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Summer Preview: Anywhere But a Movie Theater

Summer Preview: Anywhere But a Movie Theater (photo)

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Whether you’re tired of people texting during the movie, want to relax on your couch or have a fear of catching swine flu, there’s plenty of entertainment options that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home this summer, whether it’s On Demand, Online, or On DVD. A helpful guide is below, and don’t forget our look at the indie films that are hitting theaters this summer.


On Demand

Our sister company IFC Films will have quite the busy summer, providing at least one film a week to watch on demand and nowhere else. The company’s Festival Direct summer schedule recently kicked off with the Robert Pattinson teen drama “How to Be,” and will be followed on May 6th by the premieres of Pablo Proenza’s haunted house thriller “Dark Mirror” and the Patrick Wilson-Amy Smart romantic dramedy “Life In Flight,” which premiered at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival. On May 13, couch potatoes are invited to “The 27 Club,” Erica Dunton’s road trip drama about a rocker tasked with burying his best friend after a suicide. May 20th sees the release of the Swedish mid-life crisis drama “Heaven’s Heart” and the South Korean horror film “Cadaver.” Legendary Hungarian helmer Béla Tarr will premiere his noirish 2007 Cannes entry “The Man From London,” starring Tilda Swinton, on May 27th. (Bruce McDonald’s zombie thriller “Pontypool” will also be available the same date, in addition to its theatrical run.) Two days before its theatrical run courtesy of Strand Releasing on June 5th, the controversial Maria Bello-Jason Patric drama “Downloading Nancy” will premiere on IFC’s Festival Direct. On June 10th, “Fear Me Not,” the latest psychological thriller from Dogme alum Kristian Levring (“The King is Alive”) that proved popular at Tribeca this year, will debut on demand. “Happy Go Lucky”‘s Eddie Marsan and Ewen Bremmer star as historical reenactors who attempt to woo Jessica Stevenson Hynes in the comedy “Faintheart,” premiering on June 17th, the same date as the premiere of “Barbarian Invasions” writer/director Denys Arcand’s latest melancholy comedy “Days of Darkness,” starring Marc Labrèche, Diane Kruger and Rufus Wainwright. And on June 24th, Christian Molina’s Gaudí-nominated drama about a French call girl, “Diary of a Nymphomaniac,” will hit VOD.

Not to be outdone, Magnolia Pictures will premiere some of their summer slate on demand, including such titles as Steven Soderbergh’s just-released “The Girlfriend Experience” (which will be available exclusively in the comfort of your own home until its theatrical debut on May 22nd), Jennifer Chambers Lynch’s thriller “Surveillance” (May 29th in anticipation of a June 26th debut) and the Sundance fave “Humpday,” which has been reported will play VOD before its release in July.

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Online

As Alison Willmore explained back in March, the unconventional distribution outfit B-Side will be working their magic on Brett Gaylor’s doc on copyright law in the 21st century, “RiP: A Remix Manifesto,” utilizing both screenings of the film (a full schedule is here) and a “pay what you want” deal to download the recent SXSW premiere. Additionally, B-Side will screen the Zach Galifinakis-Judy Greer festival fave comedy “Visioneers” in Chicago on June 18th at the Gene Siskel Film Center. However, like “RiP,” “Visioneers” will be available to anyone with the desire to set up their own screening by signing up at the film’s Web site.

Cinetic Rights Management is set to raise the curtain on three films this summer that one can watch from the comfort of their computer — on May 8th, “Office” star Melora Hardin will premiere her directorial debut, “You,” a true family affair that was produced with her husband Gildart Jackson, who also stars in the film as a man left to raise his young daughter alone after a tragic accident. The cast is populated with familiar faces like “Smallville”‘s Allison Mack and Joely Fisher. In June, Brooklynite Dawn Scibilia’s Emmy Award-winning doc “Home,” featuring interviews with Liam Neeson, Mike Myers and Susan Sarandon, among others, waxing nostalgic about their love of living in New York, comes to your home. And July will see the online debut of Michael Almereyda’s latest drama “New Orleans, Mon Amour,” starring Christopher Eccleston as a philandering Dr. Jekyll, who plots a return to normalcy in post-Katrina New Orleans with thoughts of reuniting with his ex-wife when Hyde (Elisabeth Moss), the woman who ruined their marriage, reappears in town.

The good folks at SnagFilms will add to their 650-plus documentary film collection this May with the welcome additions of Carl Sagan’s epic “Cosmos,” the biopic of guitar legend Les Paul, “Les Paul: Chasing Sound” and the cannily opportunistic “Secrets of Angels, Demons & Masons,” which should help many make sense of the latest Tom Hanks adaptation of one of Dan Brown’s globetrotting novels by catching researcher Dan Burstein’s investigation into the real thing. In June, SnagFilms will host the online premieres of two festival favorites — Tim Hotchner’s “Accelerating America,” an inspirational 2008 Seattle Film Fest selection about a school in Rhode Island that gives at-risk high school dropouts a second chance, and Bob Ray’s acclaimed, no-holds-barred “Hell on Wheels,” a 2007 SXSW pick that chronicles the birth and revival of the Texas roller derby, scored to Texas-based rockers …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead. And speaking of music, SnagFilms also recently unveiled a series of Jack Johnson music lessons, which can be found here.

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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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.

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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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Reality? Check.

Baroness For Life

Baroness von Sketch Show is available for immediate consumption.

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Baroness von Sketch Show is snowballing as people have taken note of its subtle and not-so-subtle skewering of everyday life. The New York Times, W Magazine, and Vogue have heaped on the praise, but IFC had a few more probing questions…

IFC: To varying degrees, your sketches are simply scripted examples of things that actually happen. What makes real life so messed up?

Aurora: Hubris, Ego and Selfish Desires and lack of empathy.

Carolyn: That we’re trapped together in the 3rd Dimension.

Jenn: 1. Other people 2. Other people’s problems 3. Probably something I did.

IFC: A lot of people I know have watched this show and realized, “Dear god, that’s me.” or “Dear god, that’s true.” Why do people have their blinders on?

Aurora: Because most people when you’re in the middle of a situation, you don’t have the perspective to step back and see yourself because you’re caught up in the moment. That’s the job of comedians is to step back and have a self-awareness about these things, not only saying “You’re doing this,” but also, “You’re not the only one doing this.” It’s a delicate balance of making people feel uncomfortable and comforting them at the same time.

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IFC: Unlike a lot of popular sketch comedy, your sketches often focus more on group dynamics vs iconic individual characters. Why do you think that is and why is it important?

Meredith: We consider the show to be more based around human dynamics, not so much characters. If anything we’re more attracted to the energy created by people interacting.

Jenn: So much of life is spent trying to work it out with other people, whether it’s at work, at home, trying to commute to work, or even on Facebook it’s pretty hard to escape the group.

IFC: Are there any comedians out there that you feel are just nailing it?

Aurora: I love Key and Peele. I know that their show is done and I’m in denial about it, but they are amazing because there were many times that I would imagine that Keegan Michael Key was in the scene while writing. If I could picture him saying it, I knew it would work. I also kind of have a crush on Jordan Peele and his performance in Big Mouth. Maya Rudolph also just makes everything amazing. Her puberty demon on Big Mouth is flawless. She did an ad for 7th generation tampons that my son, my husband and myself were singing around the house for weeks. If I could even get anything close to her career, I would be happy. I’m also back in love with Rick and Morty. I don’t know if I have a crush on Justin Roiland, I just really love Rick (maybe even more than Morty). I don’t have a crush on Jerry, the dad, but I have a crush on Chris Parnell because he’s so good at being Jerry.

Jenn: I LOVE ISSA RAE!

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IFC: If you could go back in time and cast yourselves in any sitcom, which would it be and how would it change?

Carolyn: I’d go back in time and cast us in The Partridge Family.  We’d make an excellent family band. We’d have a laugh, break into song and wear ruffled blouses with velvet jackets.  And of course travel to all our gigs on a Mondrian bus. I feel really confident about this choice.

Meredith: Electric Mayhem from The Muppet Show. It wouldn’t change, they were simply perfect, except… maybe a few more vaginas in the band.

Binge the entire first and second seasons of Baroness von Sketch Show now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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