Week

Coloradans sure do love their craft beer; enough to dedicate an entire week to celebrate it. A little overview and some places to go drinking.

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Capitalism, as The China Hustle supposes, isn’t just a way for hardworking people to get ahead, it’s the perfect system to con, cheat, and fraud your way to the top.

The hustle in question: reverse mergers that allowed roughly 400 Chinese companies to be traded on Wall Street (100 of which are still trading and worth $1.1 trillion) resulting in a severe economic crisis.

As the talking heads explain, Chinese companies are not allowed to be listed and publicly traded on the NYSE and NASDAQ. But if the Chinese company in question merged with an American company that had previously been listed — say, a defunct mining company out of Nevada — then the Chinese company could be listed and traded the same way Amazon, Google, and Apple are.

But Amazon, Google, and Apple are all American companies and must adhere to American business practices and transparencies. Not so with these reverse mergers, shell companies that talk big and produce little, and, in some cases, nothing at all.

Therein lies the conflict at the heart of the doc. Directed by Jed Rothstein and produced by the team behind Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, The China Hustle combines interviews with short sellers, investment bankers, and journalists to paint a picture of an ongoing financial crisis that’s going from bad to worse.

Elbow deep in these murky waters is Dan David, a man on a mission to blow the lid off the hustle while shorting the stocks of known hustlers. Like Sisyphus rolling his boulder, David encounters impossible forces every step of the way. From fellow investors, who are making too much money to give a shit, to his family, who neither understand the issue nor cares to. In one telling scene, David explains his mission at a family barbecue. They listen cordially but are much more interested in the beer they’re drinking and about the article one of them read about the aliens buried thousands of feet below China.

If capitalism is the system that allows someone to lie, cheat, and steal their way to the top, then apathy is the state that enables them to do so. What a perfect storm we’ve found ourselves in.

The China Hustle is in limited release and available VOD.

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This week in Drink — Fruit of the Brew

Collaboration Fest is upon us. Take a peek behind the bar and see what Boulder Beer and Bristol Brewing has in store for March 31st.

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This week in Film — Noir City Denver

The Noir City Film Festival lands in the Mile High City today and hangs around until Sunday. Noir City Denver features six films (five on 35mm), and introductions from the Film Noir Foundation‘s Eddie Mueller and novelist James Ellroy. It’s a walk down the seedier side of things, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.

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This week in Arts & Culture — Malick at IFS

This week at CU-Boulder’s International Film Series, programmer extraordinaire, Pablo Kjolseth, has Terrence Malick’s first five films — BadlandsDays of HeavenThe Thin Red LineThe New World, and The Tree of Life — on 35mm with special introductions. Yours truly will be introducing Badlands on Monday, March 19, 7:30 p.m. The world is bigger than you think.

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This week in Film — VERTIGO

When Vertigo was released in 1958, Alfred Hitchcock wasn’t just a household name, he was a franchise. Between his TV show, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and a new film every year, audiences were never far from the Master of Suspense. Under those circumstances, it should be no surprise that his 1958 melodramatic ghost story, Vertigo, slipped through the cracks. The following year, North By Northwest would become iconic, and Psycho would change everything the following year. Still, Vertigo remains.

Thankfully, TCM Big Screen Classics is bringing back Hitch’s masterpiece for two days in celebration of its 60th anniversary. Time to fall in love, all over again.

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