Reel Indie


Arctic. Now that it's actually winter, Casa Video is screening some of the chilliest movies they can. These include the new Icelandic survival/thriller Arctic, which premiered at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. Filmed over 19 days in Iceland, it tells of a man stranded in the arctic, waiting for rescue after a plane crash. Not only does he struggle against the elements, but with his own solitude. Star of the film Mads Mikkelsen said the making the film involved the most difficult shoot of his career. 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 26. Free.

Amélie. Part of their Cult Classics series, the Loft Cinema is screening this French romantic comedy (but not quite how you're picturing it) about what it takes to find love. It's a delightful modern day fairy tale; it's a parable similar to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance; it's... got a really good piano soundtrack courtesy of Yann Tiersen. Amélie, played by Audrey Tautou, helps her neighbors and audience find magic in the mundane. 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 27 & Saturday, Dec. 28. 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. $8.

Better Off Dead. Casa Video is screening one of the strangest, bleakest teen movies ever. Starring a young John Cusack, this follows a high school student and his attempts to off himself after his girlfriend of six months dumps him. Featuring skiing shots, bizarre dinner meals, Korean racers who speak Japanese, all wrapped up into a strange, wintry package. Better Off Dead reminds us that, well, I'm not really sure what it reminds us other than that John Cusack is one fine actor. 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28. 2905 E. Speedway Blvd. Free. 

Monster in the Closet. No wire hangers! The monster in the closet might just use them as skewers! This 1986 parody of cheesy '50s monster movies features a big goofy monster hiding in suburban closets, and it might just get ya. When several locals are murdered in their closets, it takes a journalist, a scientist and Paul Walker in his film debut to get to the bottom of it. 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. 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 30. 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. $4. 

The Princess Bride. If you want your New Year's kiss to have a little more magic this year, stop by the Loft Cinema's special New Year's Eve screening of this fairy tale classic. Honestly, how many movies are more quotable than this classic? Get in and enjoy it before some inevitable remake spoils the fun for everyone. More than a film screening, this New Year's Eve party includes props, a pre-show Princess Bride competition, a costume contest and even a free champagne toast at night. What props are involved? Inflatable swords, of course. En garde! 11 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31. 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. $15. 

Monty Python's Life of Brian. What is organized religion if not something to poke fun at? In Monty Python's grandest film, the sextet tell the tale of Brian Cohen, born in a manger in Bethlehem who for some reason keeps getting confused for another pious guy. But perhaps the greatest aspect of the Life of Brian isn't the satire of religion, but the parody of epic Hollywood films of which it is one. And you can't beat that closing musical number from atop a crucifix, either. For their Tuesday Night Classics series, Harkins Theatres are screening a merry one for the season! 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31. 5455 S. Calle Santa Cruz & 5755 W. Arizona Pavilions Drive. $5.

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