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It's going to be a busy summer at the Loft Cinema

Tucson is blessed to have one of the few dedicated art-house/classic-film cinemas left in the country. Which means that during the summer, when you're seeking a refreshing break from The Superpowered Pie-Bonking Robots, you can always stop in and see something much better--or much, much worse!

On May 21, The Found Footage Film Festival will arrive, with live comedy and, shockingly, some found footage. Festival founders Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett create an experience that's kind of like breaking into someone's house and watching their home movies.

On May 26, it's a birthday bash for The Very Bad Movie, a local TV show that shows the worst of the worst. Obviously, Plan 9 From Outer Space will be screening, but if you get tired of Tor Johnson (which seems impossible, since he's painfully Swedish), you can also enjoy birthday cake and some "bad birthday" presents. Plus, the show will be broadcast later that night on real TV, you know, the kind they sell at stores!

June kicks off (on Saturday, June 2, to be exact) with a screening of My Own Private Idaho including a special appearance by William Richert, who played Bob in that film and was the director of Winter Kills and the writer of The Happy Hooker. He's a living embodiment of the 1970s! On June 16, you can drag your hippie uncle out of the closet and down to the Loft to see D.A. Pennebaker's Monterey Pop, screening on the 40th anniversary of the great concert. Barry Melton, of Country Joe and the Fish, will be there. You can ask him if he ever figured out what we were fighting for.

There's a series of hot sing-alongs this summer: On Saturday, June 30, see The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, which celebrates Gay Pride Month. Bring your gay husband, wife or minister! Then, on July 4 (which is some kind of holiday in the Sub-Canadian/Super-Mexican part of the northern part of the Western hemisphere), the Loft presents Team America: World Police. You've always wanted to sing that Kim Jong Il song, and now you can do it while eating freedom dogs!

Perhaps grandest of all is the August Grease sing-along. No less than (nor more than) five actors from the film will be appearing: Eddie Deezen, Edd "Kookie" Byrnes, Jeff Conaway, Lorenzo Lamas and Annette Charles. If you want to piss off Jeff Conaway, go up to him all starry-eyed and ask him what it was like to work with Andy Kaufman.

There's also a new series of films by local filmmakers, and, as usual, the best of art, alternative, independent and classic cinema that you can't see anywhere else, unless you download it from the Internet, which would be wrong, and besides, your popcorn isn't as good as the Loft's. Especially exciting are local premieres of Killer of Sheep, one of the first films to go into the National Film Registry, but one which has rarely been seen since its small release 37 years ago. Inland Empire, the latest from David Lynch, is so confusing that you'll forget your past, your name and the fact that we're still stuck in an unwinnable war. Also, you can see Cannes Palme d'Or winner The Wind That Shakes the Barley, and Air Guitar Nation, which I think is about flatulence. You know, just in case you want to go to the Loft, but still have the experience of a Hollywood-style summer movie.

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