Arizona Underground Film Festival
The second weekend of the festival is this weekend, and, long story short, there's a lot going on. General admission tickets are $7 and all screenings are at the Brink/KY Building, 1100 S. Sixth Ave. Awards will be given for the best feature and short in the narrative, horror, experimental, animation, documentary and exploitation awards. Director's and audience awards will also be given in each category, so bring yourself to the Brink to cast your vote. Here are just a few of the films that will be showing:
Cop Killers (Retro Screening). Two drug dealers (a very mean one and a less mean one) go on a massive killing spree after they get stopped at a roadblock by a group of cops. The 1973 film, showing at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 21, is rumored to have been shot on a puny $50,000 budget. The real kicker of this lo-fi, hi-gore masterpiece is that it was shot entirely in Tucson. Get ready for some gunshots, gore and gushing blood right here at home, as well as a hijacked eegee's truck.
We Are Not Cats. Is your main complaint about the magical realism romance movies enjoy that they aren't gritty and terrifying enough? Xander Robin's We Are Not Cats is here to solve that problem with its Arizona premiere at 9 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 22. When a young New Yorker with an eccentric self-care habit meets a bald manic pixie dream girl type, their behavior with each other starts to grow more and more animal-like.
It will be preceded by a showing of the 12-minute comedy horror (think The Evil Dead) Hush Hush, directed by The Late Show with James Corden editor Tom Nolle. Wry witticisms and blood will be flowing.
Beyond the Spectrum of Cinema Shorts Block. Don't fence me in, cried Roy Rogers, and a selection of uncategorizable movies, and the Underground Film Festival will heed their cries with this 5 p.m. showing on Saturday, Sept. 23. Watch the Greek gods figure out how to face a foreclosure on Mount Olympus in The Olympians, a nail biting habit get out of hand in Nailbiter, a woman struggle to find a balance between grieving and holding onto happy memories in Sanvean and some viscerally grainy footage in The Golden Hour.
See azuff.org for more info.
The Loft Cinema
Cult Classic. In between shots of zombie Nazi soldiers in the show, the trailer for Dead Snow (showing at 10 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 22 and Saturday, Sept. 23) makes the terrifying countdown "Ein... zwein... DIE." If that doesn't show you that this gruesome Norwegian zombie flick is going to be a good time, then you wouldn't know a good time if it walked up and bit you on the nose. The stunningly original plot involves a group of adventurous and horny college students who accidentally mess with something they shouldn't have, and then end up in fear for their lives. But it's in the snow and it's in Norwegian, so there's even more going on than you might have expected.
Mondo Monday. Psycho Circus Month continues with a showing of Freaked, starring the incomparably classy Randy Quaid, at 8 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 25. The film opens on a scummy company sending a former child star to a third world country to be the face of the next big thing in fertilizer: the very, very toxic "Zygrot 27." When he gets there, he runs into Elijah C. Skuggs (heeere's Randy), who is using Zygrot 27 to turn tourists into lumpy, flatulent, bearded mutant "freaks." There will be minor chemical warfare, there will be mutants, there will be telepathy, and there will be Everything Except Shoes. Just kidding, there will be a big weird shoe, too.
Arthouse Theatre Day 2017. Sunday, Sept. 24 is Arthouse Theatre Day, and the Loft isn't going to miss a chance to celebrate: exclusive giveaways, special screenings, prizes, food trucks, and, of course, some great films screening.
At noon, see an advance screening of Lucky, starring the late, great, obstinate Harry Dean Stanton in his last role. It looks a lot like Paris, Texas, a film he starred in in the '80s and follows the story of a 90-year-old atheist living in the desert who, having outlived all of his loved ones, finds himself exploring his own identity and purpose. Twin Peaks fans will be pleased to see David Lynch acting in the film as well, and Stanton fans can give secular thanks that he put on one last stellar performance before his recent passing.
Brillo Box, directed by UA professor Lisanne Skyler, shows at 2 p.m. See the story on Page 21 for more details on the film.
Dmitrii Kalashnikov's The Road Movie is screening at 4 p.m., and it's concept is easy to explain but hard to apply adjectives to. Basically, it's a compilation of real-life video footage shot from dashboard cameras in Russian cars. Go through forest fires and flooded streets, past horse-drawn sleighs and devastating car accidents, and underneath a plummeting plane... or is it a soaring meteor? All accompanied by the symphonic sounds of Russian radio and commentary by drivers and (fellow) passengers.
Pee-Wee's Big Adventure bursts onto the screen in a storm of red bicycles and cool dance moves at 7:30. Unlike Pee-Wee, most of us are going to need to see this film, because we didn't get the chance to live it for ourselves. And if Pee-Wee can make it through the Alamo, the fiery dangers of a pet shop in peril and a series of movie sets, then we can make it to the theater to watch him do it.
Free Outdoor Screening. Garbage isn't something most people like to deal with. After all, that's why we throw it away. In Waste Land, showing Friday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. (for free on the Cox Plaza at MOCA), we hear the stories of "catadores," who take it upon themselves to pick through Jardim Gramacho, the world's largest garbage dump, to find recyclable materials. Artist Vik Muniz goes to Rio de Janeiro, where the dump is located, to make portraits of the catadores out of the very garbage that they work with, with plans to sell the pieces and give the money to his muses.
National Theatre Live. Who's Afraid of Virgina Woolf, directed by James Macdonald and penned by Edward Albee, is showing at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London. At 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 26, and at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28, recordings of the production will be presented by Arizona Public Media at The Loft. Watch Martha and George's marriage disintegrate over the course of an evening in the 1963 winner of the Tony Award for Best Play.
One Hit Wonders. All the Rage: Saved by Sarno is showing at 7:30 on Tuesday, Sept. 26, and will be followed by a Q&A with Lindianne Sarno, daughter of Dr. John Sarno himself. Way back in the '70s, Dr. John Sarno predicted the epidemic of chronic pain that America faces today and suggested an emotional connection between the physical pain. Orthodox medicine shunned his approach, but his patients, including Howard Stern, Tom Harkin and co-director Michael Galinsky, say his approach changed their lives. This is both Galinsky and Sarno's story, and features interviews with everyone from Howard Stern to Bernie Sanders.
The Manhattan Short Film Festival. Audiences in over 300 cities, and across six continents, will have the chance to view 10 new shorts in the world's first global film festival this week. Tucsonans will have their chance at The Loft at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28. Every audience member gets to cast a vote for the film they feel is the winner, and the winner, based on the international vote, will be announced in New York City and posted on the Manhattan Short website on Oct. 3. Watch what happens when a surgery is interrupted by gangsters, a house sitter makes a booty call, a woman is forced to marry her rapist, and a man prepares himself for the best day of his life.
Community Rental. Find Your Kind with Jeannette Maré. Ben's Bells founder and executive director kicks off Kindness A to Z: an Arizona Speaker Series with this event at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 21. Through storytelling and humor, she reflects on what it really means to "Be Kind" and how we can all practice its art in our everyday lives.
Jodorowsky's Dune. Even the most devoted David Lynch fan can concede that Dune, Lynch's next film after The Elephant Man, was, frankly, not good. This film, showing at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 27, unearths the bittersweet beauty of a film that could have been: Jodorowsky's unsuccessful attempt to make the movie himself. There would have been Pink Floyd, there would have been Salvador Dali, there would have been (based on the last few Jodorowsky movies screened at The Loft) probably a lot more close-up shots of things like bugs on open wounds. The point is, there might have been a Dune that wasn't a flop. (For his part, Jodorowsky said that when he first heard that David Lynch was making the film, he was scared, because he felt Lynch would do such a good job. He doesn't consider the finished product a true David Lynch film).
See loftcinema.org for more info.
Harkins Theatres Tuesday Night
Grab your nerdiest, jockyist, geekiest and quietest friends and head over to this this screening of The Breakfast Club at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 26. And make sure your hair is permed and you're wearing your diamond earrings, so you can give one of them to a mysterious rebel. Honestly though, who doesn't love this hugely influential and nostalgic-even-if-you-weren't-a-teenager-in-the-'80s film in which a group of high schoolers is forced to spend a Saturday together?
See harkinstheatres.com/tnc for more information.
Casa Video and Casa Film Bar
At Wonder Woman Night, watch Gal Gadot be the GOAT in the new film, and enjoy some episodes of the old television series as well from 7 to 11 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 21. Of course, there will also be popcorn, The Curry Truck and lots of other Wonder Woman fans to geek out with over how strong and stunning and incredible and inspiring and empowering Gadot's performance is (though there's probably people to geek out over that with everywhere you go).
Casafilmbar.com has the details.