Loft Film Festival schedule highlights

2013-10-31T00:00:00Z Loft Film Festival schedule highlightsArizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
October 31, 2013 12:00 am  • 

NEXT THURSDAY

7 p.m. “Le Weekend”

Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan star in this romantic dramedy about a British couple celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary with a weekend getaway in Paris. As they travel around the city, they revisit the highs and lows of their relationship, leading to some painful truths. Jeff Goldblum co-stars. (Directed by Roger Michell, 2013, UK, 93 mins., not rated)

Free glass of champagne (for those over 21), hors d’oeuvres and French music before the film.

Nov. 8

Noon — “Bicycling With Molière

A popular television celebrity (Lambert Wilson) embarks on a train journey to France’s L’Île de Ré to persaude his old friend (Fabrice Luchini) to return to the stage in the lead of Molière’s “The Misanthrope” in this smart and cruel comedy about the pleasures of playing with words, arguing, and rehearsing a play. (Directed by Philippe Le Guay, 2013, France, in French with English subtitles, 104 mins., not rated).

2:30 p.m. “A Birder’s Guide to Everything”

“Sideways” meets “Stand by Me” in this story about a 15-year-old boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee, “The Road”) who spots what may just be the extinct Labrador duck on the eve of his widowed father’s second wedding. Now he and the two other members of the local Young Birders Society, joined by their photographer classmate, take off on a rollicking road trip in search of a rare bird and elusive answers to teenage questions large and small. Ben Kingsley and James LeGros co-star.(Directed by Rob Meyer, 2013, USA, 88 mins., not rated).

5 p.m. “I Used to be Darker”

A Northern Irish runaway finds herself in trouble in Ocean City, Maryland, and seeks refuge with her aunt and uncle in Baltimore who have problems of their own. (Directed by Matthew Porterfield, 2013, USA, 90 mins., not rated).

Porterfield will attend the screening.

5:30 p.m. “A Case of You”

A young writer (Justin Long) has a crush on a cute and quirky barista (Evan Rachel Wood) and takes his efforts online, creating an Internet profile embellished with all of the details that would make him her dream guy. (Directed by Kat Coiro, 2013, USA, 92 mins., not rated).

6 p.m. Carson Mell Short Films — free admission.

Arizona native Carson Mell moved to Los Angeles to work in film and television, but nostalgia for his home state inspired him to tell the story of Bobby Bird, an aging Zonie rocker, with four short films and a novel.

Carson will read in character from the novel “Saguaro.”

7:15 p.m. “Willow Creek”

A man convinced of the existence of the Sasquatch sets out to film a documentary while seeking out the elusive shambling man-beast and discovers a wonderland of Bigfoot-themed gimmickry and tourist traps. (Directed by Bobcat Goldthwait, 2013, USA, 79 mins., not rated).

Goldthwait will attend.

7:45 p.m. “Red Obsession”

Narrated by Russell Crowe, this film about power, passion, and the fine-wine game looks at the influence China is having on “first growth” red wines from Bordeaux. (Directed by David Roach and Warwick Ross, 2013, Australia/China/France/UK/Hong Kong, rated PG).

Free wine tasting before the film with a sampling of wines from Napa Valley’s Bennett Lane Winery.

10 p.m. “PAINing POORtraits”

Documentary about Steven Johnson Leyba, a painter, trickster, social critic and controversial public performance artist, as he reclaims and reinvents his work, giving friends and muses alike the opportunity to destroy his paintings. (Directed by Adam Cooper-Terán and Steven Johnson Leyba, 2013, USA, 65 mins., not rated).

Cooper-Terán and Leyba will be joined by Jeanelle Mastema (featured in the film) for a post screening Q&A and an after party with Leyba’s artwork on display.

NOV. 9

10 a.m. “Ernest and Celestine”

$5 admission.

The animated tale of a civilization of hardworking mice, terrified of the bears who live above ground, is based on the classic Belgian book series. When one mouse, an artist, meets a bear, their friendship is soon put to the test in film, which looks like a watercolor painting brought to life. (Directed by Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar and Benjamin Renner, 2012, France, In French with English subtitles, 80 mins., not rated)

Preceded by the short film “Ride Over.”

11 a.m. “Anita: Speaking Truth To Power”

A revealing portrait of Anita Hill, whose Senate Judiciary Committee testimony led the country to recognize workplace sexual harassment. She also discusses what happened to her life and work in the 22 years since. (Directed by Freida Lee Mock, 2013, USA, 95 mins., not rated).

Noon — International shorts

Ten diverse shorts from around the world, and some from right down the street.

2:45 p.m. “Off Label”

Film examines the nation’s runaway pharma-culture by weaving together the stories of drug-testing subjects, Big Pharma representatives and many others touched by the rampant use of pharmaceuticals. It creates a poetic, sometimes amusing and frequently heartbreaking road trip through an overmedicated, misdiagnosed and drug-addled America. (Directed by Donal Mosher and Michael Palmieri; 2013, USA, 80 mins., not rated).

Mosher and Palmieri will attend.

4 p.m. “The Congress”

Based on Stanislaw Lem’s sci-fi novel “The Futurological Congress,” Ari Folman’s mind-bending follow-up to his Oscar-nominated “Waltz With Bashir” tells the story of Robin Wright, an actress facing the harsh realities of aging in Hollywood. Paul Giamatti, Jon Hamm and Harvey Keitel co-star. (Directed by Ari Folman, 2013, France, 122 mins., not rated).

5:30 p.m. “The Waiting Room”

A character-driven documentary that uses extraordinary access to go behind the doors of an American public hospital struggling to care for a community of largely uninsured patients. The film – using a blend of cinema verité and characters’ voiceover — offers a raw, intimate and even uplifting look at how patients, staff members and caregivers each cope with disease, bureaucracy and hard choices. (Directed by Peter Nicks, 2012, USA, 81 mins., not rated).

The screening will be followed by the presentation of the inaugural Kirby Dick Social Justice Award, which will go to a filmmaker, selected by Kirby, whose work examines issues of social justice. Nicks is the first recipient.

7 p.m. “Winter in the Blood”

Based on James Welch’s novel of Native American life, this hauntingly beautiful movie follows a young Blackfoot Indian’s alcohol-fueled search for his wife, his rifle, his identity — and salvation. Starring Chaske Spencer, David Morse, Julia Jones and Gary Farm. (Directed by Alex Smith and Andrew Smith, 2013, USA, 105 mins., not rated).

Alex Smith and Spencer (“The Twilight Saga”) will attend.

8 p.m. “A Teacher”

Part psychological thriller and part provocative character study, “A Teacher” explores the unraveling of a young high school teacher (Lindsay Burdge) after she begins an affair with one of her teenage students. (Directed by Hannah Fidell, 2013, USA, 75 mins., not rated).

Fidell will attend.

10 p.m. “The Room”

A cult sensation described as hilariously awful and borderline surreal, “The Room” stars writer-director Tommy Wiseau as a successful, happy-go-lucky banker who is soon trapped by vicious betrayals. (Directed by Wiseau, 2003, 99 mins., Rated R) .

Meet cast member Philip Haldiman (“Oh, Hi Denny!”) before the screening at the Loft’s Backlot Bar and Lounge. He’ll also have copies of his latest comic book for sale.

Nov. 10

11 a.m. “Walter: Lessons From the World’s Oldest People”

After an encounter with Walter Breuning, the world’s oldest man, director Hunter Weeks and his fiancée, Sarah, embark on an adventure to meet the oldest people in the world, including some of the people born in the 1800s. The result is a marvelous journey, a story of perseverance and purpose, meditations on love and life. (Directed by Hunter Weeks, 2013, USA, 84 mins., not rated).

Weeks will attend.

1:30 p.m. “Tatanka”

Preview screening of this documentary about the son of a ’60s activist who confronts the enigma that is his father, a man whose uncompromising idealism helped build a movement but nearly tore his family apart. Featuring Joan Baez, Dolores Huerta and Daniel Ellsberg. (Directed by Jacob Bricca, 2013, USA, 87 mins., not rated).

Bricca will attend. He is an assistant professor in the School of Theatre, Film and Television at the University of Arizona.

2 p.m. “The Nightmare Before Christmas”

Tim Burton’s fanciful tale of Halloween Town’s most famous citizen, Jack Skellington, and his desire to bring the colorful joy of Christmas Town to the German-expressionistic gloom of his community of ghouls through some of the most remarkable stop-motion animation ever seen. (Directed by Henry Selick, 1993, USA, 76 mins., Rated PG).

Animator Pete Kozachik attends.

4:15 p.m. “The Harvey Girls: Opportunity Bound”

This documentary explores how starting in the 1880s, more than 100,000 brave young women, Harvey Girls as they were called, made an unusual decision to leave home and travel west to work as waitresses along the transcontinental railroad opening the doors of both the West and the workplace to women. (Directed by Katrina Parks, 2013, 57 mins., Not rated)

Producer-editor Thaddeus Homan attends. Also, meet Elizabeth Hawley, who directed the short film “Keeper of the Mountains,” which precedes the documentary.

5 p.m. “Dear Mr. Watterson”

“Calvin & Hobbes” dominated the Sunday comics in thousands of newspapers for more than a decade. Then the strip’s creator, Bill Watterson, retired it on New Year’s Eve in 1995 and has kept a low profile ever since. The film explores why his “simple” comic strip made such an impact on so many readers in the ’80s and ’90s, and why it still means so much today. (Directed by Joel Allen Schroeder, 2013, USA, 89 mins., Not rated).

Nov. 11

Noon — A Tribute to Bob Shelton

The Loft Cinema has created the Bob Shelton Tucson Film Legacy Award to honor Shelton, a titan of Old West moviemaking. He was involved in the production of more than 300 movies and television shows between 1959 and 1985. Television series at Old Tucson under his reign included “High Chaparral” and episodes of “Bonanza,” “Gunsmoke” and “Little House on the Prairie.” An actor himself, Shelton was the driving force behind Tucson’s film industry, which at the time was second only to Los Angeles for production activity.

5 p.m. “The Broken Circle Breakdown”

Winner of Best Actress and Best Screenplay at the Tribeca Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Berlin International Film Festival this year, this film tells the musical tale of what can happen when a girl who runs a tattoo shop and a cowboy who plays banjo in a bluegrass band fall in love. (Directed by Felix Van Groeningen, 2013, Belgium/Netherlands, in Flemish with subtitles, 111 mins., Not rated) Digital

7 p.m. Stranger by the Lake

This winner of the directing prize at the Cannes Film Festival 2013 is a mesmerizing mix of explicit sexual coupling and old-school Hitchcockian suspense. With its rigorously composed wide-screen frames, eerily lush landscapes and empathic understanding of gay culture in all its multifaceted shades, this deeply unconventional thriller feels like a queer-cinema landmark. (Directed by Alain Guiraudie, 2013, France, in French with subtitles, 97 mins., not rated).

7:30 p.m. “Music City, USA”

A behind-the-scenes look at the music capital of the world as seen through the eyes of some of the biggest names in music, this documentary also illuminates what Nashville used to be, why Nashville was settled and how it grew into the rich cultural mecca it is today. (Directed by Chris McDaniel, 2013, USA, 80 mins., not rated).

McDaniel, an Arizona filmmaker, will attend.

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