Reel Indie 

Movies in your local indie theaters.

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It's a Wonderful Life. Yeah, it's the week of Christmas, get ready for a whole lot of jolly screenings. The Fox Theatre is screening the tear-jerkiest of Christmas films twice this week, just in case you want to reignite your passion for life multiple times. There's really nothing more to be said about how important this film is in the Christmas canon, so instead, here's some trivia: the film was a flop upon initial release, but went on to be ranked as the "#1 Most Inspirational Movie of All Time" by the American Film Institute. Also, a photo of a six-month-old James Stewart is featured on the Bailey's home. 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19, and 2 to 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 23. 17 W. Congress St. $7. 

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A Hidden Life. As the Nazis dominated Central Europe, spreading their influence through the cities and countryside, many joined their war machine out of both passion and fear. The newest film by Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life, The Thin Red Line) tells the story of an Austrian farmer who refused to join the Nazis, instead holding onto his faith. At nearly three hours, this historical drama, based on real events, is being called one of Malick's greatest works. The Loft Cinema is screening this tale of love conquering war. Begins Friday, Dec. 20. 3233 E. Speedway Blvd.

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The Man Who Invented Christmas. For their Third Friday Film Series, Grace St. Paul's Episcopal Church is screening a film that details how Charles Dickens came to write A Christmas Carol. The Man Who Invented Christmas blends history with fantasy to show how Dickens changed how we view Christmas as a whole. Think about it: When is the last time you got through an entire Christmas season without hearing about or thinking about Dickens? Considering Christmas dates back to the fourth century, Dickens is a pretty recent guy. 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20. 2331 E. Adams St. 

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Frozen. 1912 Brewing is hosting a Frozen party. For those of you who just can't let the film go, head down for a whole lot more than just a screening. The evening includes dinner and cupcakes from Daniela's Cooking, a reading of the original Frozen story by Santa, hot cocoa, coloring and film screening. All adults and children are welcome, and encouraged to dress up as their favorite Frozen character. 5 to 9 p.m. Film starts at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20. 2045 N. Forbes Blvd.

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The Ice Pirates. The year is 1984, the original Star Wars trilogy just concluded and changed how Hollywood treats sci-fi, but not everyone wanted to take it seriously. For their Mondo Mondays series, The Loft Cinema is bowing down to John Carradine, the man who starred in more than 300 films, including this B-movie mess. The Ice Pirates depicts a galaxy running low on water, and a rag-tag team of swashbucklers dedicated to causing a ruckus with every cheesy alien they can find. There's even a creature called a "Space Herpe." Fun! 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 23. 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. $4. 

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The Polar Express. How did this whimsical children's film become a holiday classic? Because it's written by Chris Van Allsburg, the most important children's author since Dr. Seuss. Allsburg, also responsible for Jumanji, Zathura and The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, knows how to capture mystery and adventure like a child's mind. And wouldn't you know it, this film adaptation does a pretty faithful job of translating the book. The Fox Theatre is screening possibly the least unnerving live-action motion capture film (certainly compared to future endeavors like 2009's A Christmas Carol and 2011's Mars Needs Moms). At 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 23. 17 W. Congress St. $7.

More by Jeff Gardner


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