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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Tucson’s time to shine: Widescreen Wednesdays showcase our little city on the big screen

    Larry D. Moore
    A view of a street in Old Tucson, a famous movie studio located west of Tucson. Widescreen Wednesdays celebrate Tucson’s film history with screenings of movies featuring the Southwest, like this week’s “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.”

    If there’s one thing that Tucsonans should admire and appreciate about living in one of America’s hottest cities, it’s that their community has hosted many films and TV shows over the years. For the first time, Tucson will receive the recognition it deserves.

    The School of Theatre, Film and Television will host its monthly series event Widescreen Wednesdays this week. The screenings are in their third year and center around movies and TV shows that were filmed in or around Tucson.

    “Basically what we are trying to do here is bring students and the community together to learn about film history through the screening of historically, aesthetically and important films and TV shows,” said Bradley Schauer, assistant professor at the School of Theatre, Film and Television. “Part of the fun of Widescreen Wednesday this year is that we get to see how much Tucson has changed over the years.”

    Wednesday’s screening will feature a comedy-drama film that used various locations across the state of Arizona for the production of its scenes.

    “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” centers on the story of a young widow, Alice Hyatt, who travels with her preteen son across the southwestern United States. Financial troubles and other predicaments force them to settle in Tucson, where Hyatt begins her new job as a waitress.

    “The film was considered because it was partially filmed around Tucson and because it’s a quality Scorsese film,” said Gregory Castro a senior studying film and television. Like many other widescreen events, this week’s screening will also feature a student film presentation titled “American Debris.”

    History has shown us that the city of Tucson and southwest Arizona have served as pivotal locations for the making of many notable films. Movies and TV shows such as “600 Miles,” “Groom Lake” and “The Rifleman” have all used the southwest desert as scenic backdrops.

    Judging by the vistas and natural beauty of the southwest desert, it’s no wonder Tucson has been the subject dozens of films. It’s worth noting, however, that while the city has attracted movies of various genres, many of these have been classic Western films. Over the past century, Tucson has been the background of films depicting the Old West — a time of nomadic cowboys and gunfighters.

    Widescreen Wednesdays are free and open to the public. The School of Theatre, Film and Television will host this month’s Widescreen Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Center for Creative Photography.

    Follow Ernesto Fierro on Twitter.

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