Opening This Week: February 16th, 2007

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By Christopher Bonet

IFC News

[Photo: “Avenue Montaigne,” ThinkFilm, 2007]

A round-up of the best (or worst) $10 you’ll spend this week.


German director Christian Alvart follows up his 1999 film “Curiosity & the Cat” with this suspense thriller about a small-town detective whose interrogation of a serial killer threatens the core of his beliefs.

Opens in New York (official site).

“Avenue Montaigne”

France’s entry in the Best Foreign Film category at this year’s Oscars reminds us a bit of 2001’s “Amelie,” as Cecile de France stars as a young waitress from the countryside who changes the lives of the art-centered customers of the cafe. “Avenue Montaigne” is the latest from “Jet Lag” director and writer Danièle Thompson.

Opens in New York and Los Angeles (official site).


African filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako paints a picture of political and personal strife in contemporary Africa in this drama about a couple’s disintegrating break-up set against the backdrop of public proceedings against international financial institutions blamed for the country’s woes. Danny Glover, who executive produced the picture, also has a cameo.

Opens in New York (official site).


“Shattered Glass” director Billy Ray presents another film based on a true story about a young man faced with a questionable morality. This thriller follows a young up-and-coming FBI agent who’s asked to spy on his superior, who is believed to be a double agent working against the interests of the nation. Ryan Phillippe and Chris Cooper play the rookie and double agents, respectively.

Opens wide (official site).

“Bridge to Terabithia”

Hungarian filmmaker Gabor Csupo transforms this popular children’s story about two fifth graders who encounter a magical kingdom hidden deep in a forest into a feature film (his first) after spending over a dozen years producing and developing the popular “Rugrats” series. Indie fave Zooey Deschanel and cult icon Robert Patrick support.

Opens wide (official site).

“Days of Glory (Indigènes)”

This World War II film details the story of a group of North African soldiers enlisted to fight for the French as a part of an “indigenous” unit. Director Rachid Bouchareb is said to employ every World War II film cliché in the book for this film, but critics state that the film’s modest budget and culturally diverse ensemble cast allow the filmmaker to explore racial conflicts in a war-time setting.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“Ghost Rider”

It seems as though every superhero in the Marvel Comics catalog is getting his own movie; the latest is for the marginally popular Ghost Rider, a former motorcycle stunt rider who moonlights as an evil bounty hunter at night after making a deal with the devil, Mephisto. The film has a familiar superhero director in “Daredevil”‘s Mark Steven Johnson and action star in Nicolas Cage (“National Treasure,” “The Rock”), but still seems a bit ho-hum to us. We’re just a bit disheartened the producers didn’t go for the original Ghost Rider.

Opens wide (official site).

“Music and Lyrics”

Hugh Grant. Drew Barrymore. Valentine’s Day. We think it’s safe to say that there are no surprises in this one.

Opens wide (official site).

“Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls”

In a span of a few short years, February became the month of Tyler Perry, an unknown African American playwright who struck gold when his first film, “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” produced on a budget of $5.5 million, grossed over ten times that amount. Together, Perry’s first feature and his second, 2006’s “Madea’s Family Reunion,” have grossed over $100 million, so it’s no surprise Lionsgate greenlit his latest, a romantic comedy with Gabrielle Union and “The Wire”‘s Idris Elba. It’s unclear yet whether Perry’s latest film will uphold his winning streak at the box office (“Daddy’s Little Girls” is the first Perry film without his popular Madea character), so we’ll just have to wait and see come Monday.

Opens wide (official site).


New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…


IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 


IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.


The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”


Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).



Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.


And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.


Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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GIFs via Giffy

In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.


Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.


Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!



Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.


Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.


If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.