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2010 Holiday Movie Guide – Theaters

2010 Holiday Movie Guide – Theaters (photo)

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

The 2010 IFC Holiday Film Guide

Good things come to those who wait and for those who feel as though they’ve suffered through a year of largely uninspired films up to now will likely breathe a sigh of relief at the sound of names like Darren Aronofsky, Sofia Coppola and Peter Weir. ‘Tis the season for Jim Carrey to take a pay cut to star in a gay romance like “I Love You Phillip Morris” or Javier Bardem is whispering sweet nothings to spirits in Alejandro Gonzalez Inarittu’s “Biutiful” rather than Julia Roberts.

There is the naughty — Kristen Stewart stripping in “Welcome to the Rileys,” the would-be terrorists of the Brit comedy “Four Lions,” or the evil Santa in “Rare Exports” — and the nice — the tap-dancing lovers in “Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench,” the glory of James Franco’s daredevil surviving “127 Hours” and Colin Firth’s verbally-challenged royal conquering his stutter in “The King’s Speech.” Needless to say, there’s a little bit of something for everyone this holiday season and we’ve got the complete guide to the gifts waiting to be unwrapped at your local theater after the wrapping paper at home has hit the floor.

by Stephen Saito

Week by week, a guide to the festival faves, genre gems, foreign films and documentaries that offer a welcome alternative to what’s at your local multiplex.


WEEK OF:  17-23  |  24-31


WEEK OF:  1-6  |  7-13  |  14-20  |  21-27  |  28-30


WEEK OF:  1-4  |  5-11  |  12-18  |  19-25  |  26-31

In theaters the week ending October 23

A scene of Grant Park in 11/4/08, Alex Sherman, 2008

A scene of Grant Park in “11/4/08,” Alex Sherman, 2008


(IMDb, trailer, Facebook, screening schedule)

DIRECTOR: Jeff Deutchman
FEST CRED: SXSW, Sarasota, Traverse City, Indianapolis
THE GIST: In anticipation of this fall’s midterm elections, it is only fitting that this “participatory documentary” that was culled together from the footage of amateurs and professional filmmakers from across America and around the world (including “Catfish” co-director Henry Joost and “The Order of Myths”‘ Margaret Brown) over the course of the day Barack Obama was elected president in 2008 will hit theaters in a one-night event on October 20th before being made available on demand two days later. As I wrote during its premiere at SXSW last spring, it’s a crowdsourced depiction of election day that “deals in emotions as opposed to narrative, and in the idea that moviemaking can be a social collective rather than an exercise in the auteur theory.”

“Bear City”

(IMDb, trailer, Facebook, screening schedule)

THE CAST: Joe Conti, Stephen Guarino, Brian Keane, Gregory Gunter, Sebastian Le Cause, Alex Di Dio, James Martinez
DIRECTOR: Douglas Langway
FEST CRED: Outfest, Frameline, Oslo, Q-Fest, Newfest
THE GIST: For a comedic history of the gay male fetish towards the large and hirsuite, see Malcolm Ingram’s doc “Bear Nation.” But for a comedy about the bears, look no further than Langway’s film about a weeklong convention of bears in New York where a thin, young and largely hairless man looks for love among a community where he’s not an easy fit.

“Boxing Gym”

(IMDb, trailer)

DIRECTOR: Frederick Wiseman
FEST CRED: Cannes, Toronto, New York
THE GIST: New Yorkers have had a year-long exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art to enjoy the 36-film career of venerable documentarian Wiseman who shows no signs of stopping with his latest, a peek inside Lord’s Boxing Gym in Austin, Tex. as an eclectic group of pugilists, including lawyers, doctors and grad students of varying age, race and class, train. And New Yorkers should be aware that the night before “Boxing Gym” starts its run at the IFC Center on October 21st, the legendary director will be onhand to present a special screening of the Marx brothers’ “Duck Soup,” of all things.


(IMDb, trailer)

THE CAST: Dermot Mulroney, Diane Kruger, Sam Shepard, Vincent Perez, Rosanna Arquette, Jordi Molla
DIRECTOR: Baltasar Kormákur
FEST CRED: Woodstock, Hamptons
THE GIST: Bursting out of Iceland with respected romances “101 Reykjavík” and “The Sea” at the turn of the century, Kormákur’s English-language debut, the little seen Julia Stiles-Jeremy Renner drama “A Little Trip to Heaven,” slowed down the director slightly and led to a return to his home country and the much-awarded 2006 thriller “Jar City.” Now, he’s back in the States with this thriller about a district attorney (Mulroney) and his wife (Kruger) who are forced to come to terms with their ethics when faced with finding a lung donor for their young daughter and discovering the most viable solution may be turning to a surgeon who performs illegal transplants in Mexico.


(IMDb, trailer, Facebook, Twitter)

THE CAST: Jonathan Jackson, Beau Garrett, Nick Stahl, Alona Tai, Robert Forster
THE GIST: Boy, Nick Stahl gets himself into some sticky situations, as he will later on this winter in “Meskada,” but first in this thriller where he stars as Billy, who returns home after suffering a bad breakup and hopes to take comfort with close friends from the past. Unfortunately for him, his best bud Stanley (Jackson) has demonstrated increasingly erratic behavior as he becomes obsessed with a local girl who turns up missing, leading Billy to put his friend’s troubles before his own as things dangerously spiral out of control.


(IMDb, trailer, Facebook, screening schedule)

THE CAST: Paul “Big Show” Wight, Dennis Farina, Melora Hardin, Mark Feuerstein, Will Patton, Bobb’e J. Thompson, Rebecca Creskoff
DIRECTOR: Michael W. Watkins
THE GIST: Like so many WWE live events, this comedy starring the wrestler Big Show will be but a two-night event in Peoria, Miami, Bloomington (MN), Southlake (TX), and New York and Los Angeles on October 23rd and 24th, but like the John Cena drama “Legendary” earlier this year, it marks a step away from the action films that defined WWE’s early years in the film business. Here, the Big Show plays a dim bulb orphan named Walter who is coaxed into competing in a mixed martial arts event by a conman (Feuerstein) who promises him that the money will go to saving his orphanage, though fortunately a nun (“The Office”‘s Hardin) is onhand as Walter’s chaperone to keep things on the up and up.

“Punching the Clown”

(IMDb, trailer, Facebook)

THE CAST: Henry Phillips, Ellen Ratner, Matthew Walker, Audrey Siegel, Derek Waters, Guilford Adams
DIRECTOR: Gregori Viens
FEST CRED: Slamdance, Sonoma, Vancouver, Austin
THE GIST: The winner of the audience award at last year’s Slamdance Film Festival, Viens’ second feature was inspired by a documentary he made in 1997 about the real-life musician Henry Phillips and has the troubadour, known for his bitingly satiric lyrics, play himself as he hits a career crossroads and winds up in Los Angeles where he lands a record deal, but also finds a girl he’s interested in and a brother he’d like to be closer with, leaving him with some hard decisions to make. The film will open at New York’s Quad Cinema.

“Rising Stars”

(IMDb, trailer, Facebook)

THE CAST: Kyle Riabko, Lauren Ashley Carter, Fisher Stevens, Barry Corbin, Rebecca St. James, Jessie Payo
DIRECTOR: Daniel Millican
THE GIST: It’s a good old fashioned battle of the bands in this high school-set comedy about a competition between three film students who team up with three musical acts to create the best music video. (The film will open in limited release in Tulsa, Nashville and Grand Rapids.)

“The Taqwacores”

(IMDb, Facebook, Twitter, trailer)

THE CAST: Noureen DeWulf, Dominic Rains, Rasika Mathur, Tony Yalda, Anne Marie Leighton
DIRECTOR: Eyad Zahra
FEST CRED: Sundance, SXSW, London
THE GIST: Said to be a “‘Catcher in the Rye’ for young Muslims,” Michael Muhammad Knight’s novel about the Islamic punk rock scene already inspired the Omar Majeed documentary “Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam,” and now serves as the basis for Zahra’s feature debut about a Pakistani college student (Rains) who falls in with a group of Koran-reading punk rockers in Buffalo.

“Ticked-Off Trannies With Knives”

(IMDb, trailer, Facebook, Twitter)

THE CAST: Krystal Summers, Erica Andrews, Jenna Skyy, Kelexis Davenport, Willam Belli
FEST CRED: Tribeca, Seattle, QFest, aGLIFF
THE GIST: The film GLAAD doesn’t want you to see! Which would’ve probably been the tagline for this exploitation flick had it come out during the era it parodies and was in fact the headline last spring when the gay and lesbian organization tried to have it pulled during this year’s Tribeca Film Festival for its premise of a group of transgenders who are savagely beaten and return from the brink of death to take vengeance on their attackers. The film’s cast and crew disagreed and one suspects its intended audience will side with them by enjoying the campy nature of this bloody revenge comedy.


Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.


Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…


A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

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.