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Summer Preview: Anywhere But a Movie Theater

Summer Preview: Anywhere But a Movie Theater (photo)

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As our theatrical calendar attests, there will be plenty of reasons to leave the house this summer. But for those times when you’d prefer to stay in, there’s a wide array of American indies, international hits, and exquisite documentaries right at your fingertips on demand, online or on DVD. Here’s what will be coming to your televisions, computer screens, Netflix queues and store shelves from May through July.

On Demand

As always, our sister company IFC Films will release some of the biggest festival favorites from around the world this summer both at theaters and on demand, allowing people to choose what size screen they want to see Johnnie To’s actioner “Vengeance” (May 14), Ken Loach’s soccer drama “Looking for Eric” (May 21), the Cillian Murphy-Brendan Gleeson gangster tale “Perrier’s Bounty” (May 21), Mia Hansen-Løve’s French family drama “The Father of My Children” (May 28), “Bronson” director Nicolas Winding Refn’s Viking epic “Valhalla Rising” (June 4), the doc “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work” (June 11), the incendiary Jessica Alba-Casey Affleck thriller “The Killer Inside Me” (June 18) and Agnès Jaoui’s dramedy “Let It Rain” (June 25). Meanwhile, the Sundance Selects label will premiere “Convention,” AJ Schnack’s documentary about the 2008 Democratic National Convention, on May 12th before a New York run at the IFC Center in June.

Meanwhile, IFC Films will also exclusively debut plenty of international hits via VOD on their Festival Direct label, which will bring home Ryosuke Hashiguchi’s drama “All Around Us” (May 5), the British “shockumentary” “The Possession of David O’Reilly” (May 5), “The Celebration” director Thomas Vinterberg’s latest comedy “When a Man Comes Home” (May 12), the Joshua Jackson road trip drama “One Week” (May 19), and Caroline Link’s follow-up to her Oscar-winning “Nowhere in Africa,” the drama “A Year Ago in Winter” (June 11).

05042010_SurvivaloftheDead.jpgMagnolia Pictures has also scoured the globe for some of the best films around and will deliver five festival favorites to living rooms across the country a month in advance of their release dates in theaters through their Ultra VOD service. Things kick off with George A. Romero’s latest zombie thriller “Survival of the Dead” (May 28), followed by Neil Jordan’s “Ondine” (May 7), starring Colin Farrell as a fisherman who believes he hooks a mermaid in this fairy tale; the claustrophobic Spanish horror flick “[REC] 2” (June 4), the sequel to the film that inspired the American horror hit “Quarantine”; “The Extra Man” (June 25), the new comedy from “American Splendor” directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini starring Paul Dano and Kevin Kline; and “Centurion” (July 23), a Roman action epic from “The Descent” director Neil Marshall starring Michael Fassbender and Dominic West, arriving on VOD well before its August 27th release in theaters.

Finally, there’s a new kid on the block with Red Flag Releasing, which will be putting out the Sundance-selected doc “8: The Mormon Proposition,” about the religious group’s influence on the California referendum on same-sex marriages in 2008 (narrated by “Milk” screenwriter Dustin Lance Black), on VOD day-and-date with its release in theaters.

05042010_Pelada.jpgThose folks at Cinetic FilmBuff are no fools — just in time for World Cup season, they picked up the rights to the soccer doc “Pelada,” which will debut on VOD on June 7th before being released online through iTunes and Amazon on Demand. Seen through the eyes of two college players who didn’t make the pros, the film won raves at SXSW, Sarasota and IFF Boston for its look at the sport’s impact throughout the world. It won’t be the only sports-themed doc that Cinetic will be releasing this summer — tennis fans should take note of “Unstrung,” a film about seven junior tennis players trying to make it to the next level, which will be released via iTunes and Amazon VOD in June, and Richard Linklater’s ode to University of Texas baseball coach Augie Garrido, “Inning by Inning: Portrait of a Coach,” that will arrive on Hulu in July.

Other exciting FilmBuff titles include “Icons Among Us,” Michael Rivoira’s thorough history of contemporary jazz featuring interviews with everyone from Herbie Hancock to Terence Blanchard to Medeski, Martin and Wood, that will debut on iTunes day-and-date with its DVD release on May 11th, followed by a cable VOD run in June before July, which will give way to the VOD debut of Aleksandr Sokurov’s “The Sun” and the iTunes debut of Wong Kar-wai’s “Fallen Angels” and “Happy Together.” For further updates, you can follow them on Twitter.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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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.