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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Top Must-sees at Loft Film Festival


    Say Ahh Productions

    Tucson’s only arthouse cinema is doing what it does best this weekend: bringing an eclectic collection of films not seen anywhere else in the city. In its fifth iteration, The Loft Film Fest returned to Tucson on Thursday and continues into Sunday. The majority of the films shown at the fest are having either their Southwest premiere or their Arizona premiere. To see how varied the weekend’s fare is, look no further than some of the films’ stars: a dog, an animated princess of Japanese folklore, a delusional old man, a skateboarding Iranian vampire girl and a mute pimp who is also deaf.

    “Goodbye To Language 3D” (Thursday, 7:30 p.m.) — After the free champagne and hors d’oeuvres of the opening reception were consumed, the festival kicked off with the latest from legendary director Jean-Luc Godard. The figurehead of the influential 1960s French New Wave movement ventures into 3D for the first time, with lauded results: His film took home the Jury Prize at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. In terms of a plot synopsis, it centers around an on-again, off-again couple, a dog named Roxy and, of course, life itself.

    “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya” (Saturday, 4:15 p.m.) — The next offering is from Studio Ghibli, the peerless Japanese animation studio responsible for “Spirited Away” and “Howl’s Moving Castle,” to name a few. This time, however, the studio’s characteristic art direction has been substituted for an expressionistic style that’s more in line with Japanese woodblock printing. The beautiful illustrations reimagine one of the oldest Japanese folktales, “The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter,” which is the story of a mysterious girl found in a glowing bamboo stalk.

    “Nebraska” (Saturday, 7:15 p.m.) — Nearly a year ago, I glowingly reviewed “Nebraska,” giving it an A- and calling it an “honest character study and an examination and reaffirmation of Midwestern ideals.” Though the quality may be reason enough to go see this one on the big screen, there’s an extra incentive with this screening. Veteran actors Bruce Dern, who delivers a powerful performance as an aging man traveling across corn country to claim $1 million, and Stacy Keach will be in-person for a Q&A. These two will bring indelible insight into not only this film, but filmmaking as a whole.

    “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night” (Saturday, 9:45 p.m.) — More than likely, this will be the first and last time you see a movie that can be categorized as an “Iranian vampire western.” This black-and-white feature centers on Bad City, a ghost town whose denizens are preyed upon by someone lurking in the night. Like its leading vampiric lady, this film has touches of horror, comedy, romance and just plain cool. For what it’s worth, this was personally my favorite film that I saw at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

    “The Tribe” (Sunday, 7:15 p.m.) — Sergey’s a  teen who can neither hear nor speak. He enters a boarding school where he is quickly initiated into a gang. Then, he falls for one of the concubines that he pimps out. At its essence, the film is a visual medium, and dialogue should only relay information and ideas that cannot be expressed verbally. This film delves into this core concept of cinema, using no dialogue or subtitles — just the sign language of the characters.

    The Loft Film Fest continues Friday with “Song from the Forest” at noon and will end on Sunday with “The Tribe” at 7:15 p.m.


    Follow Alex Guyton on Twitter.

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