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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.

OCTOBER

WEEK OF:  17-23  |  24-31

NOVEMBER

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

DECEMBER

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

“11/4/08”

(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.

“Inhale”

(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.

“Kalamity”

(IMDb, trailer, Facebook, Twitter)

THE CAST: Jonathan Jackson, Beau Garrett, Nick Stahl, Alona Tai, Robert Forster
WRITER/DIRECTOR: James M. Hausler
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.

“Knucklehead”

(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
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Israel Luna
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.

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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

JaniceAndJeffrey_106_MPX-1920x1080

IFC: How would you describe Janice and Jeffrey to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

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

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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