Thursday, May 29, 2014

Cinema Showdown: Decadent Rome and Deadly Japan Edition

Posted By on Thu, May 29, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Cinema La Placita, Tucson’s premier downtown outdoor film series, is playing one of my favorite films of a time time tonight—Howard Hawks’ classic madcap comedy His Girl Friday. Cinema La Placita has been playing Cary Grant films all month long, and this is definitely a high-point to go out on. If you’re into zany romantic moments, fast-talking shenanigans and cheeky situations, do yourself a favor and check this out. His Girl Friday starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $3, and that includes a bag of golden popped corn. Stay tuned for next month’s events at Cinema La Placita—they’re doing Hitchcock in June. For more information, visit

There’s only a few more days left in May, and there’s only two more Fellini screenings this month at the Loft Cinema. First up is the 1986 film Ginger & Fred, starring Marcello Mastroianni and Giulietta Massina as a pair of Italian Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire impersonators. This is one of the few Fellini films I haven’t seen, but I’m hoping to remedy that soon. You can see it sooner than me—it starts tonight at 7 p.m. Tickets are regular admission. On Saturday, May 31 at 7 p.m. is the 1960 classic La Dolce Vita, starring Fellini regular Marcello Mastroianni and the stunning Anita Ekberg. Mastroianni is Marcello Rubini, a reporter for a sleazy tabloid paper in Rome. This is the film that put Fellini on the map, and the one that coined that lazy go-to adjective for film critics everywhere, “Fellini-esque.” Tickets are regular admission. Next month’s film series at the Loft is salute to Baltimore’s favorite son and the mighty Pope of Trash—the one and only John Waters.

A little over ten years ago, one of the most controversial films of all time was released—the cult classic Battle Royale. It was much ballyhooed and all sorts of tall tales swirled around it’s infamy. It was rumored to be outright banned in the U.S. and as far as everyone knew (this was pre-Facebook, Twitter and even Myspace), only one theater in the country, UC Theater in Berkeley, was brave enough to play it, albeit for one night only. I bought a horribly dubbed copy on VHS at my first year at the San Diego Comic-Con for $50. So what’s the deal? Why so controversial? This debuted about a year after Columbine, that's why. The film takes place on a Japanese island, and ordinary school kids are forced to kill each other with a variety of weapons, both high-powered and makeshift. It takes it's cues from The Running Man, A Clockwork Orange, and of course, Lord of the Flies. The Hunger Games series is highly based on Battle Royale’s premise, although that series is the cinematic equivalent of a Handi Wipe. See what all the fuss is about on Friday, May 30 and Saturday, May 31. Both screenings are at 10 p.m. Tickets are $6 for general admission and $5 for Loft members. For more info, visit

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