Screen scene: Local film news

FROM THE BLUE RIDGE TO THE OKUCHICHIBU: Asheville-based hammered dulcimer player Joshua Messick has TEST TEST TEST released a short documentary about how Western North Carolina and nature inspire his art. He's also the featured instrumentalist on 'Mary and the Witch’s Flower,' the first animated feature from Studio Ghibli offshoot Studio Ponoc, which screens nationwide Jan. 18. Photo by Lynne Harty

Asheville Pizza & Brewing Co. presents its 7 Days of Classic Christmas Movies series, Monday, Dec. 18-Sunday, Dec. 24. The selected films are Love Actually (Dec. 18-19, noon and 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 20, 7 p.m.); Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Dec. 18, 4 p.m.; Dec. 19-20, noon and 3:30 p.m.); Die Hard (Dec. 18-20, 10 p.m.); Elf (Dec. 21-24, noon and 3:30 p.m.); Edward Scissorhands (Dec. 21-24, 7 p.m.); and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (Dec. 21-23, 10 p.m.). $3. ashevillebrewing.com

Habitat Tavern and Commons, 174 Broadway, hosts the latest installment of Spoiler Alert! on Thursday, Dec. 21, at 8 p.m. Comparable to “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” “Rifftrax Live” or “The Benson Interruption,” the event involves the screening of a cult movie, during which host James Harrod and guest comedians Grayson Morris and Blaine Perry will interject colorful commentary, poking fun at its acting, dialogue and plotting. The latest selection is Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964), in which Red Planet residents, miffed that their kids have become obsessed with Earth’s television shows extolling the virtues of St. Nick, embark on an expedition to kidnap Santa and have him bring presents to Martian children. Admission is $5 and includes popcorn. habitatbrewing.com

• There are two local screenings of The Muppet Christmas Carol: Pack Memorial Library, 67 Haywood St., will show it on Friday, Dec. 22, at 1 p.m. Complimentary popcorn and refreshments provided. Free. avl.mx/ff. Then, White Horse Black Mountain, 105 Montreat Road, Black Mountain, presents the film on Saturday, Dec. 23, at 2 p.m. Suggested donation $8 adults, $4 children under 10 years old. whitehorseblackmountain.com

Grail Moviehouse, 45 S. French Broad Ave., shows It’s a Wonderful Life on Saturday, Dec. 23, at 1:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 24, at 7 p.m. Regular ticket prices apply. grailmoviehouse.com

• Asheville-based hammered dulcimer player Joshua Messick has released a short documentary about how Western North Carolina and nature inspire his art. The film may be viewed on Messick’s YouTube channel. avl.mx/4ef

Messick’s year also included a trip to Japan in May to record as the featured instrumentalist on Mary and the Witch’s Flower, playing on 20 of the original score’s 26 tracks. The film is the first animated feature from Studio Ponoc, the continuation of Studio Ghibli, and will screen in theaters nationwide exclusively on Thursday, Jan. 18. The Carolina Cinemark presents the English-dubbed version — featuring the voices of Kate Winslet, Ruby Barnhill and Jim Broadbent — at 7 p.m. and the original Japanese version with English subtitles at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $14 for seniors and $13 for children and available online and at the Carolina box office. avl.mx/4eg

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About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for ashevillemovies.com and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

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