Cinema Showdown

Spielberg Summer continues; kids in detention find meaning and love

"Spielberg Summer" at the Loft Cinema is beginning to wind down, and there's only a few films left to see. There's two this week, and both films are bonafide classics that the man didn't direct. Well, maybe—read on. First up is the 1982 fright-flick Poltergeist, directed by Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre). The Freeling family begins to experience freaky phenomena—flying toys, twitching steaks, killer trees, a daughter lost in the TV set—then they find out their quaint, suburban home is built on an Indian burial site. Whoops! There's been a lot of speculation over the years that co-writer and producer Spielberg took over director duties from Hooper at some point during the shoot. It definitely feels more Spielberg than Hooper. See if you believe it on Thursday, July 24 at 7 p.m.

Goonies never say die, but they do say yes to sequels. According to director Richard Donner, executive producer Spielberg is in, as well as original cast members Sean Astin and Corey Feldman. Feldman is a no-brainer; he needs something to do besides throwing lavish and seedy birthday parties for himself. I somehow doubt current leading-man Josh Brolin is going to reprise his role of Astin's older brother. The Goonies, one of the best '80s action-adventure films to feature dead pirates, cockamamie crooks, and inventive suburban kids plays on Saturday, July 26 at 7 p.m. Both Spielberg films this week are in 35mm.

On Tuesday, July 29, the Loft's "New York Film Critics Series" presents the upcoming film Child of God. Based on the 1973 novel by prairie-noir writer Cormac McCarthy, Child of God stars James Franco (who also wrote and directed), Tim Blake Nelson and Scott Haze. I'm sure it'll be cold, brutal, unnerving and existential. If that's your thing, check it out at 7:30 p.m. Rolling Stone film critic Peter Biskin will conduct a captured-live discussion with Franco after the film. For more information on this and other films, visit

A brain. An athlete. A basket case. A princess. A criminal. What happens when this motley crew spends a Saturday in high-school detention together? They argue with each other, get high, engage in hijinks and find common ground. It all happens in the pinnacle of '80s flicks, John Hughes' generation-defining The Breakfast Club. See it outdoors on Thursday, July 24 at 7:30 p.m. at Cinema La Placita. Three clams gets you a ticket and a bag of fresh-popped corn.

On Saturday, July 26, the Museum of Contemporary Art downtown is offering up a free screening of the 1962 cult classic Carnival of Souls. It's an eerie, unsettling film with nightmare imagery that still holds up. The MOCA website recommends you "bike in with the whole family, bring a picnic dinner and enjoy a free screening of Carnival of Souls in MOCA's Great Hall!" For more info, visit

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