Reel Indie

In the mood for a Batman movie (Lego or otherwise)? How about a fun action adventure showing in an outdoor venue? A Japanese film based on a manga? Some British theater? Whatever you're looking to watch, Tucson has got you covered for the week with all of its usual medley of movies.

The Loft

New! The Loft begins showing Step, a documentary about a girls' high school step team in Baltimore, on Friday, Aug. 18. It follows the journey of the members of the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women's step team, set to be a part of the school's first graduating class. The school's goal: to have every member of the senior class go to and graduate from college. A celebration of young women and sisterhood, of #BlackExcellence and of all of the educators who help shape the futures of their students, Step is receiving rave reviews from critics and moviegoers alike.

New! In this Corner of the World, a Japanese film based on Fumiyo Koun's award-winning manga, begins showing on Friday, Aug. 18. It tells the story of a young woman who moves to a small town in Hiroshima in 1944, and whose world erupts into chaos when the town is bombed during World War II. Filmmakers used old photos, documents and reports of people who were present to depict the lost corner of the world that was pre-war Hiroshima with haunting accuracy.

Mondo Monday. The Vagrant, showing Monday, Aug. 21 at 8 p.m., tells the story of what it's like to live in Phoenix: horrifying, senseless and altogether hellish. Well, the movie's plot, which portrays Bill Paxton being driven insane by a homeless man after Paxton moves into the home where the man had been squatting, might be even worse than real-life Phoenix. Though it is shot in Arizona's capital, it also features refrigerated body parts, gory blood scenes and a pretty unsubtle allusion to Home Alone.

Cult Classic. Now, there are dark nights, and then there's The Dark Knight, which is singular, capitalized and much more critically acclaimed. This week, The Loft will be showing two Christopher Nolan films, with Dunkirk showing in 70 mm and this 2008 hit showing as the week's cult classic pick. See it for the 103 awards it won, including best writing and best sound editing. See it for the award-nominated makeup, cinematography and costume design. And see it for Heath Ledger, and rejoice in the fact that Jared Leto had nothing to do with this film. Friday, Aug. 18, and Saturday, Aug. 19.

Outdoor Screening. If you're in the mood for some Chris Pratt (which, face it, we all always are), you're going to want to check out a screening of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, presented by Cats After Dark and UA Greek Life on the UA mall. Catcard holders receive free popcorn and eegees, and everyone receives a free movie screening. Peter Quill, Gamora, Rocket, Drax and Baby Groot return to prove that being guardians of the whole galaxy doesn't mean just saving it once. Friday, Aug. 18, at 9 p.m.

The Loft Film Fest on the Road. Back to the Future is showing on Saturday, Aug. 19, at 7:30 p.m. (or sundown) at Ajo Town Plaza in Ajo, AZ. Follow the adventures of the wacky Doc Brown, the too-cool-for-his-own-good Marty McFly, his alter-ego Calvin Klein and the insufferable Biff in this blast from the past, and the present, and the future. There won't be any DeLorean time machines at the screening, but audiences will have their own futuristic vehicle in the Loft Solar Cinema, a van outfitted with solar panels, a state-of-the-art projection system and a 20-foot inflatable screen.

National Theatre Live. Arizona Public Media is presenting a live screening of Twelfth Night (playing at Britain's Olivier Theatre) on Tuesday, Aug. 22, at 7:30 p.m. and Thursday, Aug. 24, at 11 a.m., You've seen She's the Man about a dozen times, so it's time to take the next step and watch the source material, a Shakespeare classic staring Tamsin Greig as Malvolia, Daniel Ezra as Sebastian and Tamara Lawrance as Viola. And have a quote from the famous play to get you through the day: "Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them."

Community Rental. Uncharted Lines, a film about rock climbers around the world and their quests to find some of the best climbing areas in the world, is showing on Thursday, Aug. 17. Director Paul Robinson himself will be present to talk about the filmmaking process: scouting missions, changing film schedules due to inclement weather and encounters with local and professional climbers alike. Because the film is presented by Summit Hut and Prana, tickets will be available exclusively at Summit Hut.

Community Rental. The University of Arizona Poetry Center is presenting A Late Style of Fire, directed by Michele Poulos on Wednesday, Aug. 23 at 5:30 p.m. The documentary follows the life of American poet Larry Levis through three marriages, three fellowships, several poetry awards and one heart attack that ended his life. With an original score by Iron and Wine, excerpts from work by award-winning filmmaker Lois Patinño and interviews with an impressive lineup of poets, the film explores the concept of a tortured artist and the parallel lines of festering pain and flourishing beauty.

Loft Staff Pick. Brenda Rodriguez, assistant manager and volunteer coordinator at the Loft, brings this month's staff pick, Born in Flames, on Sunday, Aug. 20 at 7:30 p.m. The film lies at the intersection of science fiction, feminism and documentary-style filmmaking. A gritty exploration of intersectional feminism, it follows the story of women across race, class and sexual orientation lines coming together to fight for justice and equality.

Rocky Horror Picture Show. Technically, The Dark Knight is the Cult Classic pick for the week, but Rocky Horror has practically transcended the cult classic classification, and is back for its monthly showing on Saturday, Aug. 19. Let's do the Time Warp again (and again and again!)

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Cinema La Placita

Cinema La Placita has been showing classic movies in the Tucson Museum of Art's Plaza for 18 seasons, and includes parking and the screening for $3. Moviegoers should bring their own chairs, and are welcome to bring their own dinner, but food from Café a la Cart will also be available. This week's pick is the 1968 film Rosemary's Baby, Roman Polanski's psychological horror film based on the novel by Ira Levin. Some trivia: Jack Nicholson was considered for the role of Guy (which seems obvious in hindsight) and Frank Sinatra divorced star Mia Farrow over her involvement in the film, as he had wanted her to either give up her acting career or act in his film The Detective.

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Harkins Theatres

The Harkins Theatres Tuesday Night Classics series is presenting National Lampoon's Animal House on Tuesday, Aug. 22. Although the film received mixed reviews from critics at the time, the antics of Pinto, Flounder and the rest of the Deltas resulted in one of the most profitable films in history, preserved on the National Film Registry for its cultural significance and named number one on Bravo's list of the 100 Funniest Movies.

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Oro Valley Drive in Movie on the Driving Range

The Oro Valley Community Center hosts these drive-in movies at sunset on the third Saturday of every month through summer. On Saturday, Aug. 19, Lego Batman will be playing. If seeing The Dark Knight over at The Loft on Friday was a little bit too intense, pop over to this screening, in which the anything-but-fearsome Zach Galifianakis voices the Joker, Will Arnett is Batman, Channing Tatum is Superman and Jonah Hill is the Green Lantern. The movie is jam-packed with cultural references that will have people of all ages laughing.

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