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“Lost and Found” Footage and Other Discoveries This Week on DVD

“Lost and Found” Footage and Other Discoveries This Week on DVD (photo)

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“America Lost & Found: The BBS Story” (1968-1972)
Released by Criterion Collection

A set of seven films that’s as diverse and wild as the era in which they were born, Criterion’s reassembly of BBS Studios’ run from 1968 through 1972 boasts influential hits like “Easy Rider,” “Five Easy Pieces” and “King of Marvin Gardens” and obscurities like Jack Nicholson’s directorial debut “Drive, He Said” and Henry Jaglom’s “A Safe Place” that have never been on DVD before. New interviews, vintage documentaries and much more from directors Bob Rafelson, Peter Bogdanovich (whose “Last Picture Show” is also included), Nicholson and the late Dennis Hopper highlight a collection that doubles as a history of when there was a changing of the guard in American cinema.

“Countdown to Zero” (2010)
Directed by Lucy Walker
Released by Magnolia Home Entertainment

This “scareumentary,” as our own Alison Willmore termed it in her review, reunites Participant Media and “An Inconvenient Truth” producer Lawrence Bender to focus on the reemerging threat of nuclear proliferation around the world and features talking heads like Jimmy Carter, Mikhail Gorbachev, Tony Blair, and Pervez Musharraf.

“Cross the Line” (2010)
Directed by Albert J. Allie
Released by Celebrity Video Distribution

According to IMDb, there’s already been a sequel announced for this low-budget crime thriller, so the time is now to catch up with Allie’s cop drama which forces a recently divorced pair of detectives (Allie and Tina Krause) to work one last case together to bring down a drug kingpin.

“Deadland” (2010)
Directed by Damon O’Steen
Released by Phase 4 Films

A staple on the regional festival circuit where it’s picked up awards for best feature at the Nevada and Central Florida Film Festivals, Damon O’Steen’s action film is set during World War III where one survivor (Gary Weeks) searches for his wife following a nuclear apocalypse.

11232010_AliceCreed.jpg“The Disappearance of Alice Creed” (2010)
Directed by J Blakeson
Released by Anchor Bay Entertainment

Former Bond girl Gemma Arterton has been very busy in the past year making the would-be blockbusters “Clash of the Titans” and “Prince of Persia” and the Cannes-bound Stephen Frears flick “Tamara Drewe.” But it was the directorial debut of “The Descent: Part 2” writer J Blakeson that was sheer torture – as the titular Alice Creed, she is kidnapped by two common hoods (“Happy-Go-Lucky” star Eddie Marsan and Martin Compston) who hold her hostage until she attempts to turn the tables. (My review is here.)

“Eat Pray Love” (2010)
Directed by Ryan Murphy
Released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Even if you weren’t one of the millions to pick up Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestselling memoir or are usually resistant to the charms of Julia Roberts, one might consider this travelogue in which Roberts flirts with James Franco and Javier Bardem in foreign locales from India to Italy following the dissolution of her marriage as a vacation from home, given Robert Richardson’s lush cinematography. “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy directs.

“The Expendables” (2010)
Directed by Sylvester Stallone
Released by Lionsgate

After opening on the same day back in August, Sylvester Stallone’s action extravaganza’s rivalry with “Eat Pray Love” continues to the small screen where Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke and even Julia’s brother Eric Roberts will cram into your television set. In his review, Matt Singer called it “the ultimate mid-life crisis movie,” though the therapy here is all done in bullets.

“Fire & Ice: The Dragon Chronicles” (2010)
Directed by Pitof
Released by Entertainment One

Wonder what ever happened to Pitof, the director of “Catwoman”? Well, wonder no more as he directs familiar faces John Rhys-Davies, Amy Acker and Arnold Vosloo in this dragon-filled medieval epic about a kingdom beset by the fiery flying beasts.

“Flipped” (2010)
Directed by Rob Reiner
Released by Warner Home Video

When Rob Reiner’s warmly received ’50s-set coming-of-age story found a cold reception in its limited theatrical release, Warner Brothers quickly pulled it from theaters, meaning that this adaptation of Wendelin Van Draanen’s novel about two eighth graders who fall for each other at different times will just have to be discovered at home.

11232010_GreasersPalace.jpg“Greaser’s Palace” (1972)
Directed by Robert Downey Sr.
Released by Scorpion Entertainment

“Putney Swope” mischief-maker Robert Downey Sr. reinterprets the story of Jesus in this 1972 counterculture oddity.

“Grotesque” (2009)
Directed by Koji Shiraishi
Released by Media Blasters

While Koji Shiraishi’s horror film won’t be seen in England anytime soon, where it was banned, Media Blasters is releasing it here, depicting the story of a couple abducted on their first date and tortured in the basement of a medically trained madman. Castrations and mutilations commence as the couple begs for their lives.

“Harlan: In the Shadow of Jew Süss” (2010)
Directed by Felix Moeller
Released by Zeitgeist Films

The son of famed German helmer Margarethe von Trotta, Felix Moeller presents the family of a far less regarded filmmaker, Veit Harlan, a hired hand of Joseph Goebbels who presided over the incendiary piece of Nazi propaganda, “Jew Süss,” in 1940. In the present day, Moeller checks in on Harlan’s children and grandchildren to see how their patriarch’s legacy as an acquitted war criminal shaped their lives and the nation around them. (Lisa Rosman’s review is here.)

Hide and Go Kill 1 and 2 (2008-2010)
Directed by Tomoya Kainuma (1) and Masafumi Yamada (2)
Released by Cinema Epoch

Cinema Epoch brings this J-horror flick and its sequel to American shores where teenage girls spend their late nights playing a game of hide and seek online that quickly spirals out of control and its contestants start winding up dead.

“If You Could Say It In Words” (2008)
Directed by Nicholas Gray
Released by Vanguard Cinema

A winner of best feature at the Derby City Film Festival in 2008, this romantic drama is set in Philadelphia where a painter with Asperger’s Syndrome attracts the interest of an adrift young woman, both of whom have trouble expressing their feelings.

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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…

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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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GIFs via Giphy

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.

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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.

Jenn: I LOVE ISSA RAE!

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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 IFC.com 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….

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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.

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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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