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Fall Indie Film Preview

Fall Indie Film Preview (photo)

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October 16th

The Road

“The Road”

The Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce, Robert Duvall, Garret Dillahunt, Michael K. Williams, Molly Parker, Kodi Smit-McPhee
Director: John Hillcoat
The Gist: Surely Hillcoat knew what he was getting into when he began lobbying to turn Cormac McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic novel into his follow-up feature to “The Proposition.” However, that was during a simpler time when McCarthy’s eventual Pulitzer Prize-winner hadn’t been accepted as part of Oprah’s Book Club and the film’s distributor, the Weinstein Company, was in better financial shape. After several wildly mixed test screening reviews, a few scratched release dates and Esquire’s recent rave that the film is “the most important movie of the year,” audiences will at long last be able to see Mortensen and Smit-McPhee as a father and son who travel a desolate America with the goal of reaching the coast amidst cannibals and other wayward denizens of the desolate country.

“Black Dynamite”
The Cast: Michael Jai White, Tommy Davidson, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Arsenio Hall, Byron Minns, Kym Whitley
Director: Scott Sanders
Fest Cred: Sundance, Edinburgh, Los Angeles, Seattle, Karlovy Vary
The Gist: A raucous festival favorite, “Dynamite” is a loving homage to the Blaxploitation genre that reunites “Thick as Thieves” director Sanders with star Michael Jai White, who plays the explosive titular character, an ex-CIA agent who goes up against the Italian mob when his brother is murdered and traces a conspiracy that leads all the way to the White House.

“The Maid”
The Cast: Catalina Saavedra, Claudia Celedón, Alejandro Goic
Director: Sebastián Silva
Fest Cred: Sundance, Rotterdam, Seattle, Edinburgh, Karlovy Vary
The Gist: Earning both a World Cinema Jury Prize for dramatic feature and actress Saavedra at Sundance in January and subsequent acclaim at the New Directors/New Films series in New York, Chilean filmmaker Silva’s second feature revolves around the hired help (Saavedra), who comes to believe after two decades in their service that she is part of the family until an incident with the family’s eldest daughter and the introduction of an additional housekeeper force her to reevaluate her place in their world.

“New York, I Love You”
The Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Bradley Cooper, Natalie Portman, Ethan Hawke, Blake Lively, Orlando Bloom, Julie Christie, John Hurt
Directors: Faith Akin, Yvan Attal, Allen Hughes, Shunji Iwai, Wen Jiang, Shekhar Kapur, Joshua Marston, Mira Nair, Natalie Portman, Brett Ratner
The Gist: We already know that Scarlett Johansson’s arty directorial debut about one obsessive-compulsive’s quest for a Coney Island dog didn’t make the cut for this stateside companion to 2007’s anthology film “Paris, Je T’aime,” but her “Other Boleyn Girl” co-star Portman’s short remains, as does the Mira Nair-directed one she stars in opposite Irfan Khan. All in all, it will be 12 films all once again revolving around the theme of finding love in the big city.

“The Private Lives of Pippa Lee”
The Cast: Robin Wright Penn, Alan Arkin, Keanu Reeves, Monica Bellucci, Julianne Moore, Maria Bello, Blake Lively, Winona Ryder
Director: Rebecca Miller
Fest Cred: Berlinale, Edinburgh
The Gist: Miller assembled quite the cast for her fourth film, an adaptation of her own novel about a woman (Wright Penn) who hits middle age and discovers her husband (Arkin) is having an affair, which leads her to reflect on her past and explore life outside of the retirement community they live in together.

Continue to October 23rd »

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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.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.