Reel Indie

Movies in your local indie theaters.


Island of the Hungry Ghosts. On Christmas Island, an Australian territory off the coast of Indonesia, millions of migratory crabs travel between jungle and ocean, while at the same time asylum seekers are held indefinitely in a high-security detention center. This "hybrid documentary" follows a "trauma therapist" on the island, and examines migrations both natural and political. And all the while, local islanders perform rituals for the "hungry ghosts" who died on Christmas Island without a proper burial. The Screening Room is showing one of the most celebrated, and certainly one of the most surreal, documentaries of 2019. 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23. 127 E. Congress St. $8.

Clemency. Bernadine Williams is a prison warden who has carried out executions at her maximum security prison for years. During this time, she's drifted away from the other roles and relationships in her life. But when she creates a bond with a death-row inmate, she is forced to reexamine herself, her desires, and "what it means to be sanctioned to kill." The Loft Cinema starts screening the film that won the 2019 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize on Friday, Jan. 24. 3233 E. Speedway Blvd.

Just Mercy. Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx co-star in this legal drama about a civil rights defense attorney working to free a wrongly condemned death row prisoner. The film is inspired by the true events of the 1988 to 1993 trials of Walter McMillian, a wrongly convicted Alabama man. The film also features Brie Larson, Tim Blake Nelson and O'Shea Jackson Jr.. This screening at Century Park Place 20 is hosted by the Mass Liberation Project AZ. 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25. 5870 E. Broadway Blvd. $5.

NO. In 1988, international pressure forced Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet to call a vote on the continuation of his presidency. The country had to vote yes or no to Pinochet ruling for another eight years. This dramatization, based on true events, follows the story of Rene Saavedra, a young advertiser who set out to convince the country on the power of democracy. As part of their Staff Selects series, the Loft Cinema is screening the 2013 Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film. The film will be screened in Spanish with English subtitles. 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26. 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. $8. 

No Retreat, No Surrender. The Loft Cinema is concluding the "Kung Fu Fighting Month" of their Mondo Mondays series with one of Jean-Claude Van Damme's first film roles. It's the story of a teen who decides to fight back against his bullies with the help of the ghost of Bruce Lee and the martial arts superstar "Mr. Miyagis." Cue the awful acting, slow-mo kicks, and heavy borrowing from both the Karate Kid and Rocky IV. Will the wimp give up, or stick it to evil Russian fighter Van Damme? Well the film's not called "Yes Retreat, Yes Surrender," is it? 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27. 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. $4.

Rear Window. For their Tuesday Night Classics series, Harkins Theatres is screening one of the Master of Suspense's crowning achievements. Starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly, Rear Window tells of a housebound magazine photographer who starts noticing some fishy happenings around his neighborhood. It's a genius plot filled with crime, romance and mystery. Only Alfred Hitchcock could make a movie about a guy staring out the window this thrilling. 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28. 5755 W. Arizona Pavilions Dr. & 5455 S. Calle Santa Cruz. $5.

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