Bama Theatre brings independent films to Tuscaloosa


Caitlin Trotter

The Bama Art House fall film series started Tuesday evening at the Bama Theatre. CW|Caitlin Trotter

Nathan James

Same-sex parentage, climate change and love affairs will hit the screen of the Bama Theatre during its annual Bama Art House Film Series which began on Aug. 21 and continues until Oct. 24.

The series began with Woody Allen’s “To Rome with Love,” a movie, like most of those in the unorthodox film series, that employs film techniques rarely seen in mainstream cinema.

“We look for movies that will entertain, enlighten and challenge our audience,” David Allgood, manager of the Bama Theatre, said.

The film series originated in 2010 and features lesser-known films in its lineup.

“We have a number of highly-acclaimed films that we feel fortunate to be screening,” Allgood said. “As we have grown in popularity, distributors have been more inclined to release films to us on a one-night-only basis, which is not the norm.”

In spite of the obscure nature of the series’ offerings, Allgood feels confident in the Theatre’s selections and said that the series has been growing in popularity since its inception.

“As our attendance numbers have been very good, we have been given some films that would normally play at the multiplex,” Allgood said. “We have a highly-educated, well-read audience that will let us know when we do well and when we fall short.”

Dennis Quartermouse, a sophomore majoring in microbiology, sees the series’ focus on independent films as a positive.

“They’re showing a lot of films that people wouldn’t be able to see otherwise,” Quartermouse said. “[‘Moonrise Kingdom’ and ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’] have been getting amazing reviews, but I haven’t had a chance to see them because of limited release.”

Quartermouse said he feels independent movies often have qualities that are impossible for larger productions.

“I feel like independent films have the ability to go into touchier subjects than blockbusters can,” he said. “Movies like “The Kids Are Alright” (an independently produced film) have ideas that large budget studios wouldn’t go near … They fear that they won’t be able to make the large amounts of money that are needed to offset big budgets.”

The film showings will take place every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. until Oct. 23.

Films in August and September include: “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” in which prehistoric creatures are unleashed by climate change; “Take This Waltz,” a dramatic comedy about a married woman’s love affair; “In the Family,” which addresses the topic of same-sex parentage and themes of loss; “Moonrise Kingdom,” a Wes Anderson comedy about two childhood sweethearts; “Dark Horse,” which focuses on the romance between two women nearing middle-age.

October will begin with the Manhattan Film Festival on Oct. 2, followed by: “Farewell My Queen,” a historical drama about the life of Marie Antoinette; “Ai Weiei: Never Sorry,” a drama about the art of Ai Weiei; and “Sleepwalk with Me,” a comedy about a depressed standup comedian.

Following the regularly scheduled films, a bonus film, “Neil Young Journeys,” will be screened Oct. 24 to raise money for a new digital projector for the theatre.

Tickets for the series may be bought in advance at or at the Bama box office prior to screenings. General admission is $7 and $6 for students. Additionally, admission to all 11 films can be purchased for $50.