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Fall Indie Film Preview

Fall Indie Film Preview (photo)

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September 4th

Extract

“Extract”

The Cast: Jason Bateman, Ben Affleck, Mila Kunis, Kristen Wiig, Clifton Collins Jr., Dustin Milligan, Gene Simmons
Writer/Director: Mike Judge
The Gist: Away from the confines of 20th Century Fox, who all but abandoned his first live-action film and buried his second, Judge looks to be finally getting the treatment he deserves on this comedy about the manager of a food extract company (Bateman) who is threatened with a lawsuit from one of his employees (Collins) after he loses one of his testicles to a freak bottling plant accident. Kunis co-stars as a grifter who befriends the employee and Affleck plays Bateman’s dim-witted pal.

“American Casino”
Director: Leslie Cockburn
Fest Cred: Tribeca
The Gist: In a doc that couldn’t be any more timely, Cockburn examines the subprime mortgage crisis from the perspectives of both the bankers who lent the money and made a killing to the borrowers who found themselves with foreclosed homes in a scheme that Cockburn suggests was racially motivated.

“Amreeka”
The Cast: Nisreen Faour, Melkar Muallem, Hiam Abbass, Alia Shawkat, Jenna Kawar
Writer/Director: Cherien Dabis
Fest Cred: Sundance, Seattle, Cannes, Los Angeles
The Gist: Dabis’ debut dramedy has been racking up praise and awards including the Cannes Director’s Fortnight FIPRESCI Prize since debuting at this year’s Sundance, telling the semi-autobiographical story of a Palestinean single mother (Faour) who is granted a U.S. green card and sets out to start a new life for her and her son (Muallem) in Illinois, though that goal is complicated by the start of the Iraq war.

“Carriers”
The Cast: Chris Pine, Lou Taylor Pucci, Piper Perabo, Christopher Meloni, Emily VanCamp
Director: Àlex Pastor and David Pastor
The Gist: Funny how a summer blockbuster can change things. The late Paramount Vantage has dusted off this horror thriller made in ’07 about “four young, attractive people” (the studio’s description, not mine) — including the newly minted Cpt. Kirk, Chris Pine — who attempt to find a safe haven in the midst of a global epidemic of a mysterious and lethal virus.

“Liverpool”
The Cast: Juan Fernandez, Giselle Irrazabal, Nieves Cabrera
Director: Lisandro Alonso
Fest Cred: Cannes, Toronto, Rio de Janeiro, AFI, Thessaloniki
The Gist: Argentinean helmer Alonso didn’t have too many distractions to contend with when he pulled into Tierra del Fuego, the setting for his spare, atmospheric drama about a boat worker journeying along the barren island to visit his mother.

“Tickling Leo”
The Cast: Eli Wallach, Lawrence Pressman, Daniel Sauli, Annie Parisse, Ronald Guttman, Victoria Clark
Writer/Director: Jeremy Davidson
Fest Cred: Stony Brook
The Gist: Mary Stuart Masterson, whose own directorial debut “The Cake Eaters” came out earlier this year, lends a helping hand as a producer on her husband Davidson’s first film that finds Wallach playing a survivor of the “Kastner train” exchange, in which the leader of a Jewish organization struck a deal for a group of Jews to be spared from being transported to the concentration camp at Auschwitz, only to be assassinated years later, coming to terms with his family’s ties to that event 50 years later. New Yorkers can look for it at the Quad Cinema, but Cinetic will also release the film online.

“Unmade Beds”
The Cast: Fernando Tielve, Déborah François, Michiel Huisman, Iddo Goldberg
Director: Alexis Dos Santos
Fest Cred: Sundance, Rotterdam, Berlinale, San Francisco
The Gist: Threesomes, crazy costumes and wild parties are just a part of the sophomore feature from Dos Santos, which follows Axl (Tielve) and Vera (François), two young, foreign-born bohemians in London as the former pursues his long-estranged father and the latter attempts to forget her recent heartbreak.

Continue to September 11th »

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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.