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Summer Preview: Repertory Calendar for the Coasts

Summer Preview: Repertory Calendar for the Coasts (photo)

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James Cameron in Los Angeles with 70MM prints of “Aliens” and “The Abyss”?!?! The Dardenne brothers in New York for a career retrospective?!?! The instant cult classic “The Room” with Tommy Wiseau live in Austin?!?! Be still my heart. There’s something for all tastes this summer on the West Coast, the East Coast and as you’ll notice, the Third Coast on our calendar of the must-see events on the repertory theater circuit in May, June and July. And don’t miss our look at the indie films that are hitting theaters or headed to online, VOD or DVD premiere this summer.


Anthology Film Archives

With the New York Polish Film Festival (May 6-10) and first-runs of the docs “Ice People” (May 1-7) and “Audience of One” (May 8-14) and Ken Jacobs’ reinvention of his 1969 work “Tom, Tom, The Piper’s Son” with the 3D “Anaglyph Tom” (May 15-21) taking up the Anthology’s screens, things really start to roll around mid-May with a retrospective of Russian documentarian Sergei Loznitza, whose latest collage detailing Soviet history, “Revue” will kick off a weeklong run on May 13, with the director’s “Blockade” being shown as a companion piece and his earlier films, “The Settlement” (May 16), and shorts “The Train Station,” “Portrait,” and “Factory” (May 17) appearing throughout the weekend. It’s a nice segue into the Anthology’s series “Imperial Trace: Recent Russian Cinema,” which runs from May 21st through 24th and includes Alexandr Sokurov’s “Alexandra” (May 21 & 23), Aleksei Balabanov’s “Cargo 200” (May 21 & 23) and “Brother” (May 22 & 24), Aleksei German’s “My Friend Ivan Lapshin” (May 22 & 24), and Nikita Mikhalkov’s 1994 Oscar-winning drama “Burnt By the Sun” (May 23 & 24)…For those looking for something more experimental, one needs only to go next door, where the Anthology will be showcasing the work of video collagist Martha Colburn (May 22), Fernand Léger and Dudley Murphy’s French Classics of the 1920s (May 23), Cold Cinema: Films by Liz Wendelbo (May 23), avant-garde filmmaker Marie Menken (May 24), and “Descent: Three Stories of Family,” a trilogy of shorts that explore the ties that bind (May 24). On May 28th, the Anthology will host another collection of shorts with no such explicit connection, except in their quality, bringing together Guillaume Martinez’s “Pen-Pusher,” Felipe Canales’ “My Mother, Story of an Immigration,” Jeanne Paturle & Cécile Rousset’s “One Voice, One Vote,” Olivier Bourbeillon’s “The Last Day,” Alain-Paul Mallard’s “L’Origine De La Tendresse,” and Alice Winocour’s “Kitchen” for The World According to Shorts.

The Anthology will close out the month with weeklong runs of Lee Isaac Chung’s “Munyurangabo” (May 29-June 4) and begin June with the premiere of Philip Trevelyan’s long-lost 1971 doc about an unconventional family, “The Moon and the Sledgehammer” (June 5-11, accompanied by shorts from Ben Rivers, Andrew Kotting and Nick Gordon Smith)…The Anthology’s major retrospective in June focuses on gay filmmaking pioneer Rosa Von Praunheim and his films including 1970’s “It’s Not the Homosexual Who is Perverse, But the Situation In Which He Lives” (June 4), the 2000 doc “Fassbinder’s Women” (June 4, accompanied by the short “Can I Be Your Bratwurst, Please?”), 1978’s gay liberation historical doc “Army of Lovers or Revolt of the Perverts” (June 5), 1989’s “Survival in New York” (June 5), 1992’s “I’m My Own Woman” (June 6), 1996’s “Transsexual Menace”, the live performance “I’m a Tomato” (June 6, featuring Von Praunheim introducing clips), 1978’s doc “Tally Brown: New York” (June 6), 1990’s AIDS doc “Silence=Death” (June 7, with the short “Germans Taste the Best”), 2007’s doc about Von Praunheim’s biological parents “Two Mothers” (June 7) and 2005’s “Men, Heroes & Gay Nazis” (June 7)…Jean Renoir’s classic “The Rules of the Game” is on the docket for June 11th and 12th, and fans of Renoir’s fellow Frenchman Georges Méliès will want to stick around for a collection of the movie magician’s shorts, divided into two programs on June 13th and 14th. The Anthology will also present a special screening of Yasujiro Ozu’s 1942 melodrama “There Was a Father” on June 14th…The Anthology is hoping audiences are drawn to the light of two interesting events in June, the first being All Circuits Off’s “Bring on the (Television) Noise” on June 12th, a eulogy for analog TV on the eve of going to an all-digital signal, with plenty of antennaes to play with and mourners to commiserate with. On June 13th and 14th, there will be the celebration of “FLicKeR,” Nik Sheehan’s doc about Brion Gysin, the creator of the Dream Machine, the trippy stroboscopic cylinders meant to expand consciousness, with an additional program of shorts playing each evening that expand on Gysin’s ideas. The same audience might also be interested in the work of Sandra Davis, the San Francisco-based filmmaker whose use of lighting and the rhythm of the body will be on full display during two programs on June 19th and 20th…More experimental fare in June includes Slatan Dudow’s 1932 fractured Weimar classic “Kuhle Wampe, Or Who Owns the World?” (June 17-18), a collection of new works from multimedia artists Peter Cramer, Jack Waters, and Marc Arthur (June 18), San Francisco Beat filmmaker Christopher Maclaine’s shorts “The Man Who Invented Gold,” “Beat,” “Scotch Hop,” and “The End” (June 20), the Kuchar Brothers’s ’50s and ’60s shorts “The Naked and the Nude,” “Pussy on a Hot Tin Roof,” “Born of the Wind” and “Tootsies in Autumn” (June 21), Oakland avant-garde filmmaker Sidney Peterson’s 1940s shorts “The Potted Psalm,” “The Petrified Dog,” “Mrs. Frenhoffer and the Minotaur” and “The Lead Shoes” (June 21), Jonas Mekas’ long-in-the-making 1969 epic “Diaries, Notes & Sketches (Walden)” (June 25), the films of Sarah Pucill (June 26 & 27), the shorts of underground filmmakers Ron Rice, Hans Richter and Paul Sharits (June 27 & 28), and a DVD release party for the compilation DVD of multilayered experimental filmmaker Henry Hills’ shorts (June 28)…The Anthology will also host three evenings of classic silents with screenings of Vsevolod Pudovkin’s revolutionary 1926 drama “Mother/Mat” (June 24) and F.W. Murnau’s award-winning “Sunrise” (June 25 & 28). In July, the Anthology also plans to screen a weeklong run of “Duck Season” director Fernando Eimbcke’s latest, “Lake Tahoe” (July 10-16), and a rare retrospective of reporter-turned-American indie film icon Robert Kramer, with a series running from July 17th through 23rd, featuring a new print of his landmark 1975 drama “Milestones.”

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BAMcinématek

Already underway, BAMcinématek is hosting the intriguing series “The Late Film”, which features the august work of some great auteurs, including the rare May 5th screening of Jerry Lewis’ suicide comedy “Cracking Up”, followed by Maurice Pialat’s 1992 drama “Le Garçu” (May 8), Ousmane Sembene’s final character study “Faat Kiné” (May 8, with an introduction from critic Melissa Anderson), Robert Altman’s ballet drama “The Company” (May 9), Ingmar Bergman’s 1984 theater drama “After the Rehearsal” (May 9), Robert Bresson’s 1983 Tolstoy-inspired drama “L’argent” (May 10), Robert Aldrich’s 1981 female wrestling comedy “All the Marbles” (May 11), Michael Powell’s “Age of Consent” (May 12, with an introduction from Powell’s wife Thelma Schoonmaker), John Ford’s 1966 Anne Bancroft western “7 Women” (May 13, with an introduction from critic Elliott Stein), Manoel de Oliveira’s 2003 travelogue “A Talking Picture” (May 14), Federico Fellini’s “And the Ship Sails On” (May 14), Jean-Luc Godard’s “King Lear” (May 15), Alfred Hitchcock’s “Marnie” (May 16), Jacques Rivette’s 2007 costume drama “The Duchess of Langeais” (May 17, with an introduction from series co-curator Miriam Bale), Yasujiro Ozu’s 1959 light drama “Good Morning” (May 18), William Wellman’s 1954 gothic western “Track of the Cat” (May 19), Howard Hawks’ rarely screened 1965 mish-mosh “Red Line 7000” (May 20) and concluding with the director’s more traditional later work, the 1966 John Wayne western “El Dorado” (May 21, with an introduction by critics Andrew Sarris and Molly Haskell)…The New York African Film Festival comes to the BAM Rose Cinemas with screenings of Jose Laplain’s “Kinshasa Palace”(May 22), Angus Gibson’s “Heartlines” (May 22), Katy Léna N’diaye’s “Awaiting for Men with Meteni: The Lost One”, (May 23), Ngozi Onwurah’s “Shoot the Messenger” (May 23), Lee Isaac Chung’s “Munyurangabo” (May 24, with a Q & A with Chung and screenwriter Samuel Gray Anderson), the African Short Program with “Come Back to Sudan,” “Le Clandestin” and “This is My Africa” (May 24), Michel Ocelot’s 2006 animated family film “Azur and Asmar” (May 25), and Cheik Doukouré’s 2003 humanist comedy “Paris According to Moussa” (May 25)…Before Film Forum’s July engagement of Ridley Scott’s “Alien”, BAM has gotten their hands on a print to show as part of their Favorites series on May 27th, followed by fellow fave Jeremy Dean’s civil rights doc “Dare Not Walk Alone” on May 28th, with a Q & A with Dean after the screening…BAM will offer a tribute to Egyptian filmmaker Youssef Chahine from May 29th through June 7th, with screenings of 1958’s “Cairo Station” (May 29), 1969’s “The Land” (May 30), 1978’s “Alexandria…Why?” (May 31), followed by 1985’s “Adieu Bonaparte,” 1975’s “The Return of the Prodigal Son”, 1972’s “The Sparrow”, and the last two parts of Chahine’s Alexandria trilogy – 1982’s “The Egyptian Story” and 1989’s “Alexandria, Again and Forever” – in June…To compliment the Muslim Voices Festival, BAM Rose Cinemas will host screenings of Muslim-themed dramas from June 8th through 14th, including 2006’s Tribeca Film Fest award winner “Making Of” (June 8), the 2006 Indonesian polygamy dramedy “Love for Share” (June 9), the 2004 Moroccan drama “Grand Voyage” (June 10), the 2004 Syrian drama “Land for a Stranger” (June 11), 2002’s French/Tunisian character study “Satin Rouge” (June 12), 2006’s Turkish crisis of faith drama “Takva – A Man’s Fear of God” (June 12), the 2008 documentary “Heart of Jenin” (June 13), the 1996 Iranian drama “Leila” (June 13), the 2008 historical doc ” The Frontier Gandhi: Badshah Khan, A Torch For Peace” (June 14), and Youssef Chahine’s 1996 quasi-musical “Destiny” (June 14).

Besides a planned Afro-Punk Festival (July 3-7) and a series compiled from Animation Around the World in July, BAM’s major undertaking will be their first BAMcinemaFEST from June 17th through July 2nd, bringing many premieres from Sundance to Brooklyn and offering the first chance to New Yorkers on some of the hottest indies out there, opening with Cruz Angeles’ New York-set drama “Don’t Let Me Drown” on June 17th. The rest of the lineup includes Andrew Bujalski’s “Beeswax” (June 21), the Patton Oswalt comedy “Big Fan” (June 19 and 22), the art doc “Brock Enright: Good Times Will Never Be the Same” (June 18 and 24), “Pusher Trilogy” director Nicholas Winding Refn’s brutal prison drama “Bronson” (June 21), Tze Chun’s “Children of Invention” (June 18 and 20), Frazier Bradshaw’s “Everything Strange and New” (June 21 and 23), Lynn Shelton’s comedy “Humpday” (June 20), Paul Saltzman’s segregation doc “Prom Night in Mississippi” (June 26), Dia Sokol’s relationship dramedy “Sorry, Thanks” (June 24), Nash Edgerton’s thriller “The Square” (June 25), the doc “William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe” (June 20 and June 25, with the latter outside with a filmmaker Q & A), the nutrition doc “What’s On Your Plate?” (June 27 outdoor screening), Ry Russo-Young’s “You Won’t Miss Me” (June 19 and 23), the Zoe Kazan character study “The Exploding Girl” (June 25), the Nicholas Kristof doc “Reporter” (June 26), Armando Iannucci’s political satire “In The Loop” (June 20) and Hamid Rahmanian’s doc “The Glass House” (June 22). As if the New York premieres weren’t enough, the festival’s sidebar includes screenings of Jim Jarmusch’s “Dead Man” (July 2), Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” (June 21), Yuen Chor’s “Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan” (July 2), Luchino Visconti’s “The Leopard” (June 30), František Vláčil’s “Marketa Lazarová” (June 29), Marco Bellocchio’s “Sorelle” (June 30), and an evening with “Christmas Tale” director Arnaud Desplechin on July 1st, with a conversation to commence between screenings of Desplechin’s selections of “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “Mississippi Mermaid.”

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.

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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…

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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.

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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-Craft

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?”

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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).

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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.

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