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Fall Indie Film Preview

Fall Indie Film Preview (photo)

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Prepare to see stars in your local arthouse as the summer turns to fall. Brad Pitt, Charlize Theron, Drew Barrymore will all grace celluloid in the coming months. There are new films from star directors — Tarantino! Campion! Soderbergh! Coen brothers! Even the new documentaries are driven by stars — Michael Moore’s “Capitalism: A Love Story,” LeBron James’ “More Than a Game” and Anna Wintour’s “The September Issue.” And then, as Matt Singer will tell you, there are breakout stars who you should start catching up with now. In between, there’s epic animation (“Ponyo” and “9”), an astounding array of asskicking (“Ong Bak 2” and “Black Dynamite”) and Lars von Trier’s “Antichrist,” proving there’s there’s just about something for everyone this fall at the multiplex. (And if not there, make sure to check out what films you can catch in the comfort of your own home on demand, online, and on DVD and at your local repertory theater.)

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August 7

Paper Heart

“Paper Heart”

The Cast: Charlyne Yi, Jake Johnson, Michael Cera
Director: Nicholas Jasenovec
Fest Cred: Sundance, Seattle, Los Angeles
The Gist: As hard as it is to define Yi’s unique brand of humor (which she deftly applied as the lone female in the “Knocked Up” animal house), it might be even harder to describe the romantic comedy in which she plays herself as a woman who doesn’t believe in love, featuring real woman-on-the-street interviews with successful couples while she starts a relationship with her (maybe) real-life boyfriend Michael Cera. The hybrid of woman-on-the street interviews, handmade dioramas and injections of narrative interludes earned Yi and co-writer/director Jasenovec the Waldo Salt screenwriting prize at this year’s Sundance.

“Beeswax”
The Cast: Maggie Hatcher, Tilly Hatcher, Alex Karpovsky, Katy O’Connor
Writer/Director: Andrew Bujalski
Fest Cred: Berlinale, SXSW, Buenos Aires
The Gist: “Mutual Appreciation” director Bujalski continues to make a personal travelogue of places he’s lived with this Austin-set story of twin sisters who find themselves simultaneously in a rut in their professional and personal lives.

“Bliss”
The Cast: Talat Bulut, Özgü Namal, Murat Han, Mustafa Avkiran
Director: Abdullah Oguz
Fest Cred: Copenhagen, Vancouver, Cleveland
The Gist: Based on Zülfü Livaneli’s novel of the same name, this Turkish thriller stars Namal as a 17-year-old girl whose family approves an honor killing after fearing her chastity’s been taken and recruits a distant cousin to carry out the act during a long boat trip, only things get complicated when the cousin starts to have feelings for her.

“By the People: The Election of Barack Obama”
Directors: Amy Rice and Alicia Sams
The Gist: Rice and Sams started rolling their cameras on the then-Illinois senator in 2006 before he announced his candidacy for the presidency and subsequently got hundreds of hours of behind the scenes footage from the historic campaign. Bankrolled by Edward Norton, Sony and HBO are taking the doc out for a one-week awards qualifying run in Los Angeles before a full theatrical release later this fall.

“Cloud 9”
The Cast: Ursula Werner, Horst Rehberg, Horst Westphal
Director: Andreas Dresen
Fest Cred: Cannes, Munich, Karlovy Vary, Toronto, Berlinale
The Gist: Fitting alongside nicely with Paul Cox’s 2000 sexually charged septuagenarian romance “Innocence,” Dresen’s drama stars Werner as a 67-year-old clothier who finds her passion reignited during a torrid affair with an 76-year-old widower. The film arrives in America after winning a slew of awards abroad, beginning with its Un Certain Regard Prize at Cannes in 2008 and German Film Awards for Werner as best actress and Dresen as best director.

“Cold Souls”
The Cast: Paul Giamatti, Dina Korzun, Emily Watson, David Strathairn, Katheryn Winnick, Lauren Ambrose
Writer/Director: Sophie Barthes
Fest Cred: Sundance, Cannes, Seattle, Los Angeles, Sydney
The Gist: Don’t call it a Charlie Kaufman movie, but Sophie Barthes’ feature directorial debut enters into some similar metaphysical territory with Giamatti starring as a self-important version of himself who discovers a doctor (Straithairn) that can remove and store souls for safe keeping.

“El Tinte De La Fama”
The Cast: Elaiza Gil, Alberto Alifa, Mirtha Borges, Miguel Ferrari
Director: Alejandro Bellame Palacios
The Gist: Last year’s Venezuelan Oscar entry is Palacios’ feature debut, a surrealist plunge into the intoxicating waters of stardom, following a blond beauty who’s egged on by husband to enter a televised Marilyn Monroe look-a-like contest. Her fragile psyche begins to fracture as events in her life begin to oddly mirror those of the real Monroe.

“I Sell the Dead”
The Cast: Dominic Monaghan, Ron Perlman, Larry Fessenden, Angus Scrimm
Writer/Director: Glenn McQuaid
Fest Cred: Sitges, Slamdance, Glasgow, Rotterdam, Glasgow, Seattle
The Gist: A throwback to the Hammer films of the ’60s that opened this year’s Slamdance Film Festival, this black comedy stars Fessenden and Monaghan as a pair of grave robbers whose adventures with shovels are chronicled shortly before they get the axe.

“12 in a Box”
The Cast: Brian Mitchell, Anjella Mackintosh, Kenneth Collard, Katy Wix, Paul Williamson, Clare Welch
Writer/Director: John McKenzie
Fest Cred: Berlinale, Boston, Zurich
The Gist: Though it’s advertised as a comedy, this British import might seem more like a terrifying version of “Big Brother” where a dozen former classmates reunite for a weekend in the country and are propositioned to stay 96 hours without leaving the premises in order to win a million pounds. Enough hijinks ensue to make the guests think about changing their friends on Facebook.

Continue to August 14th »


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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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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.