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Holiday Preview: A Repertory Calendar

Holiday Preview: A Repertory Calendar (photo)

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Tim Burton invades New York, New Italian Cinema hits Los Angeles, Harold and Kumar spread holiday cheer in Austin and everywhere you look, they’re celebrating All Tomorrow’s Parties — just some of the holiday film fun you can have this winter at your local repertory theater.

More Holiday Preview: [Theatrical Calendar]
[Repertory Calendar] [Anywhere But a Movie Theater]

New York


In November, the 92YTribeca Screening Room will have some special guests in the house when it hosts the already sold out “A Conversation with Wes Anderson and Jason Schwartzman” on November 10th, with the two longtime collaborators discussing their latest film “Fantastic Mr. Fox.” But tickets are still available for the night before (Nov. 9th), when actor Ben Foster and director Oren Moverman will screen their acclaimed new post-war drama “The Messenger”. Much of the rest of the month is devoted to Cinema Tropical’s Ten Years of New Argentine Cinema series with screenings of Adrián Caetano’s immigration drama “Bolivia” and the minimalist comedy “Silvia Prieto” (Nov. 12), and Pablo Trapero’s directorial debut “Mundo Grúa” and Lucretia Martel’s much-praised drama “La Ciénaga” (Nov. 14).

The 92YTribeca will turns things over to the Other Israel Film Festival on November 17th for a screening of the 2009 Karen Yedaya drama “Jaffa”, and then to the New York Public Library on November 18th for a free presentation of New York on Film in the 1970s. Documentarian Judith Helfand will hold court to raise awareness of the coming home experience of female soldiers with a screening of “Lioness” (Nov. 19) and of the distribution of food aid in Swaziland with “The Hunger Season” (Dec. 17). And for some more lighthearted fun, the 92YTribeca will host PFFR Night, where the creators of “Wonder Showzen” will screen plenty of never-before-seen clips in front of an audience encouraged to wear “the best death costumes,” “examine prosthetic demise” with an evening of Kevin Geeks Out About… Dummy Deaths on November 20th, and screen a Thanksgiving double bill of “Clueless” and “Mallrats” (Nov. 27-28).

In December, the cinema space will screen the festival fave pseudo-romantic comedy “Breaking Upwards” (Dec. 4, with director Daryl Wein and star Zoe Lister-Jones in person), Leslie McCleave’s environmentally conscious relationship drama “Road” (Dec. 9, with McCleave in person), and “Beyond Ipanema: Brazilian Waves in Global Music” (Dec. 10).

Ongoing series include the Queer/Art/Film series with Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s 2004 drama “Tropical Malady” (Nov. 5, presented by artist Angela Dufresne) and Sidney Lumet’s little-seen 1966 drama “The Group” (Dec. 3, presented by the New Yorker‘s Hinton Als); “Daily Show” writer Elliott Kalan’s Closely Watched Films, which continues with the Gregory Peck oater “The Gunfighter” (Nov. 4) and Preston Sturges’ “The Miracle of Morgan Creek” (Dec. 2, with special guest “Flight of the Conchords”‘ Kristen Schaal); the Not Coming to a Theater Near You series with Thom Anderson’s epic Hollywood cine-essay “Los Angeles Plays Itself” (Nov. 21) and Dennis Hopper’s curious “Easy Rider” follow-up “The Last Movie” (Dec. 19), and sing-alongs of “Team America: World Police” (Nov. 21, which doubles as a “Swear-Along”) and “This is Spinal Tap” (Dec. 19).

11022009_LittleShopofHorrors.jpgAnthology Film Archives

Though October 31st has passed, the Anthology isn’t letting up on the scares with the continuation of their tribute to B-picture extraordinaire Roger Corman with post-Halloween screenings of “The Wild Angels” (Nov. 5, 8), “A Bucket of Blood” (Nov. 6, 8), “Bloody Mama” (Nov. 3, 7, 8), “The Little Shop of Horrors” (Nov. 3, 8), “The Intruder” (Nov. 4), “X: The Man With the X-Ray Eyes” (Nov. 4, 6, 7), and “The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre” (Nov. 5, 7). Sadly, the Anthology couldn’t get their hands on “The Day the Clown Cried” for their follow-up series, but they have gathered as extensive a retrospective as one could otherwise hope for to chronicle the work of Jerry Lewis, collecting his directorial work from November 12th through 19th, starting with the “The Bellboy” (Nov. 12, 15) and includes others ranging from “Three on a Couch” (Nov. 14, 19) and “The Patsy” (Nov. 14, 17).

Meanwhile, the Anthology’s Essential Cinema series will feature the works of Stan Brakhage (Nov. 7, 8, 21, 22), a program of René Clair, Francis Picabia and Luis Buñuel (Nov. 22), Luis Buñuel’s solo “Los Olvidados” (Dec. 22), the shorts of Robert Breer (Nov. 27), two programs of avant-garde innovator James Broughton (Nov. 28), Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali’s “L’Âge d’Or” (Nov. 28), three programs of Charlie Chaplin shorts (Nov. 29), and the shorts of Joseph Cornell (Dec. 12).

For more experimental fare, the Anthology will present their ongoing their non-fiction Flaherty NYC series with Experiments in Animation (Nov. 9) and “Witness: Selections from Witness’s Human Rights Video Campaigns” (Dec. 14, with a post-screening discussion), in addition to the programs New Visions by Mike Kuchar (Nov. 5, with Kuchar in person); Origins, Influences and Interests: Four Women Filmmakers, which pulls together the work of Abigail Child (Nov. 6), Su Friedrich (Nov. 6), Ericka Beckman (Nov. 7), and Peggy Awesh (Nov. 7); The Polyexpressive Symphony: Futurism on Film, culled from early Italian avant-garde cinema (Nov. 1-22); Beyond the Absurd: Ronald Tavel & Andy Warhol (Dec. 10-17), which includes Warhol’s take on “A Clockwork Orange,” “Vinyl” (Dec. 11 & 14) and “The Chelsea Girls” (Dec. 17), among others; and the Best of AFA, a collection of the films and filmmakers that have been revelations in their past screenings at the Anthology, including the works of painter and filmmaker Alfred Leslie (Dec. 18), a program of selected shorts (Dec. 19, including films from Rip Torn and J. Hoberman), the shorts of James Nares (Dec. 19), the shorts of Beryl Sokoloff (Dec. 20), Jim McBride’s “My Girlfriend’s Wedding” and “Pictures from Life’s Other Side” (Dec. 20), a triple bill of Danny Lyon, Jaime Davidovich and George Stoney (Dec. 21), and Ben Hayeem’s “The Black Banana” (Dec. 22). Also worth a look are evenings with legendary avant-garde filmmaker Michael Snow, who will celebrate his 80th birthday at the Anthology with screenings of “Seated Figures” and “Presents” (Dec. 10), and Tony Pipolo, who will tout his new book “Robert Bresson: A Passion for Film” with a screening of 1962’s “The Trial of Joan of Arc” (Dec. 17-18).


While the Brooklyn-based spot for repertory film goes into hibernation for the winter from December 25 through February 18, they aren’t going quietly with a slate blending old and new that offers a welcome break from the pre-holidays crunch. Currently, BAMcinématek is honoring the 75th anniversary of the New York Film Critics Circle with selections from 1962, the year that the Critics Circle did not present awards thanks to a newspaper strike. During the next week, critics will introduce screenings of the likes of Jerry Lewis’ “The Errand Boy” (Nov. 3, with J. Hoberman), “Shoot the Piano Player” (Nov. 5, with David Fear), and “Cléo From 5 to 7” (Nov. 7, with Dana Stevens), among others. That tribute segues into contemporary series of New French Films (Nov. 11-15), including screenings of François Ozon’s “Ricky” (Nov. 13) and “Shall We Kiss?” director Emmanuel Mouret’s “Please Please Me!” (Nov. 15), and New Czech Films (Nov. 18-22), including the North American premiere of Miloš Forman’s “A Well Paid Walk” (Nov. 18, with Forman in attendance) and the New York premiere of “Divided We Fall” director Jan Hřebejk’s “I’m All Good” (Nov. 22).

The BAMcinématek is also taking advantage of the BAM Harvey Theater’s production of “A Streetcar Named Desire” by hosting a tribute to its director Liv Ullmann (Nov. 24-Dec. 6), showcasing her acting work with screenings of “Shame” (Nov. 24-25), “Persona” (Nov. 26-27), “Hour of the Wolf” (Nov. 28) and “Scenes from a Marriage” (Nov. 29). Other highlights from the winter schedule include a screening of “The Audition” (Nov. 10, with the filmmaker in attendance), Susan Froemke’s 1980 doc about the Metropolitan Opera’s version of “American Idol”; the ongoing Cinemachat with Elliot Stein, where the film historian presents underseen gems like George Cukor and Cyril Gardner’s “The Royal Family of Broadway” (Nov. 23) and Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Weight of Water” (Dec. 2), and an ActNow: New Voices in Black Cinema screening of the Bill Withers doc “Still Bill” (Dec. 1).

BAMcinématek also didn’t need to look far for their major series in December, The Next Director (Dec. 8-17), where Brooklyn-based directors So Yong Kim and Bradley Rust Gray will present their own films including Kim’s “Treeless Mountain” and Gray’s “The Exploding Girl” in addition to inspirations like the Dardennes’ “Rosetta,” Hou Hsaio-Hsien’s “Café Lumiere” and Wong Kar-wai’s “Happy Together.” And for a nice bit of bubbly to close out December, the theater has booked a week-long run of Howard Hawks’ “His Girl Friday” (Dec. 18-24).

11022009_TheRedShoes.jpgFilm Forum

The hallowed arthouse on Houston will set off November with a cinephile’s dream — two-week runs of new 35mm restorations of Powell & Pressburger’s “The Red Shoes” (Nov. 6-19) and Jacques Tati’s “M. Hulot’s Holiday” (Nov. 20-Dec. 3), punctuated by a rare special screening of the 1924 Greta Garbo silent “The Saga of Gösta Berlings” (Nov. 16) and An Evening with Christopher Plummer (Nov. 30). Film Forum will then launch into a series covering the career of “Frankenstein” and “The Invisible Man” director James Whale (Dec. 4-10), showing pre-Code rarities like “Waterloo Bridge” (Dec. 6, with “The Kiss Before the Mirror”) alongside his better known classics like “Bride of Frankenstein” (Dec. 5, with “The Old Dark House”). From December 11th through January 5th, the theater will reflect on the cinematic interpretations of their own hometown with the series Madcap Manhattan, where Martin Scorsese’s “The King of Comedy” (Dec. 22) will mingle with Leo McCarey’s screwball “The Awful Truth” (Dec. 11 & 12, in a pair of new 35mm prints with George Cukor’s “Holiday”) and other favorites and rarities depicting the Big Apple. Finally, the Film Forum will feature a major retrospective of Akira Kurosawa films to celebrate the Japanese auteur’s 100th birthday from January 6th through February 4th. Beginning with a nine-day run of a newly restored 35mm print of “Stray Dog,” the series continues with samurai classics like “Throne of Blood” (Jan. 15) and “Seven Samurai” (Jan. 29-30) and potboilers such as “High and Low” (Jan. 22) and “The Bad Sleep Well” (Jan. 26)

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…


IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.


IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).


IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.


IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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Reality? Check.

Baroness For Life

Baroness von Sketch Show is available for immediate consumption.

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Baroness von Sketch Show is snowballing as people have taken note of its subtle and not-so-subtle skewering of everyday life. The New York Times, W Magazine, and Vogue have heaped on the praise, but IFC had a few more probing questions…

IFC: To varying degrees, your sketches are simply scripted examples of things that actually happen. What makes real life so messed up?

Aurora: Hubris, Ego and Selfish Desires and lack of empathy.

Carolyn: That we’re trapped together in the 3rd Dimension.

Jenn: 1. Other people 2. Other people’s problems 3. Probably something I did.

IFC: A lot of people I know have watched this show and realized, “Dear god, that’s me.” or “Dear god, that’s true.” Why do people have their blinders on?

Aurora: Because most people when you’re in the middle of a situation, you don’t have the perspective to step back and see yourself because you’re caught up in the moment. That’s the job of comedians is to step back and have a self-awareness about these things, not only saying “You’re doing this,” but also, “You’re not the only one doing this.” It’s a delicate balance of making people feel uncomfortable and comforting them at the same time.


IFC: Unlike a lot of popular sketch comedy, your sketches often focus more on group dynamics vs iconic individual characters. Why do you think that is and why is it important?

Meredith: We consider the show to be more based around human dynamics, not so much characters. If anything we’re more attracted to the energy created by people interacting.

Jenn: So much of life is spent trying to work it out with other people, whether it’s at work, at home, trying to commute to work, or even on Facebook it’s pretty hard to escape the group.

IFC: Are there any comedians out there that you feel are just nailing it?

Aurora: I love Key and Peele. I know that their show is done and I’m in denial about it, but they are amazing because there were many times that I would imagine that Keegan Michael Key was in the scene while writing. If I could picture him saying it, I knew it would work. I also kind of have a crush on Jordan Peele and his performance in Big Mouth. Maya Rudolph also just makes everything amazing. Her puberty demon on Big Mouth is flawless. She did an ad for 7th generation tampons that my son, my husband and myself were singing around the house for weeks. If I could even get anything close to her career, I would be happy. I’m also back in love with Rick and Morty. I don’t know if I have a crush on Justin Roiland, I just really love Rick (maybe even more than Morty). I don’t have a crush on Jerry, the dad, but I have a crush on Chris Parnell because he’s so good at being Jerry.



IFC: If you could go back in time and cast yourselves in any sitcom, which would it be and how would it change?

Carolyn: I’d go back in time and cast us in The Partridge Family.  We’d make an excellent family band. We’d have a laugh, break into song and wear ruffled blouses with velvet jackets.  And of course travel to all our gigs on a Mondrian bus. I feel really confident about this choice.

Meredith: Electric Mayhem from The Muppet Show. It wouldn’t change, they were simply perfect, except… maybe a few more vaginas in the band.

Binge the entire first and second seasons of Baroness von Sketch Show now on and the IFC app.

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