Best Of Tucson®

Q&A with Shelli Hall

Shelli Hall is director of the Tucson Film Office, a division of the Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau. She graduated from the UA with a degree in English literature and worked locally in television (in both "commercial and non-commercial ways") in the '80s. She describes her job as "marketing Tucson as a production location for feature films, commercial advertisements, television series, etc. for the economic impact that it brings to the community."

What's the best movie of all time?

That's a big question. For me, what opened my eyes to what movies could be was Days of Heaven, directed and written by Terrence Malick. It's about a young drifter family who end up working on a wealthy farm as migrant workers. ... It's suspenseful, plays on human emotions; it's just cinematic poetry, absolutely gorgeous in every way.

What movie makes you think most of Tucson?

Well, that's easy--Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore. It was filmed here 26 years ago. It's by Martin Scorsese. ... Jodie Foster is a young girl who goes to guitar lessons at the Chicago Store on Congress Street, and they didn't even have to do a thing to the store to dress it. You know how it's a total mess inside? That's exactly how it is in the movie. ... And they filmed south of Tubac, in this really beautiful area, and when I'm down there location scouting, people still talk about it.

Who's your favorite movie personality?

Steven Soderbergh, the director and cinematographer. He's enormously talented, and with Sex, Lies, and Videotape, he opened up what was a studio film world; he opened the market to independents. ... All of a sudden, everyone saw that small, smart films made for very little money could make a lot of money.

What's your favorite movie snack?

Oh good, I get the chance to complain. My favorite used to be the ice cream that's like a gelato at the El Con, but then they changed it. That's for the evening. During the day, I like a latte and a chocolate chip cookie. It just depends on the time.

Where's your favorite place in Tucson to catch a flick?

The Loft. Where else can you see the movies they write about and review in The New York Times? Nowhere else in Tucson.

Best bookstore?

My favorite really is Tortuga Books, in Tubac. I drive down there a couple times each year. But I also frequent Reader's Oasis.

Best local roaster?

Raging Sage.

Best sushi?

Sachiko, on the eastside, at Wilmot Road.

Best art gallery?


Best outdoor recreation store?

Summit Hut.

Best theatrical production?

Metamorphosis, at the UA.

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