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.


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…


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.


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 ’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?”


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).



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.


And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.


Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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GIFs via Giffy

In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.


Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.


Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!



Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.


Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.


If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.