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DID YOU READ

No sir, no Sundancin’ today: Part II.

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For the sake of readability, the line-up of films in the Sundance world cinema competitions is after the jump.

 

WORLD CINEMA COMPETITION: DOCUMENTARY

ACIDENTE / Brazil (Director: Cao Guimaṛes and Pablo Lobato) РExperimental in form, this lush cinematic poem weaves together stories and images from twenty different cities in the state of Menas Gerais, Brazil, to reveal the fundamental role the accidental and the unpredictable play in everyday human life. North American Premiere.

BAJO JUAREZ, THE CITY DEVOURING ITS DAUGHTERS / Mexico (Director: Alejandra Sanchez) – In an industrial town in Mexico near the US border, hundreds of women have been sexually abused and murdered. As the body count continues to rise, a web of corruption unfolds that reaches the highest levels of Mexican society. U.S. Premiere.

COCALERO / Bolivia (Director: Alejandro Landes) – Set against the backdrop of the Bolivian government’s attempted eradication of the coca crop and oppression of the indigenous groups that cultivate it and the American war on drugs, an Aymara Indian named Evo Morales travels through the Andes and the Amazon in jeans and sneakers, leading a historic campaign to become the first indigenous president of Bolivia. World Premiere.

COMRADES IN DREAMS / Germany (Director: Uli Gaulke) – From the far ends of the globe, four lives that could not be more different are united by a single passion – their unconditional love of cinema and their quest to bring the magic of the silver screen to everyday lives to those who need it most. North American Premiere.

CROSSING THE LINE / UK (Director: Daniel Gordon) – CROSSING THE LINE reveals the clandestine life of Joseph Dresnok who, at the height of the Cold War was one of the few Americans who defected to North Korea, one of the least understood countries in the world. North American Premiere.

ENEMIES OF HAPPINESS (VORES LYKKES FJENDER) / Denmark (Director: Eva Mulvad and Anja Al Erhayem) – Malalai Joya, a 28-year-old Afghani woman, redefines the role of women and elected officials in her county with her historic 2005 victory in Afghanistan’s first democratic parliamentary election in over 30 years. North American Premiere.

THE FUTURE IS UNWRITTEN / Ireland/UK ( Director: Julien Temple) – An invitation from Joe Strummer, the Punk Rock Warlord himself, to journey beyond the myth to the heart and voice of a generation. His life, our times, his music. World Premiere.

HOT HOUSE/ Israel (Director: Shimon Dotan) – At once chilling and humanizing, HOT HOUSE provides an unprecedented look at how Israeli prisons have become the breeding ground for the next generation of Palestinian leaders as well as the birth place of future terrorist threats. North American Premiere.

IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON / UK (Director: David Sington) – One of the defining passages of American history, the Apollo Space Program literally brought the aspirations of a nation to another world. Awe-inspiring footage and candid interviews with the astronauts who visited the moon provide an unparalleled perspective on the precious state of our planet. World Premiere.

MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES / Canada (Director: Jennifer Baichwal) – This stunningly visual work provides the unique perspective of photographer Edward Burtynsky, who chronicles the transforming landscape of the world due to industrial work and manufacturing. U.S. Premiere.

THE MONASTERY: MR. VIG AND THE NUN / Denmark ( Director: Pernille Rose Grønkjær) –  Worlds collide, tempers flare and dreams are realized when Mr. Vig, an 82-year-old virgin from Denmark and Sister Ambrosija, a headstrong Russian nun, join forces to transform Mr. Vig’s run-down castle into an Orthodox Russian monastery. North American Premiere.

ON A TIGHTROPE / Norway, Canada (Director: Petr Lom) – The daily lives of four children living in an orphanage who are learning the ancient art of tightrope walking becomes a metaphor for the struggle of the Uighur’s, China’s largest Muslim minority, who are torn between religion and the teachings of communism. North American Premiere.

THREE COMRADES (DRIE KAMERADEN) / Netherlands (Director: Masha Novikova) – In this intimate film we witness the lives of three lifelong friends who’s worlds are torn apart by war in Chechnya’s bloody struggle for independence. North American Premiere.

A VERY BRITISH GANGSTER / UK (Director: Donal MacIntyre) – Given his many contradictions, Dominic Noonan, head of one of Britain’s biggest crime families, is a man who defies stereotypes. This close up look at his life, from gun trials to the murder of his brother on the streets of Manchester, reveals a community struggling with poverty, violence and drugs. World Premiere.

VHS – KAHLOUCHA/ Tunisia (Director: Nejib Belkadhi) – In a poor district of Tunisia, self-made auteur, Moncef Kahloucha, a guerilla filmmaker in the purest sense, demonstrates that it takes a village to make fun movies as he brings the power of cinema to the people. North American Premiere.

WELCOME EUROPA / France (Director: Bruno Ulmer) – Kurdish, Moroccan and Romanian young men migrate to Europe for a better life only to face the harsh realities and the laws of survival on the streets of a foreign land. North American Premiere.

WORLD CINEMA COMPETITION: DRAMATIC

BLAME IT ON FIDEL (LA FAUTE A FIDEL) / France (Director and Screenwriter: Julie Gavras)—A 9- year-old girl weathers big changes in her household as her parents become radical political activists in 1970-71 Paris. North American Premiere.

DRAINED (O CHEIRO DO RALO) / Brazil (Director: Heitor Dhalia; Screenwriters: Marçal Aquino, Heitor Dhalia)—A pawn shop proprietor buys used goods from desperate locals—as much to play perverse power games as for his own livelihood, but when the perfect rump and a backed-up toilet enter his life, he loses all control. North American Premiere.

DRIVING WITH MY WIFE’S LOVER (ANE-EUI AEIN-EUL MANNADA) / South Korea (Director: Kim Tai-sik; Screenwriters: Kim Jeon-han, Kim Tai-sik)—When a mild-mannered South Korean man decides to track down the cab driver having an affair with his wife, a strange bond develops between the pair during a long-distance drive. North American Premiere.

EAGLE VS. SHARK / New Zealand (Director and Screenwriter: Taika Waititi)—The tale of two socially awkward misfits and the strange ways they try to find love. World Premiere.

EZRA / France (Director: Newton I. Aduaka; Screenwriters: Newton I. Aduaka, Alain-Michel Blanc)—A young ex-child soldier in Sierra Leone attempts to return to a normal life after the civil war which devastated his country. World Premiere.

GHOSTS / UK (Director: Nick Broomfield; Screenwriters: Nick Broomfield, Jez Lewis)—Based on a true story, GHOSTS is the tragic account of an illegal Chinese immigrant woman as she struggles relentlessly for a better life in the U.K. North American Premiere.

HOW IS YOUR FISH TODAY? (JIN TIAN DE YU ZEN ME YANG?) / UK (Director: Xiaolu Guo; Screenwriter: Rao Hui, Xiaolu Guo)—Blurring boundaries between reality and fiction, HOW IS YOUR FISH TODAY? traces a Chinese writer’s inner journey through his fictional characters. North American Premiere.

HOW SHE MOVE / Canada (Director: Ian Iqbal Rashid; Screenwriter: Annmarie Morais)—Following her sister’s death from drug addiction, a high school student is forced to leave her private school to return to her old, crime-filled neighborhood where she re-kindles an unlikely passion for the competitive world of “Step” dancing. World Premiere.

THE ISLAND (OSTROV) / Russia (Director: Pavel Lounguine; Screenwriter: Dmitri Sobolev)—Somewhere in Northern Russia in a small Russian Orthodox monastery lives an unusual man whose bizarre conduct confuses his fellow monks, while others who visit the island believe that the man has the power to heal, exorcise demons and foretell the future. U.S. Premiere.

KHADAK / Belgium/Germany (Directors and Screenwriters: Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth)—Set in the frozen steppes of Mongolia, KHADAK tells the epic story of Bagi, a young nomad confronted with his destiny after animals fall victim to a plague which threatens to eradicate nomadism. U.S. Premiere.

THE LEGACY / Georgia/France (Directors and Screenwriters: Géla Babluani, Temur Babluani)—Three French hipsters and their translator travel through rural Georgia to claim a remote, ruined castle that one of them has inherited. En route, they encounter an old man and his grandchild who are on a journey to carry out a mysterious, morbid ritual designed to end a conflict between warring clans. North American Premiere.

THE NIGHT BUFFALO (EL BUFALO DE LA NOCHE) / Mexico (Director: Jorge Hernandez Aldana; Screenwriters: Jorge Hernandez Aldana, Guillermo Arriaga)—A 22-year-old schizophrenic commits suicide after his girlfriend cheats on him with his best friend. Before killing himself, he lays out a plan that will drive the lovers into an abyss of madness. World Premiere.

NOISE / Australia (Director and Screenwriter: Matthew Saville)—A young cop, beset with doubt and afflicted with tinnitus (ear-ringing), is pitched into the chaos that follows a mass murder on a suburban train. He struggles to clear the screaming in his head while the surrounding community deals with the after effects of the terrible crime. World Premiere.

ONCE / Ireland (Director and Screenwriter: John Carney)—ONCE is a modern-day musical set on the streets of Dublin. Featuring Glen Hansard and his Irish band “The Frames”, ONCE tells the story of a busker and an immigrant during an eventful week as they write, rehearse and record songs that reveal their unique love story. North American Premiere.

RÊVES DE POUSSIÈRE (DREAMS of DUST) / Burkina Faso/Canada/France (Director and Screenwriter: Laurent Salgues)—A Nigerian peasant comes looking for work in Essakane, a dusty gold mine in Northeast Burkina Faso, where he hopes to forget the past that haunts him. North American Premiere.

SWEET MUD (ADAMA MESHUGAAT) / Israel (Director and Screenwriter: Dror Shaul)—On a kibbutz in southern Israel in the 1970’s, Dvir Avni realizes that his mother is mentally ill. In this closed community, bound by rigid rules, Dvir must navigate between the kibbutz motto of equality and the stinging reality that his mother has, in effect, been abandoned by the community. U.S. Premiere.

+ 2007 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES INDEPENDENT FILM AND WORLD CINEMA COMPETITIONS [PDF] (Sundance.org)

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.