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Your Winter Indie Film Preview

Your Winter Indie Film Preview (photo)

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There’s always the temptation to stay inside during the winter, made even more compelling by the wide array of films you can watch at home. But that would be ignoring the 89 reasons why the only place more inviting than a couch near the fireplace is a seat at your local arthouse where the options range from the ancient Roman war epic “The Eagle” with Channing Tatum and Jamie Bell to the fantastical Palme d’Or-winning elegy “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives” from Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Many awards contenders will expand across the country while those sick of such serious fare can fall back on revenge-themed thrillers with Jason Statham, Nicolas Cage or the deadly Korean twosome of “The Housemaid” and “I Saw the Devil,” the action stylings of Donnie Yen (“IP Man 2”) and Tony Jaa (“Ong Bak 3”), or the comedies of John C. Reilly and Ed Helms (“Cedar Rapids”) and Paul Giamatti (“Barney’s Version” and “Win Win”). Likewise, if you don’t have a ticket to Sundance later this month, rest assured, you’ll finally get to see a few of last year’s hits (Josh Radnor’s “Happythankyoumoreplease”) along with this year’s (Gregg Araki’s “Kaboom”). All in all, it’s a surprisingly exciting time at the movies for this time of year and this is your guide to the indie films coming your way soon.

January: Week of the 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th

February: Week of the 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th

March: Week of the 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th


January 7th

“Americatown” (IMDb, Facebook, Twitter, trailer)
The Cast: Jonathan Guggenheim, Cory Howard, Jon Stafford, Barbara Weetman, Tiffany Salter
Director: Kenneth Price
The Gist: The reRun Gastropub Theater in Brooklyn will host this surreal comedy starring Upright Citizens Brigade-bred stars Guggenheim and Howard (a.k.a. Superkiiids!) as denizens of a surreal township that has compressed all of America into a home of just 1000 citizens besieged by a skunk ape and prone to spilled coffee and crazy legs. A rare low-budget film that wasn’t considered by its makers to be “film festival-friendly,” it hopes to find a home itself in Dumbo.


“Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune” (IMDb, Facebook, trailer, screening schedule)
Director: Kenneth Bowser
Fest Cred: Woodstock
The Gist: After chronicling important moments in television (“Live from New York: The First 5 Years of Saturday Night Live”) and film (“Easy Riders, Raging Bulls”), Bowser’s latest documentary is a biography of folk singer Phil Ochs, the ’60s troubadour whose sharply penned songs about Vietnam and political apathy not only inspired activism during the era, but became an influence for musicians ranging from Ani DiFranco to Pearl Jam, who have kept his spirit alive through cover versions long after his death at the young age of 35. Sean Penn, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez and Christopher Hitchens are just a few of those interviewed for the film. Opens Wednesday, January 5th in New York.


“If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle” (IMDb, trailer)
The Cast: George Piştereanu, Ada Condeescu, Mihai Constantin, Clara Voda
Director: Florin Şerban
Fest Cred: Berlinale, Edinburgh, Warsaw, Thessaloniki, Telluride
The Gist: Winner of a Jury Grand Prize at Berlinale, this Romanian drama co-written by “How I Celebrated the End of the World” director Catalin Mitulescu tells the story of an imprisoned teen who waits out the final five days of his sentence at a reform school while his estranged mother returns home to reclaim his younger brother who he’s taken care of in her absence. At least he has the distraction of a young social worker who he hopes to run off with upon his release.


“Season of the Witch” (IMDb, Facebook, Twitter, trailer)
The Cast: Nicolas Cage, Ron Perlman, Stephen Campbell Moore, Ulrich Thomsen, Christopher Lee
Director: Dominic Sena
The Gist: Since we’re glass half-full kind of people around here at IFC.com, we take it as a good sign that Relativity had so much faith in Nicolas Cage’s Crusades-set epic that they were willing to buy it back from original distributor Lionsgate after several shuttered release dates. Then again, the first week of January isn’t always the greatest show of confidence. Either way, it’s Cage and Ron Perlman suiting up as knights assigned to escort a young girl they believe to have supernatural powers to a monastery to perform an exorcism to protect their homeland.


“The Time That Remains” (IMDb, trailer)
The Cast: Elia Suleiman, Ali Suliman, Saleh Bakri, Amer Hlehel
Director: Elia Suleiman
Fest Cred: Cannes, Toronto, Athens, London, Vancouver, Tokyo
The Gist: Israeli director Suleiman (“Divine Intervention”) uses the founding of the state of Israel as the basis for this seriocomic reflection on his own coming of age, with a series of vignettes spanning from the settlement of 1948 through the present day. Opens at the IFC Center in New York on January 5th.

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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.

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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…

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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.

via GIPHY

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.

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