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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

92YTribeca

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).

11022009_ShootThePianoPlayer.jpgBAMcinématek

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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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

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

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.

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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.