Usually, no matter how much things slow to a crawl here in the Valley under the punishment of the summer heat, there's always an out -- you can go to the movies. But this summer's crop of movies has been, by and large, so dull that even that's not a great escape.
A couple of upcoming movie events may provide some relief from the midsummer night's cinema doldrums. Bodhiheart, an Arizona-based nonprofit in service of Tibetans who've been displaced by the Chinese, hosts a fund-raising screening of Ulrike Koch's film The Saltmen of Tibet, at 7 p.m. Sunday, August 6, at Harkins Camelview 5, located on Goldwater Boulevard north of Camelback in Scottsdale. Doors open at 6:45 p.m.; admission is $20.
The film is a documentary chronicle of the pilgrimage, by yak caravan, of a group of Tibetan nomads to the "holy salt lakes of the Changtang Region," in search of the "Tears of Tara," sacred salt which, the pilgrims claim, brings them the goodwill of a goddess. For details on the film or the organization, check www.bodhiheart.org or call 602-735-8091.
IMAX is opening a new film here as well: Galapagos. The film gives us spectacular views of the bizarre, science-fiction-ish gallery of critters that cohabit the barren volcanic island chain some 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador -- morose-looking marine iguanas; lumbering tortoises; birds with a "Peaceable Kingdom"-like lack of fear toward humans; sea lions; sharks; and that oddest species of all -- research scientists on government grants.
The film opens on August 4, with daily showtimes at 12:30, 5 and 8 p.m., and additional shows at 10:45 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, at the IMAX Theatre at Arizona Mills. It's in repertory with Michael Jordan: To the Max (daily at 2 and 6:30 p.m.) and Siegfried & Roy: The Magic Box (daily at 3:30 and 9:30 p.m., with additional shows Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m.). All of the above films provide ample evidence that the Supreme Being has an odd sense of humor.