The Last Jedi, writer and director, Rian Johnson will open the 42nd Denver Film Festival. Johnson grew up in the Metro area.
Johnson will not only attend the red carpet screening of “Knives Out,” which takes place at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House on Oct. 31, but that he’ll also be 2019’s John Cassavetes Award recipient — the Denver Film Festival’s highest honor.
“Denver, in my head, is defined by one horizon always being the mountains,” Johnson told The Denver Post in 2017. “There was always something about looking at those mountains, and this is a little cheesy, but it’s a little like Luke Skywalker looking at the distant two suns in the original (1977 ‘Star Wars’). I’d stare at those mountains and feel like there was adventure out there.”
“I have vivid memories of going to the Continental (in Denver) to see ‘Return of the Jedi’ in 1983,” Johnson said. “It’s one of my first real movies, and (I remember) seeing that they had cards up in the lobby showing Jabba’s barge and how they filmed it. For grade-schoolers, that was prime-time. And the first kind of creative play I was doing was in the world of ‘Star Wars,’ with all of my toys, and that’s all tied to memories of being in Aurora and Englewood” — where Johnson attended Dry Creek Elementary.