Reel Indie

Movies in your local indie theaters.

The Bigamist. Finishing off their films by Ida Lupino series, The Loft Cinema is screening this controversial 1953 film, where a man who secretly marries two women struggles with his life choices. Lupino was one of the few (and most acclaimed) female directors in 1950s Hollywood, and her films were often just as unique and against-the-grain as she was. 7:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29. 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. $10.

Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2. It's time to rewatch one of the best revenge stories that features a katana-wielding bride. The Loft Cinema is screening both editions of Kill Bill, multiple times over this week. Just like every Tarantino movie, this takes heavy influence from the dark and seedy grindhouse films of the '60s and '70s, and fuses them with classic Samurai flicks (particularly Lady Snowblood). The series features more great scenes than I can fit here, but some highlights include: a katana duel with Lucy Liu, the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique, the inexplicable anime sequence and Uma Thurman digging herself out of her own grave. And this is just the beginning, because remember, "She's not just a woman wronged, she's a mother with empty arms, and somebody's gonna pay." Vol. 1: 10 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, and Saturday, Aug. 31. Vol. 2: 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30, and Sunday, Sept. 1. $8. 3233 E. Speedway Blvd.

Country Music preview. Arizona Public Media, Old Tucson, and KIIM-FM are hosting a special event to preview Ken Burns' new PBS documentary series. Country Music is an eight-part, 16-hour series that tells the "story of America, one song at a time." This event at Old Tucson includes a performance by local country musician Bill Ganz, a presentation highlighting western music from films, and a preview screening from the Burns' series. 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30. 201 S. Kinney Road. Free. RSVP required. The series premieres on PBS 6 at 9 p.m. on Sept. 15.

Welcome to Gwichyaa Zhee. The Gwichyaa Gwich'in are a people who live in the remote snowscapes of Alaska, and like many Native communities in that area, their way of life is at risk from encroaching development by energy companies. Our local REI, along with The Wilderness Society, is screening this short documentary that examines the struggles of the Gwich'in people. The screening is followed by a Q&A with the film's narrator Len Necefer. 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31. 160 W. Wetmore Road. Free. 

Rambo: First Blood. There are many similarities between John Rambo in his first cinema appearance and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein's monster: Both were created by overzealous minds, stripped of their humanity, lost in the world, and rejected by the same societies that bred them. The Fox Theatre and Hanson Film Institute are screening this first Rambo film, about a Vietnam veteran met with intolerance by the local police force. Unlike many other action flicks (including its own sequels), First Blood actually has—gasp!—subtlety and thought. The screening features special guest Craig Huston, who served as the first assistant director for the movie, and will share behind the scenes stories of the making of the movie. Fox Theatre has partnered with the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona for this event, so make sure to bring at least one non-perishable food item and you will receive a free small popcorn. 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31. 17 W. Congress Street. $5.

Steel Magnolias. For their Tuesday Nights Classics series, Harkins is screening this 80s drama about "life, love and loss in a small Louisiana parish." Featuring a cast of women (including Dolly Parton and Julia Roberts) who are delicate as a magnolia flower yet tough as steel, it balances drama and comedy, resulting in a heartwarming story for all ages. After releasing in 1989, it was nominated for an Oscar and landed Roberts a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role. 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3. 5455 S. Calle Santa Cruz & 5755 W. Arizona Pavilions Dr. $10.

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool. Few musicians were as innovative or multifaceted as Miles Davis. His career ranged from his early bebop days, to the iconic noir sounds of the Ascenseur pour l'échafaud soundtrack, into cool jazz with Kind of Blue, psychedelic fusions in In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew, and even the inexplicable jazz-rap of his later period. The Loft Cinema is screening this documentary that examines the rise of Davis into a cultural icon, including never-before-seen archival footage, studio outtakes and rare photos. 7:30 to 9:45 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4. 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. $10.

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