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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.

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Underworld

Under Your Spell

10 Otherworldly Romances That’ll Melt Your Heart

Spend Valentine's Day weekend with IFC's Underworld movie marathon.

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Photo Credit: Screen Gems/courtesy Everett Collection

Romance takes many forms, and that is especially true when you have a thirst for blood or laser beams coming out of your eyes.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a werewolf, a superhero, a clone, a time-traveler, or a vampire, love is the one thing that infects us all.  Read on to find out why Romeo and Juliet have nothing on these supernatural star-crossed lovers, and be sure to catch IFC’s Underworld movie marathon this Valentine’s Day weekend.

1. Cyclops/Jean Grey/Wolverine, X-Men series

The X-Men franchise is rife with romance, but the steamiest “ménage à mutant” may just be the one between Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), Cyclops (James Marsden), and Wolverine (Hugh Jackman). Their triangle is a complicated one as Jean finds herself torn between the two very different men while also trying to control her darker side, the Phoenix. This leads to Jean killing Cyclops and eventually getting stabbed through her heart by Wolverine in X-Men: The Last Stand. Yikes!  Maybe they should change the name to Ex-Men instead?


2. Willow/Tara, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Joss Whedon gave audiences some great romances on Buffy the Vampire Slayer — including the central triangle of Buffy, Angel, and Spike — but it was the love between witches Willow (Alyson Hannigan) and Tara (Amber Benson) that broke new ground for its sensitive and nuanced portrayal of a LGBT relationship.

Willow is smart and confident and isn’t even sure of her sexuality when she first meets Tara at college in a Wiccan campus group. As the two begin experimenting with spells, they realize they’re also falling for one another and become the show’s most enduring, happy couple. At least until Tara’s death in season six, a moment that still brings on the feels.


3. Selene/Michael, Underworld series

The Twilight gang pales in comparison (both literally and metaphorically) to the Lycans and Vampires of the stylish Underworld franchise. If you’re looking for an epic vampire/werewolf romance set amidst an epic vampire/werewolf war, Underworld handily delivers in the form of leather catsuited Selene (Kate Beckinsale) and shaggy blonde hunk Michael (a post-Felicity Scott Speedman). As they work together to stop the Vampire/Lycan war, they give into their passions while also kicking butt in skintight leather. Love at first bite indeed.


4. Spider-man/Mary Jane Watson, Spider-man

After rushing to the aid of beautiful girl-next-door Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), the Amazing Spider-man is rewarded with an upside-down kiss that is still one of the most romantic moments in comic book movie history. For Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), the shy, lovable dork beneath the mask, his rain-soaked makeout session is the culmination of years of unrequited love and one very powerful spider bite. As the films progress, Peter tries pushing MJ away in an attempt to protect her from his enemies, but their web of love is just too powerful. And you know, with great power, comes great responsibility.


5. Molly/Sam, Ghost

When it comes to supernatural romance, you really can’t beat Molly and Sam from the 1990 hit film Ghost. Demi Moore goes crazy for Swayze like the rest of us, and the pair make pottery sexier than it’s ever been.

When Sam is murdered, he’s forced to communicate through con artist turned real psychic, Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg in her Academy Award-winning role) to warn Molly she is still in danger from his co-worker, Carl (a pre-Scandal Tony Goldwyn). Molly doesn’t believe Oda is telling the truth, so Sam proves it by sliding a penny up the wall and then possessing Oda so he and Molly can share one last romantic dance together (but not the dirty kind). We’d pay a penny for a dance with Patrick Swayze ANY day.


6. Cosima/Delphine, Orphan Black

It stands to reason there would be at least one complicated romance on a show about clones, and none more complicated than the one between clone Cosima (Tatiana Maslany) and Dr. Delphine Cormier (Evelyne Brochu) on BBC America’s hit drama Orphan Black.

Cosima is a PhD student focusing on evolutionary developmental biology at the University of Minnesota when she meets Delphine, a research associate from the nefarious Dyad Institute, posing as a fellow immunology student. The two fall in love, but their happiness is brief once Dyad and the other members of Clone Club get involved. Here’s hoping Cosima finds love in season four of Orphan Black. Girlfriend could use a break.


7. Aragorn/Arwen, Lord of the Rings

On a picturesque bridge in Rivendell amidst some stellar mood-lighting and dreamy Elvish language with English subtitles for us non-Middle Earthlings, Arwen (Liv Tyler) and Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) bind their souls to one another, pledging to love each other no matter what befalls them.

Their courtship is a matter of contention with Arwen’s father, Elrond (Hugo Weaving), who doesn’t wish to see his daughter suffer over Aragorn’s future death. The two marry after the conclusion of the War of the Ring, with Aragorn assuming his throne as King of Gondor, and Arwen forgoing her immortality to become his Queen. Is it too much to assume they asked Frodo to be their wedding ring-bearer?


8. Lafayette/Jesus, True Blood

True Blood quickly became the go-to show for supernatural sex scenes featuring future Magic Mike strippers (Joe Manganiello) and pale Nordic men with washboard abs (Hi Alexander Skarsgård!), but honestly, there was a little something for everyone, including fan favorite Bon Temps medium, Lafayette Reynolds (Nelsan Ellis).

In season three, Lafayette met his mother’s nurse, Jesus, and the two began a relationship. As they spend more time together and start doing V (short for Vampire Blood), they learn Jesus is descended from a long line of witches and that Lafayette himself has magical abilities. However, supernatural love is anything but simple, and after the pair join a coven, Lafayette becomes possessed by the dead spirit of its former leader. This relationship certainly puts a whole new spin on possessive love.


9. Nymphadora Tonks/Remus Lupin, Harry Potter series

There are lots of sad characters in the Harry Potter series, but Remus Lupin ranks among the saddest. He was bitten by a werewolf as a child, his best friend was murdered and his other best friend was wrongly imprisoned in Azkaban for it, then THAT best friend was killed by a Death Eater at the Ministry of Magic as Remus looked on. So when Lupin unexpectedly found himself in love with badass Auror and Metamorphmagus Nymphadora Tonks (she prefers to be called by her surname ONLY, thank you very much), pretty much everyone, including Lupin himself, was both elated and cautiously hopeful about their romance and eventual marriage.

Sadly, the pair met a tragic ending when both were killed by Death Eaters during the Battle of Hogwarts, leaving their son, Teddy, orphaned much like his godfather Harry Potter. Accio hankies!


10. The Doctor/Rose Tyler, Doctor Who

Speaking of wolves, Rose “Bad Wolf” Tyler (Billie Piper) captured the Doctor’s hearts from the moment he told her to “Run!” in the very first episode of the re-booted Doctor Who series. Their affection for one another grew steadily deeper during their travels in the TARDIS, whether they were stuck in 1950s London, facing down pure evil in the Satan Pit, or battling Cybermen.

But their relationship took a tragic turn during the season two finale episode, “Doomsday,” when the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) and Rose found themselves separated in parallel universes with no way of being reunited (lest two universes collapse as a result of a paradox). A sobbing Rose told a holographic transmission of the Doctor she loved him, but before he could reply, the transmission cut out, leaving our beloved Time Lord (and most of the audience) with a tear-stained face and two broken hearts all alone in the TARDIS.

bonn-idris-elba-header

Top Notch Support

Get to Know the 2016 Spirit Awards Nominees for Best Male and Female Supporting Leads

Catch the 2016 Spirit Awards live Saturday, Feb. 27th at 5P ET/2P PT on IFC.

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Photo Credit: ©Bleecker Street Media/Courtesy Everett Collection

Whether it’s Michael Shannon’s sociopathic businessman in 99 Homes or Jennifer Jason Leigh giving three dimensions to one of the stop motion characters from Anomalisa, some of the best performances from the past year in film came from supporting roles. Check out highlights from the Spirit Awards nominees for Best Male and Female Supporting Leads below, presented by Jaguar.

Best Supporting Male

Kevin Corrigan, Results
Paul Dano, Love & Mercy
Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
Richard Jenkins, Bone Tomahawk
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes

Watch more Supporting Male Nominee videos here.

Best Supporting Female

Robin Bartlett, H.
Marin Ireland, Glass Chin
Jennifer Jason Leigh, Anomalisa
Cynthia Nixon, James White
Mya Taylor, Tangerine

Watch more Supporting Female Nominee videos here.

Carrie Brownstein on the Late Late Show

Hangin' Tough

Watch Carrie Brownstein Confess Her Love for New Kids on the Block

Portlandia returns this Thursday, January 21st at 10P on IFC.

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CBS / The Late Late Show

You would think that a bonafide rock star like Sleater-Kinney member Carrie Brownstein would despise the pre-packaged, looks-over-music ensembles known as “boy bands.” But the Portlandia star admitted to having an unironic adoration of those teen-sational tunes while visiting with James Corden on the set of The Late Late Show.

When asked about her number one, go-to boy band, she didn’t hesitate with an answer: New Kids on the Block. In fact, Carrie was, in her words, “playing the long game” when it came to choosing which member she’d want to be with, opting not for the prettiest boy but the one the girls didn’t tend to go for.

Which New Kid was Carrie’s fave? You’ll have to watch below to see Carrie Brownstein’s revelatory statements about those plucky New Kids on the Block, as well as bonus clips of Carrie and fellow guests Joel Edgerton and Jane Lynch talking about celebrity guardian angels, officiating fan weddings and more.

Want more Portlandia? Watch a free episode from the new season right now on IFC.com or on the IFC app.

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