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click to enlarge Akira - COURTESY
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  • Akira

Akira. Despite the fact that it's sort of just a series of explosions, Akira remains one of the most influential and powerful anime films ever made. Picture this: A futuristic Japan where gangs of street youths battle it out on high-tech motorcycles. Add in a bit of telekinesis, hallucination and noir, and you've got the recipe for a winner. Plus, in the film, the 2020 Olympics take place in Tokyo, which is actually coming true. So maybe this will turn out to be a more accurate vision of the future than previously thought. 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3, and Saturday, Aug. 4. Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. $6.

First Friday Shorts. It's the most wonderful time of the month! Come out and see the wonderful short films made by and in your very own city. Whether they're documentaries, animations, dramas, horrors or who-knows-what, First Friday Shorts is the cutting edge of the Tucson film scene. And if a short is great or terrible, you can let the director know! 9 to 11 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3. $6. Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd.

click to enlarge The Doctor From India. - COURTESY
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  • The Doctor From India.

The Doctor From India. This documentary follows the life and travels of Dr. Vasant Lad, an Indian healer and founder of the (possibly wonderful, possibly pseudoscientific) Ayurvedic Institute. Join the Loft Cinema for an examination of the growing spread of Ayurveda, a form of herbal and metallic medicine with roots in ancient India. Members of the Ayurveda Professional Association of Arizona will be present for a short Q&A on the ancient science of Ayurveda after the film. 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4. 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. $10.

TGIF '90s Spectacular. For every Friday in August, Casa Video is allowing you to relive the '90s! Go back to a wonderful decade where we didn't have any of the strife we have today; no unnecessary wars and no corrupt politicians. It was just technicolor tracksuits and Tamagotchis, all day every day. For this first showing, they're screening episodes of Full House, Dinosaurs, Family Matters and Perfect Strangers. 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3. 2905 E Speedway Blvd.

click to enlarge TGIF ’90s Spectacular. - COURTESY
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  • TGIF ’90s Spectacular.

Film Production with Avai d'Amico. Well, of course you want to make a movie. Who doesn't? But when you take into account camera operation, lighting, sets, actors, budget and paparazzi, things can get a little more complex than you once imagined. But have no fear, because the Tucson Film Actor Workshops is here to help you out. You get firsthand experience, and even better, the first class is free for everyone interested! 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5. 1111 N. Main Ave.

click to enlarge Persona - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Persona

Persona. Continuing their Bergman centennial, The Loft is screening the Scandinavian master's perhaps most cryptic piece. An actress inexplicably goes mute, and a nurse is tasked with helping her recovery. It's a seemingly simple tale, and at only 83 minutes, how densely layered can it be? I thought I was artsy and deep, and I'm still trying to figure this one out. But that doesn't mean I didn't have a great time watching it. 7:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9. 3233 E Speedway Blvd. Regular admission prices.

More by Jeff Gardner

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