Cinema Showdown 

"God Help the Girl," skateboard vids and more


Not that anyone else will necessarily agree, but the highlight of my cinema week will be the Loft's screening of Stuart Murdoch's (of Belle and Sebastian) musical film "God Help the Girl" on Sunday, Sept. 14. Sure, the reviews aren't great (the headline of New York Magazine's—one of the most positive—might tell you all you need to know: "You'll Either Adore Emo Musical 'God Help the Girl' Or Run Screaming From the Theater"), but I love Belle and Sebastian and the screening is followed by a 40—minute filmed concert by the band, so I'm all in. Regular admission prices apply and Zia Records will be there giving away prizes. More info at loftcinema.com


Downtown's Exploded View has announced their fall season, with a number of cool events this week, the most exciting among them a celebration of skateboarding videos on Wednesday, Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m., with improvised musical accompaniment by "shredder JLownsbury & friends." Should be something interesting, for sure. Also on the bill, a screening of the 2007's Gus Van Sant film "Paranoid Park" about a skateboarder who accidentally kills a security guard. Admission for the evening is $5.

Also at Exploded View on Sunday, Sept. 14, there's a screening of rarely shown American avant-garde cinema from the '50s and '60s which Exploded View promises "will forever alter your perception of the subtle and expansive potential of the film medium." A lot to live up to, but with work by Stan Brakhage and others, it seems possible your experience could live up to those expectations. Admission for that 7:30 show is also $5. More info at explodedviewgallery.org.


The Cinemark theaters have a great production screening on Tuesday, Sept. 16 as part of Fathom's broadcasting of events from London's National Theatre, with Gillian Anderson and Ben Foster starring in a production of Tennessee Williams' "Streetcar Named Desire." Apparently, this is the National Theatre's fastest selling show ever, which isn't entirely surprising considering the cast. Tickets for the 7 p.m. show at Cinemark's theaters at Park Place, El Con and the Oro Valley Marketplace range from $13 to $15. More info at cinemark.com.


Basically everything the Loft shows as part of their monthly Essential Cinema series is worth seeing (and c'mon people, cough up the $5 suggested donation), but this month's selection of Jean Renoir's "Grand Illusion" is super-essential, if that's a thing. The film, about French prisoners of war in World War I, was one of Orson Welles' favorite films and makes those "best movies of all time" lists quite frequently. It's a haunting film about war, intelligent and emotional, plus Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels declared the film "Cinematic Public Enemy No. 1," which almost certainly makes it worth watching. A brand-new digitally restored version of "Grand Illusion" shows on Tuesday, Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. More info at loftcinema.com

More by Dan Gibson


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