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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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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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IFC: How would you describe Janice and Jeffrey to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

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

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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