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Opening This Week: July 20th, 2007

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By Christopher Bonet

IFC News

[Photo: Jay Jonroy’s “David & Layla,” Jeff Lipsky, 2007]

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


Expanding his original short film into a full-length feature, director Sean Ellis offers up a comedy featuring an English art student whose insomnia inspires him to begin working nights at a local supermarket. As he befriends the colorful characters who work the graveyard shift there, he slowly develops a crush on the quiet checkout girl who may be able to solve his sleeping problem. The film is getting a limited release, but will be out on DVD shortly after.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“David & Layla”

Suggested alternate title: “My Big Fat Judeo-Arabic Wedding.” Jay Jonroy directs this romantic comedy based on the true story of a Muslim woman and a Jewish man who fall in love in New York City against the wishes of their culturally divisive families. The film received the Best Feature award at the Washington DC Independent Film Festival.

Opens in New York (official site).

“Goya’s Ghosts”

We’re glad to finally see Milos Forman return to the cinema after an eight year absence, we just wish it weren’t with… this. “Goya’s Ghosts” is an 18th century period piece set in Inquisition-era Spain, where painter Francisco Goya (Stellan Skarsgård) finds his muse (Natalie Portman) accused of atheism and tortured by her accuser (Javier Bardem). Forman seems perfect for period pictures, but while we love the film’s cast, early reviews claim that the film’s all style with no substance.

Opens in limited release (official site).


A film based on the Broadway musical based on the 1988 John Waters film about how pleasantly plump star-struck teenager Tracy Turnblad makes waves on a local TV dance show amidst social unrest in 1962 Baltimore. Boo to casting a seriously creepy looking John Travolta, yay to casting everyone else (Michelle Pfeiffer as Velma Von Tussle, Christopher Walken as Walter Turnblad and newcomer Nikki Blonsky as Tracy). Early reviews generally find that the film captures the lighthearted tone of the Broadway musical; good thing, because we don’t think we can stomach another heavy summer movie.

Opens wide (official site).

“I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry”

Another summer, another Adam Sandler comedy. Sandler and “The King of Queens” star Kevin James play straight Brooklyn firefighters who pretend to be a gay couple in order to receive domestic partner benefits. We long for the days of more sensitive gay-themed comedies like “In & Out,” but we really weren’t expecting much from a Happy Madison production.

Opens wide (official site).

“Live-In Maid”

A wealthy woman and her live-in housekeeper must adjust their routine and relationship when Buenos Aires is plunged into an economic crisis in this drama from “The Secret Sea” director Jorge Gaggero. The film won the Special Jury Prize for dramatic World Cinema at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.

Opens in limited release (official site).


British director Danny Boyle, last seen with 2005’s winning children’s film “Millions,” returns with a science fiction (!) film about a team of eight astronauts who must re-ignite the dying sun in order to save the earth.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“Your Mommy Kills Animals”

Director Curt Johnson takes an in-depth look at the behind-the-scenes workings of the animal rights movement and the FBI’s declaration that extreme animal rights groups represent the most dangerous homegrown threat to the United States.

Opens in limited release (official site).

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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