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Watching Hour Preview: Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Hey gang, Ben here. As our pal Andrew Kemp from The Hollywood Projects noted last week, “We all have a list, the movies that have eluded us for years with no explanation, the ones that we feel we MUST see to retain our street credibility.” I’ve knocked a few off my Shame List this year, most notably Gone with the Wind and Bonnie and Clyde. One movie that’s dogged me for years, however, is Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Why I didn’t see it two decades ago is beyond me. I was the perfect age, but for some reason or another I didn’t get around to it. Maybe my parents figured that curvaceous cartoon babes were not appropriate for my impressionable 5-year old mind, I don’t know. Twenty-odd years later, when Watching Hour programmer Keith Garcia told me it was his favorite movie, it dawned on me that I still had never seen the damned thing. Tonight, finally, I get to check another movie off the Shame List, on the big screen in 35mm no less. If you’ve never seen Roger Rabbit, or if you’re just looking to revisit an old favorite, come on down and join the party. The Watching Hour remains the best movie program in Denver, and if you haven’t checked it out yet what the hell are you waiting for?

Here’s what Watching Hour guru Keith Garcia had to say about Who Framed Roger Rabbit? in his “Favorite Movie Series” post on the Movie Advocate back in January:

"I'm a child of the big summer movies. Every time that Premiere magazine hit the stands with their "Summer Movie Preview" I would squeal like a pig on Tuesday and read it, notate it, file it and dream of what that ol' big screen had in store for me. In the summer of 88 the marquee of my mind was already lit up with the title Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and I knew that life was gonna be good. Robert Zemeckis' new film was already stirring up buzz because of the whole "cartoons and people" thing and not since Gene Kelly danced with Jerry the mouse (and the world was preparing for Paula Abdul and MC Skat Kat to take it by storm) was a special effect more anticipated in the world of cinema. Now, a major reason for why Roger Rabbit slapped me in the face was the gimmick at hand, when the film was over you couldn't tell me that cartoons didn't live in our world, and it just didn't make sense to me that they wouldn't after the magic that I had just witnessed on the screen. But you see, my mind was starting to sort out all of the films I'd spent years shoveling into it and actually utilize those coal bits to make my cinematic engine run. I was starting to recognize how the film was made up of bits of a dozen of films that had existed before; the best of film noir, the Three Stooges, countless Warner Bros cartoons, buddy movies and more but by taking those bits and presenting them so smartly, colorfully and originally I left the film with a craving to seek out more like it. I credit Who Framed Roger Rabbit? for not just taking me to Toon Town but for giving me the map to take an educated walk into other film territories that my 11-year old mind was just starting to realize were out there."

Next week: Bring It On!

The Watching Hour is a weekly film series at the Denver Film Center Colfax, highlighting new and old cult, genre, or otherwise bizarro movies. Quite simply, The Watching Hour is the best thing to do in Denver on a Friday night. From Giallo to schlock, Blaxploitation to Aussiesploitation, zombies to martial arts to who-knows-what, and everywhere in between. This is good ol’ rock and roll cinema spectacle. Not to be missed. (See the schedule, buy tickets, get directions, etc. here.)

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Watching Hour Preview: Who Framed Roger Rabbit? + TIME