Thursday, May 8, 2014

Cinema Showdown: Early Tarantino and The Story of Alice Cooper Edition

Posted By on Thu, May 8, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Summer is fast approaching, and summer means outdoor screenings. Tonight kicks off the 15th season of Cinema La Placita, the series that shows classic films outdoors in downtown Tucson. Tonight’s classic is the 1934 comedy whodunnit The Thin Man, based on the novel of the same name by Dashiell Hammett and starring William Powell and Myrna Loy. Cinema La Placitia is located at La Placita Village, 110 S. Church Ave. Admission is a whopping $3, and that gets you a free bag of popcorn. The film starts at 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit

Throughout the month of May, the Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress St., presents May Massacre, a tribute to some of writer/director Quentin Tarantino’s bloodiest films. First up is Tarantino’s debut film Reservoir Dogs, the 1992 crime film that turned the world of indie film upside down. Starring Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi, Chris Penn, Michael Madsen and Lawrence Tierney, Reservoir Dogs is a classic “crew-of-criminals-on-a-job” film, except the job goes horribly, horribly wrong. It’s equal parts Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing, Joseph Sargent’s The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, and Ringo Lam’s City on Fire (the film that Reservoir Dogs has been accused of outright ripping off), but it contains Tarantino’s trademark snappy and hilarious dialogue, pop culture riffs, excessive and garish ultra-violence, nonlinear plots, and a soundtrack full of lost gems. The film starts at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and specialty drinks will be on hand at “Mr. Black’s Bar.” Anyone who shows up in a suit and tie receives a free bag of popcorn. Tickets are $7, students and military are $5. Added bonus: All of the films, besides Pulp Fiction, are presented in 35mm!

If Reservoir Dogs turned the world of indie film upside down, Pulp Fiction turned it inside out. All of a sudden, indie crime films became the go-to template. After Pulp Fiction, every film had to have a greasy diner scene, a few surf songs on the soundtrack, quirky dialogue and sharp bursts of violence. Think Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead, 2 Days in the Valley, Destiny Turns on the Radio, etc. For better of for worse, this is the film that made Tarantino a star and gave him carte blanche to do anything he pleased. Pulp Fiction plays at the Fox on Saturday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m. According to the theatre, the lobby “will transform into Jack Rabbit Slims Bar with specialty drinks, classic cars, live Elvis performer, impersonators, Twist Contest & more.” Also according to Fox, those who show up in “ Pulp Fiction Attire” will win a free “treat!” Gimp leathers, Eric Stoltz drug dealer robes and Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta suits are all game. Tickets are $7, students and military are $5. For more information, visit

The Loft Cinema is starting their May series off tonight with Federico Fellini’s 1954 film La Strada. That’s right, the Loft is doing a Fellini series, titled La Dolce Fellini: A Retrospective. La Strada, starring Anthony Quinn as a circus strongman, is a simple yet stylish tale about love and loss, and it went on to win the first official Academy Award for best Foreign Language Film. The film starts at 7 p.m., and tickets are general admission. La Strada is presented in 35mm.

On Tuesday, May 13, the Loft’s One Hit Wonders series presents Super Duper Alice Cooper, a documentary on one of Arizona’s favorite residents. In the same vein as the Robert Evans biopic The Kid Stays in the Picture and American: The Bill Hicks Story, Super Duper Alice Cooper uses photos and animation to showcase the rise and fall and rise again of one Vincent Damon Furnier. From his Phoenix garage rock band The Spiders to guillotines and snakes and “dead” baby dolls and worldwide stardom, the “Godfather of Shock Rock” obviously has quite a colorful history. While the doc never really plumbs the depths of his character, it’s an entertaining ride with plenty of amazing footage and rocking tunes. The screening is co-presented with Zia Records, arrive early and enter a free raffle for Alice Cooper vinyl and other prizes! The film starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are regular admission. For more info visit

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