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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.

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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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