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2010 Holiday Movie Guide – Screenings

2010 Holiday Movie Guide – Screenings (photo)

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The 2010 Holiday Movie Guide. What's showing when, where and how.

The 2010 IFC Holiday Film Guide

Although the holiday season means time off work for most other industries in the U.S., it means it’s awards season for the film business, which in turn necessitates plenty of tributes and accolades to be presented on the East and West Coasts at your local repertory theater in advance of the Oscars where movie stars can be seen and Q & As are conducted. Yet in New York and Los Angeles, there will be a wealth of other options as neighborhood theaters flood their screens with contemporary cinema from other parts of the world, classic movies in their full bigscreen glory, and certain-to-be-fun nods to the holidays, whether it’s Halloween or Christmas. If you live in one of these areas or see fit to travel, these are the events worth the trouble over the next few months.

by Stephen Saito

From coast to coast, these are the one-night only events, career retrospectives and films that can only truly be appreciated on the big screen worthy of celebrations unto themselves this holiday season.



Screenings in Los Angeles

Donnie Darko, Newmarket Films, 2001

“Donnie Darko,” Newmarket Films, 2001

The Aero Theatre

For perhaps the most surreal experience you will find in this season’s holiday preview, one should head over to the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica on October 27th for a screening of “Donnie Darko” where writer/director Richard Kelly will be doing a live commentary for an audience sitting in the very same place Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone and Frank the Bunny sat nearly a decade ago. It is only midway through a super cool week at the theater that will see animator Bill Plympton present his latest “Idiots and Angels” (Oct. 28), a pre-Halloween screening of 1980’s horror flick “The Changeling” (Oct. 29, with director Peter Medak in person), the 5th Annual Dusk-to-Dawn Horrorthon (Oct. 30) and “The Monster Squad” on Halloween night.

The Aero will also get in the thick of this year’s Oscar race with in-person tributes to Robert Duvall (Oct. 26, with a double feature of “Get Low” and “Tomorrow”), Mark Ruffalo (Nov. 5, with “The Kids Are All Right” and his still-undistributed directorial debut “Sympathy for Delicious”), Pierce Brosnan (Nov. 20, with “The Ghost Writer” and “The Matador”) and a special screening of “The Social Network” with Aaron Sorkin, among others to be announced on November 21st. They will also honor the late, great Arthur Penn on November 19th with two of his lesser seen films “Mickey One” and “Night Moves,” and Sid & Marty Kroft with a screening of “Pufnstuf” (Nov. 20), followed by a discussion with “Attack of the Show”‘s Olivia Munn.

However, the Aero will also be the place for L.A. premieres in November, including Edward Burns’ “Nice Guy Johnny” (Nov. 2nd, with the actor in person), the Malcolm McDowell thriller “Pound of Flesh” (Nov. 6th, where McDowell will appear in person with Timothy Bottoms and director Tamar Hoffs), “With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story” (Nov. 7, with the documentary’s crew in person), Henry Jaglom’s “Queen of the Lot” (Nov. 15, with Jaglom in person), the Belgian thriller “Illegal” (Nov. 17), and Soviet-era doc “The Desert of Forbidden Art” (Nov. 18). But the bulk of premieres will be reserved for the Aero’s two major series from abroad this holiday season: New German Cinema, which starts this week with Sönke Wortmann’s “Pope Joan,” starring John Goodman and David Wenham (Oct. 22), as well as Germany’s Oscar submission “When We Leave,” “The Woman With 5 Elephants” and “Vincent Wants to Sea” (Oct. 24); and the survey of contemporary Italian film that is Cinema Italian Style (Nov. 10-14) that includes the U.S. premieres of “The Pursuit of Happyness” director Gabriele Muccino’s “Kiss Me Again,” Daniele Luchetti’s “Our Life,” John Turturro’s “Passion” and more.

There will also be many opportunities to revisit the classics, including some that have been revisited from their original form, such as a special screening of Gillo Pontecorvo’s “Burn!” (Nov. 4, with screenwriter Larry Karaszewski) in its original uncut European form. Other repertory highlights include “Singin’ in the Rain” (Nov. 26), “It Happened One Night” and “My Man Godfrey” (Nov. 27) and “The Wizard of Oz” (Nov. 28), followed by “Return to Oz” with a Q & A to follow between “A History of Violence” screenwriter Josh Olson and director and sound designing legend Walter Murch.

The Cinefamily

The Fairfax theater is wasting no time with interesting programming, bringing “The Room”‘s Tommy Wiseau to headline “The Diabolical Dr. Cinefamily’s Horrifying Anthology Of Horror Anthologies” this Friday, October 22nd with his short “The House That Dripped Blood on Alex.” It’s only the start of the mischief the Cinefamily will up to during the lead up to Halloween where they will present a double bill of Doris Wishman’s “A Night to Dismember” and 1988’s “Don’t Panic” (Oct. 23), a Comedy Death-Ray screening of “The Blob” remake (with Brian Posehn, Oct. 25), Doug Benson’s Movie Interruptions screening of the killer ape flick “Link” (Oct. 27), Cinefamily’s 100 Most Outrageous Kills (Oct. 29), a Heavy Metal Halloween Party & Fundraiser (Oct. 30), and a double feature of William Castle’s “House on Haunted Hill” and “The Tingler” on Halloween night. (And they’re sparing no expense – the seats will be wired as Mr. Castle always wanted.)

November brings special guests to Cinefamily, chief among them animator Bill Plympton with a collection of shorts on November 1st, Helen Slater with “The Legend of Billy Jean” (Nov. 6), a rare screening of Radley Metzger’s uncut erotic drama “Score” (Nov. 7, with the director and actress Lynn Lowry in person), and a sneak preview of the Jim Carrey comedy “I Love You Phillip Morris” (Nov. 28) with writer/directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa in person. The rest of the month will be dominated by the Friday series Neon Noir, a run of double bills of ’80s suspense films like “The Driver” and “Thief” (Nov. 5), “American Gigolo” and “Breathless” (Nov. 12), “52 Pick-Up” and “Body Double” (Nov. 19), as well as screenings of William Eggleston’s “Stranded in Canton” (Nov. 2), the 1920 silent “The Devil’s Claim” (Nov. 3), an evening of Roman Polanski shorts (Nov. 9, with live musical accompaniment from Sza/Za), the L.A. premiere of Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire’s children’s war film “Johnny Mad Dog” (Nov. 13), puppeteer and artist Wayne White’s one-man show “You’re Supposed to All Act Impressed” (Nov. 16), the restored “Metropolis” (Nov. 17), the doc “The Invention of Dr. Nakamats” (Nov. 18), and the two-day “Destroy All Movies” punk film fest hosted by the Alamo Drafthouse’s Zack Carlson and Bryan Connolly on November 20th and 21st. The Cinefamily will also hold screenings of Sylvain Chomet’s “The Illusionist” (Dec. 7), Josh Fox’s doc “Gasland” (Dec. 9) and in an event sure to sell out soon, the “Party Down” Memorial Service with co-creators John Enborn and Dan Etheridge in person to mourn the much beloved Hollywood catering comedy that was canceled by Starz earlier this year.

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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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G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

E.Coli High is in your gut and on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Brothers-in-law Kevin Barker and Ben Miller have just made the mother of all Comedy Crib series, in the sense that their Comedy Crib series is a big deal and features a hot mom. Animated, funny, and full of horrible bacteria, the series juxtaposes timeless teen dilemmas and gut-busting GI infections to create a bite-sized narrative that’s both sketchy and captivating. The two sat down, possibly in the same house, to answer some questions for us about the series. Let’s dig in….


IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

BEN: Hi ummm uhh hi ok well its like umm (gets really nervous and blows it)…

KB: It’s like the Super Bowl meets the Oscars.

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

BEN: Oh wow, she’s really cute isn’t she? I’d definitely blow that too.

KB: It’s a cartoon that is happening inside your stomach RIGHT NOW, that’s why you feel like you need to throw up.

IFC: What was the genesis of E.Coli High?

KB: I had the idea for years, and when Ben (my brother-in-law, who is a special needs teacher in Philly) began drawing hilarious comics, I recruited him to design characters, animate the series, and do some writing. I’m glad I did, because Ben rules!

BEN: Kevin told me about it in a park and I was like yeah that’s a pretty good idea, but I was just being nice. I thought it was dumb at the time.


IFC: What makes going to proms and dating moms such timeless and oddly-relatable subject matter?

BEN: Since the dawn of time everyone has had at least one friend with a hot mom. It is physically impossible to not at least make a comment about that hot mom.

KB: Who among us hasn’t dated their friend’s mom and levitated tables at a prom?

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

BEN: There’s a lot of content now. I don’t think anyone will even notice, but it’d be cool if they did.

KB: A show about talking food poisoning bacteria is basically the same as just watching the news these days TBH.

Watch E.Coli High below and discover more NYTVF selections from years past on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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