Bama Art House series brings indie to Tuscaloosa

Bama Art House series brings indie to Tuscaloosa
CW File

When the lights go down and the film starts rolling, what do you see? Are there superheroes and supervillains? Crazy explosions and intricate special effects? The movies that get the box office success these days use eye-popping effects and big name stars to get people out of their houses into the cushioned seats, but the film industry is churning out more than superheroes. Right here in Tuscaloosa, we have the opportunity to view the other side of the film industry in the classy and intimate Bama Theatre. 

Through the month of September, The Bama Theatre is hosting an Art House Series where movie-goers can attend a showing of one of many of the lesser known movies coming out this fall. Two films, “The Little Hours” and “My Journey Through French Cinema” have already played, but there are still four films left.

September 5: "2:22"

“2:22” is a thriller that is all about patterns that repeat themselves over time. Starring Teresa Palmer and Michiel Huisman, this action movie tells a story in a unique way. Similar to "Groundhog Day," a man begins to realize that things are happening in specific patterns every day until exactly 2:22 in the afternoon. The  characters try to discover the meaning behind it all. Although it is still an action/thriller, the Bama Art House chose this to complement the other genres in the series, while also maintaining a “story-driven” goal.

“We have more story-driven movies to try and be different from the more effects-driven movies at larger theatres,” said Jason Armit, manager of the Bama Theatre. “You wouldn’t know to look for these movies, and that’s what makes it exciting.”

September 12: "Landline"

This film is a coming of age story that focuses a family in 1995 that is having an identity crisis. Jenny Slate and John Turtorro, who you might remember from “Parks & Recreation” and “O Brother Where Art Thou”, respectively, star. The film follows a teenage girl who is trying to put together what she wants to do with her future, and then finds out that her father, Turturro’s character, is having an affair. Lydia Caldwell, a sophomore elementary education major, saw the trailer and is excited for the Art House Series showing.

“I would love to go see that,” said Caldwell. “It is super funny and has scenes that are really relatable that students would enjoy. I really liked the comedy in it.”

September 19: "The Ornithologist"

As one of the more unique selections in this season’s Bama Art House Series, “The Ornithologist” is about man who is bird-watching in a Chinese jungle when his canoe gets washed ashore and he is found by two Chinese pilgrims. As the story unfolds, the man begins to realize that he may be in danger, as he continues to stumble upon odd events and even stranger people.

Being one of the two foreign feature films shown during this season’s Art House Series, it is one of the more adventurous trips to a movie theatre you can have. The mysterious nature of the man’s discoveries and the people he meets makes for an exciting viewing experience.

September 26: "Manhattan Short Film Festival"

The final showing of the Bama Art House Series is a unique selection in that it is a collection of short films rather than one long feature film. Filmmakers from all around the world have submitted films for the chance to be shown through the Manhattan Film Festival. The collection of short films are the festival, and there isn’t one set location for the festival. The short films are sent out around the world, and the ballots are supplied to each location to give to their viewers. The Bama Theatre will then send in the ballots and the Film Festival tallies them up to determine their global winners.

The series starts at 7:30 p.m. each night. Concessions are available for purchase at each screening, and tickets are available at the door.

“To be able to take it all in, and not be watching the films on a small device screen, it is a much different experience,” Armit said. “As much as I love having so much at my fingertips, I still prefer the feeling of sitting down and seeing a move for the first time in a theatre.”

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