by Casey Dewey
At some point in the 1970s, art house theaters began keeping their box offices open into the wee hours. Film snobs, stoners, freaks and the curious flocked to films that offered all sorts of outlandish onscreen behavior. The king daddy (or better yet, the queen daddy) of them all was The Rocky Horror Picture Show. But, there were a few others. Eraserhead. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The Harder They Come. Pink Flamingos and El Topo.
The Loft Cinema is presenting the latter two this week. First up is the depraved and still-shocking 1972 bizzaro masterpiece Pink Flamingos, tonight at 7 p.m. Directed by John Waters, who was once known as “The Pope of Trash” and “The Prince of Puke,” Pink Flamingos pits Divine, the legendary 300-pound drag queen, and her family of miscreants against a perverted couple to battle it out and claim the glamorous title of “the filthiest people alive.” There’s an ample amount of egg sucking, chicken fucking, cannibalism, incest and unconventional uses of a turkey baster, all set to a roaring ‘50s rock ’n’ roll soundtrack. This kicks off the Loft’s June series, Totally Trash: The Films of John Waters. Tickets are regular admission, and Pink Flamingos is a 35mm print. Hopefully it’s as dirty as the movie.
On Friday, June 6 and Saturday, June 7, the Loft’s Late Night Cult Classics series presents Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1972 (1972 was a good year for weird) unconventional western El Topo. If you were lucky enough to catch Jodorowsky’s Dune a month or so ago at the Loft, you might want to catch this on the big screen and imagine what could have been if the film industry had been a little more adventurous and forgiving. El Topo is simply the finest Zen Buddhist, Nietzschean, Sufi western with Tarot and Masonic undertones ever made. John Lennon and Yoko Ono loved it so much that Lennon got his manager to buy the distribution rights. You can catch it at 10 p.m. both nights. Tickets are $6 for general admission and $5 for Loft members.
Can you believe it's been 30 years since Prince’s Purple Rain debuted? Does that mean it’s also been 30 years since Tipper Gore and a bunch of senator’s wives got their collective bloomers in a bunch? I guess so. To celebrate, the Loft is presenting a Purple Rain Sing-A-Long on Saturday, June 7. Along with the movie, the Loft will have a Prince music video salon, a Purple One costume contest, and even purple cupcakes courtesy of Chelsea Morning Bakery (Prince was born on June 7, 1958). All of you Beautiful Ones and Darling Nikkis can Go Crazy starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8 for general admission and $6 for Loft members. For more information on these films and a grip of other special events this week, visit loftcinema.com.
You won't wanna miss out on these other film events this week (there’s a lot of them). Tonight at 7:30 p.m., Cinema La Placita kicks off Alfred Hitchcock month with his 1935 suspense film The 39 Steps. Tickets are $3 and that includes popcorn. For more info, visit cinemalaplacita.com. On Friday, June 6 at 7 :30 p.m., and on Sunday, June 8 at 2:30 p.m., the Fox Theatre presents the John Wayne classic (and shot at Old Tucson) Rio Bravo, co-starring Ricky Nelson and my favorite crooner, Dino Martini. For tickets and other info, visit foxtucsontheatre.org. Rio Bravo is presented in 35mm! Finally, strap on your platform shoes, polyester suits and make sure your hair is blown dry, because both Cinemark El Con and Cinemark Park Place are presenting the John Travolta magnum opus about wayward Brooklyn youth and disco music, the one and only Saturday Night Fever. Showtimes are 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 8 with repeat performances at 2 and 7 p.m. on Wednesday June 11. For ticket info, visit cinemark.com.