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Dirs. Dan Obarski & Scott Montgomery, USA, 2020,100 min
The Tale of the Dog tells the previously untold story of the beginnings of Denver’s transformation to its modern identity as a hip city. This 100-minute documentary film charts the struggles and triumphs of a pioneering hippie rock club trying to establish a foothold in Denver. Open from September 8, 1967, through July 19, 1968, the Family Dog brought to Denver, for the first time, such new premier bands as the Grateful Dead, the Doors, Cream, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Jefferson Airplane, and Canned Heat. It also hosted one of the era’s greatest multimedia light shows – Diogenes Lantern Works. The Family Dog Denver was special because it was more than a rock club. It was a cultural hub – a landmark psychedelic outpost of the hippie counterculture. As such, it became the flashpoint for the cultural conflicts of the late 1960s, as the self-described cow town grappled with the new hippie phenomenon. Told firsthand by the people who were there, The Tale of the Dog weaves together tales of the astounding psychedelic poster art made for the venue, the bands that played, the rise of Denver’s counterculture, and its conflicts with the police. The Tale of the Dog unearths a transformative moment in Denver’s history and its place in the greater history of rock music, poster art, and the watershed cultural changes of the Sixties.