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A Valentine’s Day for the Economically Depressed

A Valentine’s Day for the Economically Depressed (photo)

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This Valentine’s Day weekend, there’s plenty to make you want to clutch your significant other tight in the dark — Isla Fisher wields a credit card, Jason Voorhees puts on his hockey mask one more time and Clive Owen is the quite ridiculous vessel for an entire nation’s displaced rage.

“As Seen Through These Eyes”
In the works for ten painstaking years, writer/director Hilary Helstein’s debut feature achieves its noble goal — to tell, in her words, “an uplifting story about the Holocaust” — by focusing on concentration camp prisoners who made the best of their limited resources and created artwork, many of whom survived the horrors to go on and become internationally recognized artists. Mixing archival footage with candid testimony from the survivors, Helstein presents these remarkable people and their equally remarkable work — music, art, poetry — that served then as it served now, as a testament to the indomitable nature of the human spirit. Maya Angelou narrates.
Opens in New York.

“Confessions of a Shopaholic”
On a Valentine’s Day weekend when concession stand employees will be asking couples “What size popcorn? Large, regular or, just been laid off?”, this candy-coated wish-fulfillment fantasy arrives to remind us all just how we came to be where we are. Aussie director and rom-com veteran P.J. Hogan (of both “Muriel’s-” and “My Best Friend’s Wedding”) helms this smartly dressed adaptation of Sophie Kinsella’s chick-lit odyssey with Isla Fisher as Becky, the compulsive spender clutching a Visa bill the size of a phone book. Having landed a job writing a financial advice column, Becky resolves to pay off her mountain of debt and in the process discovers that materialism is a fallacy and what matters is that you learn to love yourself. Of course, having a job at a prestigious New York magazine owned by an absurdly wealthy guy who happens to be quite into you doesn’t hurt either.
Opens wide.

“Friday the 13th”
With an unparalleled pedigree in the making of first-rate cinematic pap, German music video director Marcus Nispel (of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” remake) returns to deliver the latest incarnation of cinema’s most enduring psycho with a script from the guys behind “Freddy Vs Jason.” Looking like they just walked off an ad for United Colors of Benetton, a group of blissfully unaware teenagers arrive at the now-deserted Camp Crystal Lake for a night of unsupervised revelry. Jason and his trusty machete, as always, are only too happy to oblige. With executive producer Michael Bay acting as the adult voice of reason, we can only imagine what terrors await them, or us, for that matter.
Opens wide.

“Gomorrah”
After 70 years of big-screen organized crime romanticism, Matteo Garrone’s docudrama (adapted from Roberto Saviano’s exposé of Naples’ Camorra crime syndicate) will likely serve as a wake-up call for audiences used to viewing the mafia through Hollywood rose-tinted lenses as a principled organization that rewards loyalty and honor. Billed as an example of hyperlink cinema (a trendy, Web-conscious way to describe interwoven, disparate storytelling), “Gomorrah” had critics falling over themselves to praise its audacity, with some even heralding a new era for the mob movie. Employing mostly non-professional actors and even a few actual criminals, Garrone orchestrates five intertwined stories touching on the deadly organization that runs Naples and how their actions affect the daily lives and fortunes of every Neopolitan. In Italian with subtitles.
Opens in limited release.

“Great Speeches From a Dying World”
After walking 1200 miles to meet his favorite director in his last doc, “Walking to Werner,” Seattle-based filmmaker Linas Phillips returns to the streets to showcase the plight of the homeless population through the stories of ten men and women, each asked to select a great speech from history that he or she feels is relevant to their lives. As the economic recession continues, Phillips offers a poignant reminder that the difference between the famous and the forgotten is measured merely in how much attention the rest of us choose to pay.
Opens in New York.

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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.

via GIPHY

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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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

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IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

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IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

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IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

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IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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