Cinema Showdown: Anti-Social Space Botanists and Trailer Park Filmmakers Edition

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It’s Rodeo Weekend, but unfortunately there is no motherlode of cowboy cinema classics to be found. It’s a dry gulch out there, lil’ doggies. Fill your hand, Tucson!

The Loft Cinema presents Fateful Findings on Friday, Feb. 21 and Saturday, Feb. 22 at 10 p.m. I caught this flick last fall when it premiered at the Arizona Underground Film Festival, and I gotta tell you, this makes the barometer of so-bad-it’s-great cinema, The Room, look like Citizen Kane. Watch what happens when a computer programmer gains supernatural abilities, deals with his drug-addled girlfriend and exposes government secrets. I’m gonna guess that this was made on a $10 budget and free donations from Winchell’s Donuts. Forget Sharknado, test some truly dangerous waters with Fateful Findings. You’ll be talking about it for days. Tickets are regular admission.

On Sunday, Feb. 23, the Loft presents the 1966 film Daisies as part of the Loft Staff Select series. Daisies is a high-water mark of the Czech New Wave film movement, and people who view it for the first time have a tendency to fall in love with it’s two leads, Jitka Cerhová and Ivana Karbanová. The two teenage girls both play characters named Marie, and the film recklessly captures their free-spirited attempt to strike against bourgeois society with a series of fun pranks. See what all the fuss is about and prepare to be smitten at 7 p.m. Tickets are $6 for general admission and $5 for Loft members.

Veteran grizzled actor Bruce Dern is currently receiving a lot of (justifiable) accolades for his performance in Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, but I’ve always thought every Dern performance is worth it’s weight in gold, especially his wacko tour-de-force performance in the 1974 sci-fi classic Silent Running, directed by special effects wizard Douglas Trumbull. Dern plays a space botanist who would rather spend time with the his three robot friends in the Biosphere 2-like containment center aboard his spaceship. It beats playing cards with the other guys on the ship who eat Hungry Man dinners instead of fresh fruit, I suppose. This extremely eco-friendly movie (complete with a Joan Baez soundtrack!) plays at the Loft on Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. as part of their Science of Fiction series. After the film there will be a Q&A with several science experts. Tickets are regular admission. For more information, visit the Loft’s website at loftcinema.com or call 795-0844.

Also on Wednesday, Feb. 26 is Mule Skinner Blues, a southern-fried slice of southern culture - Florida trailer park style. This stylized documentary captures a group of ambitious trailer park denizens trying their hand at making a horror B-movie. This is the second entry in Tucson Weekly contributor Carl Hanni’s Extreme Southern Culture series playing at Exploded View in beautiful downtown Tucson. The film starts at 7:30 p.m. and admission is $5. For more info, please visit explodedviewgallery.org.

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