An abundance of Catherines, a very expensive popcorn gun and the iconic execution of complimenting a cute girl's sleeves. There's also a couple times this week where things get reeeeal artsy, especially as the Loft kicks off its monthlong celebration of Jodorowsky films. Channel your inner Dory and try to forget about your worries and responsibilities in the peaceful darkness of a movie screening. See you there!
New. Beginning Friday, Sept. 1, The Loft will be taking audience members on a trip to Spain! Just kidding, but The Loft will begin screening A Trip to Spain, the third installment in the Steve Coogan/Rob Brydon movies about two friends and their culinary travels. They'll enjoy paella, they'll banter and they'll even talk about some serious subjects, all against the background of Spain's stunning scenery.
New. The Midwife, which will show beginning Friday, Sept. 1, is a film starring two of France's greatest Catherines (Catherine Frot and Catherine Deneuve). Claire (Frot), who spends her life welcoming new lives into the world as a midwife, is stunned to one day receive a phone call from someone from her old life. Her deceased father's former mistress (Deneuve), whom Claire hasn't heard from in 30 years, is suddenly reaching out with urgent news. A healing story about powerful friendships between powerful women reminds us that sometimes acceptance and joy come from the most unexpected places.
New Digital Restoration. Andrei Tarkovsky's Stalker is screening Thursday, Aug. 31 at 7:30 p.m. Tarkovsky's storytelling, which is famous for its out-of-order but somehow more realistic chronology, its lengthy shots (sometimes uncomfortably so) and for its ability to be understood in several (or a million) different ways, is this time used to lay out a scene of an area ravaged by disaster, with a room in the heart of it that is rumored to make dreams come true.
Cult Classic. While watching Princess Mononoke on Friday, Sept. 1 through Monday, Sept. 4 prepare to be awed, prepared to be wrapped up in a story and prepare to wonder how a movie this graphically and beautifully horrifying could ever be considered a children's movie. It came out in 1997, and for a few glorious months before Titanic came out, it was the highest-grossing film of all time. It's filled with classic Miyazaki themes about the battle between the forces of nature and of humanity, and, in short, it's stunning.
Mondo Monday. Stand aside, IT. The Chiodo brothers directed this film, which is nothing short of beautifully bonkers, in 1988, and Killer Klowns From Outer Space is showing at The Loft Monday, Sept 4 at 8 p.m. When a pair of young lovers stumble upon a UFO filled with killer klowns, they're scared. When they learn the killer klowns are intent on turning the human race into cotton candy for nutrient-poor consumption, things start to get really wacky. You don't want to miss people taking acidic pies to the face or the people being slurped up through crazy straws, and you DEFINITELY don't want to miss the popcorn gun, which cost the production team $7,000 and six weeks of work.
First Friday Shorts. The first Friday of September is also the first day of September, so The Loft's monthly short film fest is kicking off the month at 9 p.m on Sept. 1. Bring in any film you've made that's under 15 minutes long (prior to the start of the show) and watch it play for an audience for three minutes (and hopefully more, if they don't decide it's unwatchable). The first 15 films brought in each month will be screened, so bring your submissions in early! Be advised that the films are not pre-screened, so film content ratings aren't (and can't be) provided.
Rolling Reels. This week, the Loft Solar Cinema (the van decked out with solar panels, projection tech and a giant inflatable screen that travels to underserved areas) will be showing Geronimo: An American Legend at the Amerind Foundation, 2100 N. Amerind Road, in Dragoon, Arizona. Walter Hill directs this story of a few dozen Apache Indians who eluded thousands of U.S. soldiers for several years in the late 19th century. Amy Ratzinger, PhD, professor of American Indian Studies at UA, will introduce the film.
70mm. The Harry Potter universe introduced its readers to Newt Scamander as the author of a textbook at Hogwarts called Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. On Sunday, Sept. 3 at noon, The Loft introduces its viewers to the movie by the same name. Follow Newt (played by Oscar-winning Eddie Redmayne) on a search for magical creatures around the world, and the muggles (No-Maj's, in the U.S), mishaps and mysteries he encounters along the way.
National Theatre Live. Arizona Public Media hosts these screenings of British Theatre filmed live and in high definition. This week, a stage adaptation of Luchino Visconti's 1943 film Obsession is showing Tuesday, Sept. 5, at 7 p.m. and Thursday, Sept. 7, at 11 a.m. Jude Law stars as a mysterious and incredibly hot drifter and Halina Reijn plays the neglected and overworked wife of a restaurant owner. Nomad hunk meets wife trapped in unhappy marriage. Nomad hunk and wife trapped in unhappy marriage fall in love. Nomad hunk and wife trapped in unhappy marriage plot to kill lousy husband. See it.
Food Evolution. A feel-good film about the controversy of GMOs and what the hell "organic" really means is screening Tuesday, Sept. 5, at 7:30 p.m. Okay, so it's no The Wizard of Oz, but it's important stuff, and it's narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson. The documentary shares the perspectives of farmers, scientists and experts all over the world and looks at the fervor and the facts behind the matter. The university's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences hosts the screening, along with a panel discussion by three experts afterwards.
Solo Horn Project: Sounds and Images. This event will feature short films with video, animated illustrations and photography by Shiang Hwang that are accompanied by live music (Johanna Lundy on French Horn, Ellen Chamberlain on violin, Ann Weaver on viola and Robert Chamberlain on cello). The event has a suggested donation of $5, and is free for kids and students. See it Saturday, Sept. 2 from 5 to 7 p.m. at The Loft, and see the Facebook event page for more info.
Monthly Feature. An exploration of Alejandro Jodorowsky's films through the month of September begin on Wednesday, Sept. 6 at 7:30 p.m. with El Topo. Jodorowsky's movies are famous for their deeply religious themes and surreal cinematography. A film review in the New Yorker described El Topo as an "acid Western" in an attempt to classify its near-unclassifiable disturbing imagery and bizarre plot. The 1970 film ushered in the Midnight Movie genre with its themes of religion, violence, spirituality and suffering, and became a cult classic that was only shown at arthouse midnight screenings until its DVD release 37 years later.
See loftcinema.org for further details.
Cinema La Placita
Cinema La Placita comes out its summer season with a showing of Night of the Living Dead (1968) on Thursday, Aug. 31 at 7:30 p.m. Check out the popcorn (which is included in the anything-but-exorbitant $3 admission) the plaza of the Tucson Museum of Art where the screenings are held and one of George A. Romero's most famed masterpieces. It'll be gory, it'll be ghouly, and it will involve zombies, molotov cocktails and social commentary.
Check out cinemalaplacita.com for more information.
If anyone knew that Napoleon Dynamite would be screened as a part of a "Tuesday Night Classics Series" just 13 years after it came out (alongside titles like An Affair to Remember and Die Hard), I suspect it would have been Mr. Dynamite himself. Catch him feeing Tina, drawing, putting on chapstick, dancing and campaigning for an election where the votes actually mattered on Tuesday, September 5 at 7 p.m.
See harkinstheatres.com/TNC for more information.
Cox Communications' Movies in the Park
Cox continue its series at the Reid Park, Demeester Performing Arts Pavilion at 7:30 on Friday, Sept. 1 with Finding Dory. This movie has everything you didn't know you wanted, from Sigourney Weaver to a sweet baby fish to a scene where some fish and a squid honest-to-God drive a semi-truck down a beachside highway. Not to mention the lovable cast of characters from the original Finding Nemo, supplemented by some fun new faces. Popcorn, soda, bounce castles, balloon artists and arts and crafts exhibits will abound.
See saaca.org/moviespark for more details. ■