Howie Movshovitz

Education:
Bachelor's degree in English literature, University of Pennsylvania; Master's degree and Ph.D. in English literature, University of Colorado-Boulder.

Professional background:
Howie's formal training came through his study of literature. He began watching, then making films in graduate school, which led to teaching and writing critique pieces. Howie is now the director of film education in the College of Arts & Media at the University of Colorado Denver. He helped start the Starz FilmCenter and has programmed a number of individual programs and series there – including weekends of “banned films,” and retrospectives (sometimes with filmmakers appearing in person) of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, editor Dede Allen, Charles Burnett, screenwriter Larry Gross, producer Frank Marshall, Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu and others. Howie also curates and presents the monthly Tattered Cover/Colorado Public Radio Film Series at the Starz FilmCenter and is one of the two teachers in The Telluride Film Festival’s Student Symposium. He also makes features on film subjects for NPR.

Awards:
1997 Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts and several awards for films made with co-writer, director and editor Linda Williams.

Q & AHow I became a film critic:
In graduate school, while working hard in medieval literature, my closest friend was working in film, and, by chance I met a young guy who was a film critic in Chicago. He grew up to be Roger Ebert, and between these two friends, I veered toward film. Friends in my “Beowulf“ seminar knew that something was changing when I wrote about “Beowulf” using Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein’s theory of montage. About 10 years after I began at KCFR, I asked CPR President Max Wycisk why he took me on as film critic. He said that lots of people wanted to “be” the film critic, but I was the only one who wanted to do the work.

My greatest success as a film critic:
Here are two: First, an unknown film called “Strangers in Good Company,” made by Canadian filmmaker Cynthia Scott in 1990, was scheduled to play for four days at Denver’s Mayan Theater. My review kept it in town for a month. Second, an overlooked film, “Maborosi,” by the great Japanese director Kore-Eda, came to the area for one night. My review (there were no others) filled the house with people who seemed much satisfied afterward.

Favorite films and filmmakers:
There are many. Anything and everything by Jean Renoir, Agnes Varda, Ernst Lubitsch and Robert M. Young. “The Godfather;” Chaplin’s “City Lights.” “The Gold Rush,” “The Immigrant,” “Easy Street” and “Modern Times.” “Tokyo Story” and “The Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice” by Yasujiro Ozu; Stan Brakhage’s handpainted films; Charles Burnett’s “Killer of Sheep,” “Meet Me in St. Louis,” Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, ‘30s screwball comedy, Preston Sturges, Ingmar Bergman, Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, F.W. Murnau’s “Sunrise,” “Chunhyang” by Im Kwon Taek, Hou Hsiao Hsien’s “The Puppetmaster,” Buster Keaton, Buster Keaton and Buster Keaton. And lots more.

  • The new movie “Wuthering Heights” brings up a crucial question: Can a novel written in England in 1847 survive a jumpy, contemporary film treatment? Colorado Public Radio film critic Howie Movshovitz says – not this time. Click here for more film reviews.
  • The movies of Tim Burton include Edward Scissorhands, and Sweeney Todd. His latest is Frankenweenie, which Colorado Public Radio film critic Howie Movshovitz says is no Edward Scissorhands. Click here for more film reviews.
  • Paul Thomas Anderson is the director of “Boogie Nights” and “Magnolia.” Colorado Public Radio film critic Howie Movshovitz says that like those films, Anderson’s “The Master” refuses to be standard Hollywood, but he wonders if that’s enough. Click here for more film reviews.
  • The Indigenous Films and Arts Festival presents works of art by native peoples around the world. Colorado Public Radio film critic Howie Movshovitz says that while it’s a small event, it has some punch. Click here for more film reviews.
  • The Xicanindie Filmfest, which celebrates Hispanic and Indian culture, is 40 years old this weekend. Colorado Public Radio film critic Howie Movshovitz says that tonight’s film may be the best in the festival’s history. Click here for more film reviews.
  • The new movie “The Deep Blue Sea” is based on a play by British writer Terrence Rattigan and directed by Terrence Davies. Colorado Public Radio film critic Howie Movshovitz says the two artists match up beautifully. Click here for more film reviews.
  • The San Francisco Silent Film Festival has just finished its 17th year. Colorado Public Radio film critic Howie Movshovitz says it’s the best festival of silent film in America, and some of what he saw was totally unexpected.
  • French filmmaker Chris Marker, who died on July 29th, was the maker of such little-known films “Cat Listening to Music,” “An Owl Is an Owl Is an Owl” “The Last Bolshevik.” and “La Jetee”. Colorado Public Radio film critic Howie Movshovitz says Marker was actually one of the most influential filmmakers in the world.
  • French filmmaker Chris Marker, who died on July 29th, was the maker of such little known films as “Cat Listening to Music,” “An Owl is an Owl is an Owl,” “The Last Bolshevik,” and “La Jetee.” Colorado Public Radio film critic Howie Movshovitz says Marker was actually one of the most influential filmmakers in the

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  • The new French film “The Intouchables” shows a friendship between an incapacitated white man and his black helper.
  • You might think a silent film festival would attract just a handful of hardcore film buffs, but last year’s first-ever Denver Silent Film Festival was a hit. Some screenings sold out.
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  • The acclaimed director Jonathan Demme has made a new film called “I’m Carolyn Parker: The Good, the Mad and the Beautiful.” It’s about the aftermath of the Katrina flood in New Orleans, and for Colorado Public Radio film critic Howie Movshovitz, the movie has the mark of Demme’s genius.
  • Colorado Public Radio film critic Howie Movshovitz has now been to 35 of the 39 Telluride Film Festivals. He says this one was as good as ever.
  • The Telluride Film Festival opens its 39th edition this weekend. Colorado Public Radio film critic Howie Movshovitz, who teaches in the festival’s Student Symposium for college students, has attended 35 of them and says he’s still awed.
  • According to Colorado Public Radio film critic Howie Movshovitz, French movies are simply different from American pictures. Maybe it’s their delight in bad behavior. Click here for more film reviews.
  • The new film The Well-Digger’s Daughter is a remake of a beloved French movie from 1938. For Colorado Public Radio film critic Howie Movshovitz, this is a grand film from a grand source. Click here for more film reviews.