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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Loft brings the classics back to the big screen

    If you thought The Loft Cinema was just Tucson’s most reliably offbeat movie theater – or just the one with the comfiest seating – think again. It’s also offering a crash course in classic film, free of charge.

    The “”Essential Cinema”” series, which began in September, will be showing a new classic art film every month.

    “”We wanted people to appreciate them the way they were meant to be seen,”” said Loft program director Jeff Yanc. “”Downloading them and watching them on laptops is just not the same experience.””

    Each film will be playing in a sparkling new 35 mm print, and will be accompanied by a guest speaker. Best of all, admission is free.

    The next film in the series, playing Feb. 10 and 11, is Ingmar Bergman’s 1957 “”The Seventh Seal,”” in which a knight plays chess with Death. (Sadly, it’s not a double feature with “”Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey.””) It will be followed by Francois Truffaut’s giddy French farce “”Jules and Jim”” in March.

    Summer selections will include Federico Fellini’s “”La Strada”” and Akira Kurosawa’s “”The Hidden Fortress,”” which famously inspired parts of “”Star Wars.””

    “”There’s a quasi-educational aspect to this,”” Yanc said. “”We’re trying to show that these classics aren’t just for older people. And because it’s free, there’s no reason not to go.””

    Jean Renoir’s 1939 classic, “”The Rules of the Game,”” a favorite of Robert Altman and Wes Anderson which often ranks right behind “”Citizen Kane”” in lists of the greatest films ever made, will be showing in August.

    “”It’s always called one of the greatest films, but no one’s seen it,”” Yanc said. “”Whereas I think everyone’s seen ‘Citizen Kane.’ “”

    Fans of David Lynch should keep one eye glued to the Loft’s ever-changing sign – which often features weird juxtapositions like “”Manos: The Hands of Fate”” above a “”Purple Rain”” sing-a-long – next month. Not only is the documentary “”Lynch”” opening Friday, but the cult director’s long-elusive classic “”Eraserhead”” is coming Feb. 15.

    “”(Lynch) never wanted it to be re-released on film,”” Yanc said. “”But he approved this particular print.””

    If your cinematic tastes run more to Ed Wood, don’t fret: He’s in another series at the Loft, “”Mondo Mondays””, which features “”classics”” like “”My Bloody Valentine,”” “”Matango: Attack of the Mushroom People”” and Wood’s own “”The Violent Years.””

    Yanc said the “”Mondo Mondays”” screenings are “”usually pretty rowdy, with people laughing a lot and yelling and talking back to the screen.””

    It’s nice to know the Loft hasn’t forgotten one of the reasons we love the theater – it’s one of the few places left where drunken teenagers can yell at the screen with impunity.

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