New. Menashe, co-presented by the Tucson International Jewish Film Festival, is showing at various days and times. It tells the story of a grocery store clerk (the title character) who tries to keep custody of his son after the passing of his wife. Traditional Jewish culture requires a mother be in the home, and so Menashe's son is supposed to be adopted by other family members. It's the story of a father-son bond, of a famously private community and one of the only films performed in Yiddish in almost 70 years.
New. Tales of An Immoral Couple begins screening on Friday, Sept. 29. The plot is Love in the time of Cholera-esque, but the execution of this film, which features high school sweethearts from Catholic School reuniting 25 years later, is much more comedic. A reunion with a high school flame after more than two decades apart is a lot of pressure. So both lovers weave elaborate webs of lies in order to make their lives seem more exciting and appealing, and hilarity ensues alongside the romance.
Cult Classic. Get in loser, we're going to the Loft. Tina Fey's Mean Girls is showing at 10 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 29, and Saturday, Sept. 30, and it's going to be fetch. Follow the formerly-homeschooled Cady, the too-gay to function Damian and the not-gay Janis Ian as they as they wage war with the school's meanest and most popular group of girls on a battlefield littered with kalteen bars, candy grams and the fertility vase of the Ndebele tribe. The cast of characters has both breadth and depth, with sexually active mathletes, cool moms and one young woman on an inspiring journey to become a weather woman, with a stop at Taco Bell on the way.
Mondo Monday. Say goodbye to Psycho Circus Month and hello to a fresh batch of Mondo Monday films, under the unifying theme of "Hail Satan" are here. Evilspeak kicks off the month at 8 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 2. The film, in which a bullied teen turns to the supernatural to get back at his enemies, sounds a little bit like Carrie, but it's not. There's a lot more decapitation, lasers, swords and Clint Howard.
Endless Poetry. The Loft closes out its monthlong tribute to filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky by showing the filmmaker's most recent film, which came out just last year, at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 5. Because it's Jodorowsky, it is, of course, stunning and overwhelming and at times, disturbing. But this film delves into deeply personal territory by telling Jodorowsky's own story as a young poet in Santiago, Chile, and his quest to discover his own meaning, and perhaps the meaning of life. In a true Jodorowskian touch, the young biographical hero, Alejandro, is played by Jodorowsky's own son Adan.
Pearl Jam: Let's Play Two. Sometimes a place seems to have a soundtrack, or a song is inextricably linked to a place. And sometimes, the identity of a band is wrapped up in the energy of a city, as Pearl Jam is with the city of Chicago. A film chronicling the relationship between music and metropolis is showing at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 3. Directed by Danny Clinch and set to the music of Pearl Jam itself, the film includes exclusive interviews and look at the city's transition from celebrating Cubs wins to preparing for Pearl Jam concerts.
The All-Night Scream-o-Rama. Let 12 hours of scares begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30. Bring pillows, wear pajamas, and try some of the horrific drink specials being offered as you watch the screening of seven horror movies in a row. The director's cut of The Exorcist shows at 7 p.m., The Evil Dead shows at 9:30 p.m., Don't Breathe shows at 11 p.m., Ginger Snaps shows at 12:30 a.m. Near Dark shows at 2:30 a.m., Tales from the Hood shows at 4 a.m. and Shivers (aka They Came From Within) rings in the new day at 5:30 a.m.
Archaeology Café: Tucson Underground. The 2017-2018 season of the Archaeology Cafe, where you can learn about Tucson's history in a self-proclaimed "jargon-free zone," is kicking off at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 3. Archaeologist James Vint, who studies the development of early agricultural communities, the effects of Spanish colonialism in the Southwest and modern and ancient borderlands, will present a talk titled "4,000 Years Ago: Early Agriculture in the Tucson Basin."
Lina Wertmüller Film Series: Swept Away. A month-long celebration of this artist/provocateur and first woman to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Director kicks off with a showing of Swept Away at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 4. It's a sexy, political update of The Taming of the Shrew, and one of the most controversial films of the 1970s.
Serenity in the Desert. The Arizona Browncoats present this screening of Serenity brought to the big screen on Sunday, Oct. 1 at 4 p.m. Joss Whedon made the television series Firefly before he blew up with The Avengers, and the 2005 movie was a beacon in the darkness of the series' cancellation for its devoted fanbase. Proceeds of the event will be donated to The Women's Foundation of Southern Arizona, and a screening of Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-Long Blog will show at 3 p.m. to precede Serenity.
The Manhattan Short Film Festival. Audiences in over 300 cities, and across six continents, will have the chance to view 10 new shorts in the world's first global film festival this week. Tucsonans will have their chance at The Loft at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28. Every audience member gets to cast a vote for the film they feel is the winner, and the winner, based on the international vote, will be announced in New York City and posted on the Manhattan Short website on Oct. 3. Watch what happens when a surgery is interrupted by gangsters, a house sitter makes a booty call, a woman is forced to marry her rapist, and a man prepares himself for the best day of his life.
See loftcinema.org for more info.
Century El Con 20
Happy Death Day. NBCUniversal is sponsoring a free screening for this film (by the makers of Get Out and the director of Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones), which comes out officially on Friday, Oct. 13. See it for free at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 5. Watch as a college student relives her own murder and all of the events surrounding it until she finally discovers who is responsible.
See the "HAPPY DEATH DAY Free Screening!" Facebook event page for more information.
Tuesday Night Classics. Tremors, the 1990 science fiction filmed that spawned a direct-to-video sequels empire, is showing at Harkins on Tuesday, Oct. 5. Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward face off with some big ol' scary worm things—they call them graboids—that swim through sandy underground of the Nevada desert and kill a bunch of people with their giant teeth and with terrifying appearance alone.
See harkinstheatres.com/tnc.aspx for more information.
Tucson Film and Music Festival
This festival runs from Thursday, Oct. 5 to Sunday, Oct. 8 and features documentary and narrative shorts from local filmmakers. Screenings are at various locations.
Everything Beautiful is Far Away. The Hanson Film Institute hosts the Southwest premiere of this fantasy/sci-fi film at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 5. The film also won the U.S. Fiction Best Cinematography Award at the 2017 L.A. Film Festival. One man, one woman and one robot head make their way across an unforgiving desert planet in desperate search of a mythical basin of water that will replenish both body and spirit. It shows at the Gallagher Theatre, 1303 E. University Blvd.
The Song of Sway Lake shows at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 6. It tells the story of a young jazz record collector returning to his family's old summer home to reclaim a rare 78 record, and features an original score by instrumentalist and producer Ethan Gold. Gold will be present for a Q&A discussion on the film and music after the premiere. The film shows at Century El Con 20, 3601 E. Broadway Road.
Zen Dog, which chronicles the story of a man who attempts to break out of his routine by "traveling" across the country in a virtual reality machine, is making its Southwest premiere at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7. The film features voice recordings from Alan Watts, the British philosopher known for popularizing Eastern philosophy for Western audiences. The film is the first time that his voice will be used in an original narrative feature work, and his son Mark serves as one of the executive producers. The film shows at Century El Con 20, 3601 E. Broadway Road.
Casamance: The Soundtrack of a Journey makes its North American premiere at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 8. Calexico band member Jairo Zavala (aka DePedro) stars in this documentary about going back to your roots, jamming with your friends and searching for a childhood idol. DePedro connects with his African and Latin American roots by traveling to Senegal in search of a legendary troubadour he listened to as a boy. The film shows at Century El Con 20, 3601 E. Broadway Blvd.
Check out tucsonfilmandmusicfestival.com for more information.