Eraserhead. Voluntary nightmares might seem like a territory you'd want to avoid, but when their cinematography, crypticism and sheer insanity come together this beautifully, they're well worth the anxiety. Eraserhead is the debut film by highfalutin cinema extraordinaire David Lynch (the man who brought you Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet and The Elephant Man). It's a powerfully disquieting essay about the terrors of parenthood, set against a surreal, industrial landscape. It is black-and-white bleakness with brains, and occasionally blood. Showing 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 1-2.
Three Colors: Blue. This is the first part of a trilogy based on France's national motto: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. An intellectual drama based around a woman losing her husband and child and finding herself. Directed by a Polish mastermind and nominated for three Golden Globes. Three Colors: Blue is certainly one of the most thought-provoking and, well, European movies out there. Showing 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3.
Cronos. Director Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy) is the featured filmmaker at the Loft in December, with four of his movies screening ahead of the opening of his latest, The Shape of Water, on Friday, Dec. 22. This week, it's Cronos, a fantasy horror that asks the age-old question: what would you do if you could live forever? Any way you'd answer that question is bound to be less destructive and vampiric than how this movie handles itself. Oh yeah, and you get to see Ron Perlman as a guardian angel. Showing 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6.
Gremlins. It's that wonderful time of the year where you remember that one of your favorite forgotten '80s gems is also a Christmas movie! What happens when you take the Ewoks from Star Wars, give them the attitude of the shark from Jaws, the appearance of Freddy Krueger, and put them in a pleasant little Frank Capra-esque city? You get Gremlins, the movie that forever reminds you: "Don't feed them after midnight!" Showing 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 8-9.
Novitiate. Were you as terrified and infuriated by the heartless Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest as I was? But can you still not get enough of cinema's great, ice-cold Maitre d's? Then check out Novitiate! A group of girls in the '60s take a vow to become nuns, but oddly enough, a ruthless Catholic upbringing doesn't pair well with youthful rebellion and sexual discovery. It's a rough, beautiful drama that leaves a lot to talk about once the lights come on. Various show times.
The Polar Express. If you're looking to rediscover that childhood Christmas wonderment that's been missing from your life these few years, how could you go wrong with a movie written by the same guy who wrote Jumanji, directed by the same guy who directed Back to the Future, and starring jolly warmth incarnate: Tom Hanks? That's right, The Polar Express just about has it all, including that wonderfully uncomfortable early-2000s CGI. Showing at Harkins Tucson Spectrum, 5455 S Calle Santa Cruz, and Harkins Arizona Pavilions, 5755 W Arizona Pavilions Drive, at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 2.