Michael Almereyda's documentary Escapes is showing Thursday, Aug. 10 at 7:30 p.m. The film's subject is Hampton Fancher, actor, dancer and the screenwriter/producer of sci-fi staple Blade Runner. (And good news! Fancher also wrote the story for the coming sequel, Blade Runner 2049). Footage of Fancher's acting career is shown alongside interviews where he talks about romantic entanglements (he was briefly married to Sue Lyon, who starred as the title character in Stanley Kubrick's Lolita), his evolving role in the film industry and his personal life.
Ilumination, the studio behind The Secret Life of Pets and Minions, has brought an all-star cast to their latest film, Sing, showing for free on Friday, Aug. 12 at 10 a.m. An overworked koala (Matthew McConaughey), an exhausted mom of 25 piglets (Reese Witherspoon), a punk porcupine (Scarlett Johansson), a gorilla with a heart of gold (Taron Egerton) a crooning mouse (Seth MacFarlane) and a meek elephant (Tori Kelly) come together for a singing competition in an attempt to save a local theater that's fallen on hard times.
The Cult Classic selection for Friday, Aug. 11 and Saturday, Aug. 12 is The Big Lebowski, in the usual cult classic time slot of 10 p.m. This heartwarming masterpiece tells the story of a ragtag group of bowlers who overcome ruined rugs, kidnapping heists and even nihilism through the potent power of white Russians and friendship. Possibly the epitome of a cult classic, The Big Lebowski has inspired the naming of two species of African spiders (Anelosimus biglebowski and Anelosimus dude), the annual Lebowski Fest in Louisville Kentucky, and even a religion (Dudeism, founded in 2005. No joke. Check out dudeism.com.)
Showing in the cult classic slot for Friday, Aug. 18 and Saturday, Aug. 19 is Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight. Now, there's a Wikipedia page for The Dark Knight. And then, there's an entirely separate Wikipedia page called "List of accolades received by The Dark Knight," because it's that critically acclaimed. We'll spare you the lengthy list of awards and let you read the Wikipedia article—or better yet, see the movie—for yourself.
This week's Rolling Reels screening is Disneynature: Wings of Life, and takes place at the Patagonia Public Library on Saturday, Aug. 12. The Rolling Reels series brings the Loft Solar Cinema, a solar-paneled van, to underserved rural areas to screen movies onto a 20-foot inflatable screen. This week, listen to Meryl Streep narrate stunning footage of bees, bats, butterflies, hummingbirds and flowers, and wonder what how we ever got so lucky to live in an age where we can watch nature documentaries. Nature writer and ethnobiologist Gary Nabhan and pollination ecologist Stephen Buchmann, who both worked on the film, will be there to introduce the screening.
"This whole town is infested with killer cockroaches. I repeat: KILLER COCKROACHES," warns Major Eugene Denton, one of the main characters in this week's Mondo Monday pick, Damnation Alley, showing Monday, Aug. 14, at 8 p.m. If this artfully crafted piece of dialogue doesn't have you rushing to buy tickets before the theater is filled up, maybe the drawn out shots of post apocalyptic radioactive skies (added in post-production process that took 10 months, for some reason) or the not-even-almost-convincing shots of rubber cockroaches being pulled along by strings will. At the very least, you're going to want to see why this film, released the same year as a rather low-budget, little-publicized film called Star Wars, was expected to be 20th Century Fox's blockbuster for the year.
Uncharted Lines will be showing at the Loft on Thursday, Aug. 17. Tickets are available for purchase at Summit Hut locations while supplies last. Director Paul Robinson will be present to discuss his two-year romp around the world to find and establish the earth's best areas for sports climbers, and the film that came out of it. Professional and local climbers are featured in the film, and adventurers of all sorts are sure to enjoy both the footage and the storyline.
In a world where Chris Pratt and Anna Faris are separating, take solace in a screening of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (which was filmed while they were still together, and, let's assume happy). The screening will take place on the Loft Solar Cinema screen, but on the UA mall. Join Peter Quill, Camora, Rocket, Drax and Baby Groot as they embark on a journey to find Peter's parents.
See loftcinema.org for more information.
Cinema La Placita
Cinema La Placita continues its outdoor screenings in the Tucson Museum of Art Plaza with 1933's King Kong on Thursday night Aug. 17. Three dollars includes popcorn, and, this week, a look at some of the most groundbreaking use of special effects in cinema history. The famous stop motion was accompanied by effects like rear projection of matte-painted scenes, extensive miniatures and the overlaying of animated figures with live-action scenes.
Visit cinemalaplacita.com for more information. Harkins Theatres
If you missed Cinema La Placita's showing of Dirty Dancing earlier this summer, you missed what could have been the time of your life. So take this chance to catch it at Harkins Theatres on Tuesday, Aug. 15, at 7 p.m. as part of their Tuesday Night Classics series. Make sure you get there early, or you'll have to sit in the corner, and a young and steamy Patrick Swayze will probably be too busy dirty dancing to defend you.
Visit harkinstheatres.com to learn more.
As part of TEP's 125th anniversary celebration, TEP will be presenting Free Family Fun at the Fox movies. Cartoons will be showing on the big screen from 3 to 6:30 p.m., followed by a showing of the classic Rogers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific at 7:30. Admission is free and first come, first serve. Enjoy the samplings of a meandering old musical with tunes like "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair" and "I'm in Love with a Wonderful Guy," sung by the absurdly trim-waisted title character pretty much back to back.
Check out foxtucson.com for more details.
Outsider Industries is hosting "Horror Night at the Flycatcher" on Sunday, Aug. 13 from 9 p.m. to midnight. With a tagline of "Classic. Weird. Obscure," it's anyone's guess what sort of horrific mix of movies and short films will surface at this free event. In between screenings , KHVLT will be playing horror soundtracks by the likes of Angelo Badalamenti, John Carpenter and Goblin. Get ready to get scared, but only if you're of age, because this is a 21+ event.
See the Facebook event page "Horror Night at the Flycatcher" for more details.
Arizona Theatre Company
Pop-Up Tucson and the Arizona Theatre Company are gonna make you an offer you can't refuse by presenting a Godfather Pop-Up Dinner on Friday, Aug. 11. A five-course, wine-accompanied meal (Chef's Board, Vito's Garden, The Sicilian Message, Best Veal in the City and "Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli") will be followed by a screening of what the American Film Institute has ranked the second-greatest film of all time. Tickets for the pop-up event are $100, but if you'd rather just see the movie and eat some light Italian fare before it starts, you can purchase $10 tickets online or at the door.
Visit arizonatheatre.org/shows for more information.
Casa Film Bar
Do gentlemen really prefer blondes? Or do they like IPAs better? Maybe they're actually partial to wine. Whatever your preference, the Casa Film Bar's beer/wine and gelato pairing party, accompanied by showings of classic Marilyn Monroe movies, is sure to have something for you. At this Friday, Aug. 11 event, they'll offer up suggestions for the best way to pair gelato with wine or beer, and be showing films like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Niagara and The Seven Year Itch. The food and booze goes from 6 to 9, and the Marilyn movies show all night.
See casafilmbar.com for more details.