DID YOU READ

Opening This Week: March 30th, 2007

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By Christopher Bonet

IFC News

[Photo: Paul Schneider and Aaron Stanford in “Live Free or Die,” THINKFilm, 2007]

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

“After the Wedding”

A Best Foreign Language Film nominee at this year’s Academy Awards, “After the Wedding” is the latest from “Brothers” director Susanne Bier. The film tracks what happens when the headmaster of an orphanage in India (“Casino Royale” baddie Mads Mikkelsen) is sent to his native land of Denmark and discovers a devastating life-altering family secret.

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

“Blades of Glory”

Will Ferrell stars in yet another sports-related comedy — this time, the SNL vet pairs with “Napoleon Dynamite” himself, Jon Heder, to poke fun at the world of competitive figure skating. Ferrell had a strong 2006, receiving both commercial (“Talladega Nights”) and critical success (“Stranger Than Fiction”) after a subpar 2005, while Heder looks like he’ll get his first hit since 2004. The film promises to feature the most ridiculous wigs since “Alexander.”

Opens wide (official site).

“The Hawk is Dying”

We’d love to see Paul Giamatti expand from his recent string of down-on-his-luck loser characters, but we’ll take loser Giamatti over no Giamati any day of the week. The beloved actor stars as an auto repairman in Gainesville, FL, who begins taming a wild red-tailed hawk to escape from his mundane life. The film comes courtesy of “Trans” director Julian Goldberger and originally premiered at last year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Opens in New York (official site).

“Live Free or Die”

“Seinfeld” writers Gregg Kavet and Andy Robin showcased their first feature film at last year’s SXSW, netting a jury prize and industry attention. The film tells the story of two dimwitted small town criminals (Aaron Stanford and Paul Schneider) on the run from a murder they didn’t commit. And of course, in true indie fashion, Zooey Deschanel offers a supporting hand.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“The Lookout”

Indie darling Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in this heist thriller directed and penned by “Out of Sight” screenwriter Scott Frank. Gordon-Levitt plays a former high school sports phenom turned mentally damaged janitor who becomes part of a heist at the bank at which he works. We’re pretty much excited for anything Gordon-Levitt does these days, whether it’s getting his “Veronica Mars” on in the high school-set film noir “Brick” or playing a gay prostitute and sexual abuse victim in Gregg Araki’s “Mysterious Skin.” Also, look forward to Jeff Daniels in a supporting role with full “The Squid and the Whale” beard in tow.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“Meet the Robinsons”

Though Disney found commercial success with its first post-Pixar computer animated feature “Chicken Little,” critics complained that its fantastic visuals could not make up for an uninspired storyline and lame pop culture clichés. Things are looking better for “Meet the Robinsons,” as Disney’s second foray into CGI sans Pixar is rich in source material (the film is based on author William Joyce’s bestseller) and spectacular graphics. But doesn’t the main character look a lot like the kid from “Jerry Maguire”? What’s the deal with that?

Opens wide (official site).

“Race You to the Bottom”

Two best friends run off together on a sexually liberating (and metaphorical!) road trip to Northern California, leaving their respective boyfriends at home while shacking up on their way to the Golden State in Russell Brown’s feature directorial debut. “Buffy”‘s Amber Benson and “Harry + Max”‘s Cole Williams star as the sexually nebulous couple.

Opens in Los Angeles (official site).

“Ten ’til Noon”

Repetition is the name of the game in this Scott Storm-directed indie in which the same ten minute period is shown through the eyes of ten people all connected to the same crime. While the film’s premise clearly shifts the formula of mainstream crime thrillers, we’re betting that you’ll be exhausted by the film’s midpoint. Just imagine watching each season of “24” within a 90 minute framework.

Opens in Los Angeles (official site).

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Forget Oscar

Find Your Spirit Animal

The Spirit Awards are LIVE this Saturday at 2p PT/5p ET.

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In just a few precious days, the greatest, most epic, most star-studded awards ceremony of the year comes to IFC.

And please, we’re definitely not talking about the Oscars. We’re talking about the Spirit Awards. Hosted by iconic comedy duo Nick Kroll and John Mulaney, it’s a relatively under-the-radar awards show with serious cred. And if the past is any indicator, we’re in for a wild night.

If you feel like doing your homework, you can find a full list of nominees and performance excerpts here. It reads like a who’s who of everyone that matters – those larger-than-life personalities with status that borders on mythological. Our celebrity spirit animals, if you will.

This isn’t hyperbole. Literally everyone who takes the stage at the awards show is spirit animal material. Let’s see if we can help you find yours…

Do you

Live in someone else’s shadow despite shining like the sun? Do you inexplicably vandalize your pretty-boy good looks with a sloppy-joe man bun and a repellent pubic-hair beard? Do you think sounding stoned and sounding thoughtful are kinda the same thing?

Congratulations, your spirit animal is Casey Affleck.

He’s the self-canonized patron saint of anyone who’s got the goods but doesn’t give a damn.

Do you

Have mid-length hair and exude a certain feminine masculinity that is universally appealing? Are you drawn to situations that promise little to nothing in the way of grooming or hygiene as a transparently self-conscious attempt to conceal your radiant inner glow? Does that fail miserably?

Way to go, your spirit animal is Viggo Mortensen.

He’s the yoga teacher of actors, in that what should make him super nasty only increases his curb appeal.

Do you

Get zero recognition for work that everyone knows is unrivaled? Do you inspire greatness in others yet get shortchanged when it comes to your own acclaim? Are you a goddam B-52 bomber in an industry of biplanes?

Bingo, your spirit animal is Annette Bening.

What does it take for this artist to win an Oscar? Honestly now, if her performance in 20th Century Women doesn’t earn her every award on the planet, consider it proof that the Universe truly is a cold dark void absent of reason or compassion.

Do you

Walk into a room full of strangers and walk out with a room full of friends? Have you been hiding under the radar just waiting for the right moment to leap out into the spotlight and stay there FOREVER? Do you possess the almost messianic ability to elevate Shia LaBeouf’s on-screen charisma?

You guessed it (or not), your spirit animal is 100% Sasha Lane.

If you haven’t seen American Honey, then you haven’t heard of her. She came out of the blue with a performance both subtle and powerful, and now she’s going to be in all the movies from this moment on. Or she should be, at any rate.

Don’t see your spirit animal there? Worry not. There are many more nominees to choose from, and you can see them all (yes, including Shia LaBeouf) during the Independent Spirit Awards, this Saturday at 2pm PT/5pm ET only on IFC.

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Car Notes

Portlandia Keeps Road Rage In Park

Get a lesson in parking etiquette on a new Portlandia.

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It’s the most American form of cause and effect: Park like a monster, receive a passive-aggressive note.

car notes note

This unofficial rule of the road is critical to keeping the great big wheel of car-related Karma in balance. And naturally, Portlandia’s Kath and Dave have elevated it to an awkward, awkward art form in Car Notes, the Portlandia web series presented by Subaru.

If you’ve somehow missed the memo about Car Notes until now, you can catch up on every installment online, on the IFC app, and on demand. You can even have a little taste right here:

If your interest is piqued – great news for you! A special Car Notes sketch makes an appearance in the latest episode of Portlandia, and you can catch up on it now right here.

Watch all-new Portlandia Thursdays at 10P on IFC.

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Naked and Hungry

Two New Ways to Threeway

IFC's Comedy Crib gets sensual in time for Valentine's Day.

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This week, two scandalous new digital series debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib.
Ménage à Trois invites people to participate in a real-life couple’s fantasy boudoir. And The Filling is Mutual follows two saucy chefs who invite comedians to make food inspired by their routines. Each show crosses some major boundaries in sexy and/or delicious ways, and each are impossible to describe in detail without arousing some awkward physical cravings. Which is why it’s best to hear it directly from the minds behind the madness…

Ménage à Trois

According to Diana Kolsky and Murf Meyer, the two extremely versatile constants in the ever-shifting à trois, “MàT is a sensually psychedelic late night variety show exploring matters of hearts, parts and every goddamn thing in between…PS, any nudes will be 100% tasteful.”

This sexy brainchild includes sketches, music, and props that would put Pee-wee’s Playhouse to shame. But how could this fantastical new twist on the vanilla-sex variety show format have come to be?

“We met in a UCB improv class taught by Chris Gethard. It was clear that we both humped to the beat of our own drum; our souls and tongues intermingled at the bar after class, so we dove in head first.”

Sign me up, but promise to go slow. This tricycle is going to need training wheels.

The Filling is Mutual

Comedians Jen Saunderson and Jenny Zigrino became best friends after meeting in the restroom at the Gotham Comedy Club, which explains their super-comfortable dynamic when cooking with their favorite comedians. “We talk about comedy, sex, menses, the obnoxiousness of Christina Aguilera all while eating food that most would push off their New Year’s resolution.”

The hook of cooking food based off of comedy routines is so perfect and so personal. It made us wonder about what dishes Jen & Jenny would pair with some big name comedy staples, like…

Bill Murray?
“Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to… Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to avoid doing any kind of silly Groundhog Day reference.” 

Bridget Everett?
“Cream Balls… Sea Salt encrusted Chocolate Ganache Covered Ice Cream Ball that melt cream when you bite into them.” 

Nick Kroll & John Mulaney? 
“I’d make George and Gil black and white cookies from scratch and just as we open the oven to put the cookie in we’d prank ’em with an obnoxious amount of tuna!!!”

Carrie Brownstein & Fred Armisen? 
“Definitely a raw cacao “safe word” brownie. Cacao!”

Just perfect.

See both new series in their entirety on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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