This past weekend the Loft Cinema and Raiders of the Lost Ark subbed for my usual Father’s Day ritual: polishing all of my shoes and watching the final round of U.S. Open. I’m no golfer, for sure—the post provides details—but shoe polish and the tournament have been part of my Father’s Day for almost 20 years. (For details, go to Happy Father’s Day 2016.)
A very good friend mentioned a showing of Raiders on Sunday afternoon at the Loft, Tucson’s independent movie house extraordinaire. She couldn’t make it. I went anyway. (Golf? It was 114° in the shade in Tucson on Sunday. Outdoors was totally unappealing, even on television, and I’ve never heard of 70% of the under-35 crowd which populates the U.S. Open in 2016. Posh on golf!)
The Loft Cinema
The Loft Cinema deserves notice and support. 2016 is the 35th anniversary of Raiders of the Lost Ark, an important action-adventure film. (The American Film Institute ranks it No. 60 on its America’s Greatest Movies List, and No. 10 on its America’s Most Thrilling Films List.) Seen any showings at the multi-plex? Does anyone in the traditional film industry care … about an original summer blockbuster?
Did you catch the 40th anniversary showing of Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, filmed in Tucson, with a great shoplifting scene in what will always be the Chicago Store? (With special closing interviews with Ellen Burstyn and Diane Ladd.) Or 70mm showings of Lawrence of Arabia and It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World? Without the Loft, these films aren’t seen.
I have ignored the Loft’s many non-traditional films, and not unintentionally. Film aficionados know the Loft for the movies never seen elsewhere. And mentioning this or that avant-garde offering does not work here. That said, with more than 1,000,000 people living in Tucson, we need a place—with good AC and the coolest, most interesting snack bar in town (beer, wine, pizza, tamales, etc., plus great popcorn and lots more)—to go where we can see the best of old and new in the film medium.
In closing, I offer the Loft Cinema link once again. Ticket and snack bar revenue does not cover all of the Loft’s costs, so if you have some extra money, please support the Loft. I do!
Raiders of the Lost Ark
What a fine movie! I’d forgotten how funny it was. Really! And how sly Denholm Elliot’s performance was. (Frankly, I’d forgotten about Denholm Elliot in the movie altogether, as he appears in the bookends, at the beginning and the end of the adventure.) And, of course, no het male forgets Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood. Hot!!! And then there’s the plot. It really works!!!
Two back stories. First, Raiders fans all recall the scene where Indiana Jones takes care of the man with the sword in a peremptory fashion. Here’s the inside skinny, and if you click you will gain a new level of appreciation for “necessity as the mother of invention.”
The second back story relates to the inspiration for Indiana Jones. (No, he is not a real person. And, sadly, Superman never lived, either.) Many believe Roy Chapman Andrews inspired whomever—George Lucas, Stephen Spielberg, Lawrence Kasdan—to create Indie. And why do I care? Mr. Andrews was born in Beloit, WI, and educated at Beloit College, where I got my undergraduate degree, and where my daughter Cate and her mom got their degrees. (I live in a Beloit bubble!)
By the way, Beloit College has and has had for since 1894 an exceptional anthropology department, and the Logan Museum of Anthropology is an extraordinary college museum. The fact that it is located at a liberal arts college with less than 1500 students, and that it has existed for almost 125 years, makes it … whatever is more than extraordinary.
In sum, thanks to a suggestion from my good friend, and with thanks to the Loft Cinema, I enjoyed my Father’s Day much more when I walked away from the golf on the television.
PS I enjoyed Raiders of the Lost Ark so much I bought two tickets for an outdoor showing on the Embarcadero in San Diego in August, with accompaniments from the San Diego Orchestra.