DID YOU READ

Abel Ferrara’s “4:44: Last Day on Earth” stirs up NYC crowds

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Abel Ferrara (“Bad Lieutenant”) is nothing if not provocative, and he looks to carry on that sentiment with “4:44: Last Day on Earth.” As its subtitle suggests, it’s about the last day of mankind’s existence on this rotten planet, and everything that entails from a sociological perspective. Some folks are going batshit crazy holding out hope for a reprieve while others, like Willem Dafoe and Shanyn Leigh, prefer to ride out the Armageddon together, having accepted their deadly fate.

Curious how audiences would respond to the film, our friends at IFC Films sent a camera over to New York City’s Museum of the Moving Image earlier this week where a screening had just concluded. The resulting video is below for your viewing; “4:44: Last Day on Earth” arrives in theaters today in limited release.

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Do you plan on checking out “4:44″? Let us know in the comments below.

Underworld

Under Your Spell

10 Otherworldly Romances That’ll Melt Your Heart

Spend Valentine's Day weekend with IFC's Underworld movie marathon.

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Photo Credit: Screen Gems/courtesy Everett Collection

Romance takes many forms, and that is especially true when you have a thirst for blood or laser beams coming out of your eyes.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a werewolf, a superhero, a clone, a time-traveler, or a vampire, love is the one thing that infects us all.  Read on to find out why Romeo and Juliet have nothing on these supernatural star-crossed lovers, and be sure to catch IFC’s Underworld movie marathon this Valentine’s Day weekend.

1. Cyclops/Jean Grey/Wolverine, X-Men series

The X-Men franchise is rife with romance, but the steamiest “ménage à mutant” may just be the one between Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), Cyclops (James Marsden), and Wolverine (Hugh Jackman). Their triangle is a complicated one as Jean finds herself torn between the two very different men while also trying to control her darker side, the Phoenix. This leads to Jean killing Cyclops and eventually getting stabbed through her heart by Wolverine in X-Men: The Last Stand. Yikes!  Maybe they should change the name to Ex-Men instead?


2. Willow/Tara, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Joss Whedon gave audiences some great romances on Buffy the Vampire Slayer — including the central triangle of Buffy, Angel, and Spike — but it was the love between witches Willow (Alyson Hannigan) and Tara (Amber Benson) that broke new ground for its sensitive and nuanced portrayal of a LGBT relationship.

Willow is smart and confident and isn’t even sure of her sexuality when she first meets Tara at college in a Wiccan campus group. As the two begin experimenting with spells, they realize they’re also falling for one another and become the show’s most enduring, happy couple. At least until Tara’s death in season six, a moment that still brings on the feels.


3. Selene/Michael, Underworld series

The Twilight gang pales in comparison (both literally and metaphorically) to the Lycans and Vampires of the stylish Underworld franchise. If you’re looking for an epic vampire/werewolf romance set amidst an epic vampire/werewolf war, Underworld handily delivers in the form of leather catsuited Selene (Kate Beckinsale) and shaggy blonde hunk Michael (a post-Felicity Scott Speedman). As they work together to stop the Vampire/Lycan war, they give into their passions while also kicking butt in skintight leather. Love at first bite indeed.


4. Spider-man/Mary Jane Watson, Spider-man

After rushing to the aid of beautiful girl-next-door Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), the Amazing Spider-man is rewarded with an upside-down kiss that is still one of the most romantic moments in comic book movie history. For Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), the shy, lovable dork beneath the mask, his rain-soaked makeout session is the culmination of years of unrequited love and one very powerful spider bite. As the films progress, Peter tries pushing MJ away in an attempt to protect her from his enemies, but their web of love is just too powerful. And you know, with great power, comes great responsibility.


5. Molly/Sam, Ghost

When it comes to supernatural romance, you really can’t beat Molly and Sam from the 1990 hit film Ghost. Demi Moore goes crazy for Swayze like the rest of us, and the pair make pottery sexier than it’s ever been.

When Sam is murdered, he’s forced to communicate through con artist turned real psychic, Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg in her Academy Award-winning role) to warn Molly she is still in danger from his co-worker, Carl (a pre-Scandal Tony Goldwyn). Molly doesn’t believe Oda is telling the truth, so Sam proves it by sliding a penny up the wall and then possessing Oda so he and Molly can share one last romantic dance together (but not the dirty kind). We’d pay a penny for a dance with Patrick Swayze ANY day.


6. Cosima/Delphine, Orphan Black

It stands to reason there would be at least one complicated romance on a show about clones, and none more complicated than the one between clone Cosima (Tatiana Maslany) and Dr. Delphine Cormier (Evelyne Brochu) on BBC America’s hit drama Orphan Black.

Cosima is a PhD student focusing on evolutionary developmental biology at the University of Minnesota when she meets Delphine, a research associate from the nefarious Dyad Institute, posing as a fellow immunology student. The two fall in love, but their happiness is brief once Dyad and the other members of Clone Club get involved. Here’s hoping Cosima finds love in season four of Orphan Black. Girlfriend could use a break.


7. Aragorn/Arwen, Lord of the Rings

On a picturesque bridge in Rivendell amidst some stellar mood-lighting and dreamy Elvish language with English subtitles for us non-Middle Earthlings, Arwen (Liv Tyler) and Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) bind their souls to one another, pledging to love each other no matter what befalls them.

Their courtship is a matter of contention with Arwen’s father, Elrond (Hugo Weaving), who doesn’t wish to see his daughter suffer over Aragorn’s future death. The two marry after the conclusion of the War of the Ring, with Aragorn assuming his throne as King of Gondor, and Arwen forgoing her immortality to become his Queen. Is it too much to assume they asked Frodo to be their wedding ring-bearer?


8. Lafayette/Jesus, True Blood

True Blood quickly became the go-to show for supernatural sex scenes featuring future Magic Mike strippers (Joe Manganiello) and pale Nordic men with washboard abs (Hi Alexander Skarsgård!), but honestly, there was a little something for everyone, including fan favorite Bon Temps medium, Lafayette Reynolds (Nelsan Ellis).

In season three, Lafayette met his mother’s nurse, Jesus, and the two began a relationship. As they spend more time together and start doing V (short for Vampire Blood), they learn Jesus is descended from a long line of witches and that Lafayette himself has magical abilities. However, supernatural love is anything but simple, and after the pair join a coven, Lafayette becomes possessed by the dead spirit of its former leader. This relationship certainly puts a whole new spin on possessive love.


9. Nymphadora Tonks/Remus Lupin, Harry Potter series

There are lots of sad characters in the Harry Potter series, but Remus Lupin ranks among the saddest. He was bitten by a werewolf as a child, his best friend was murdered and his other best friend was wrongly imprisoned in Azkaban for it, then THAT best friend was killed by a Death Eater at the Ministry of Magic as Remus looked on. So when Lupin unexpectedly found himself in love with badass Auror and Metamorphmagus Nymphadora Tonks (she prefers to be called by her surname ONLY, thank you very much), pretty much everyone, including Lupin himself, was both elated and cautiously hopeful about their romance and eventual marriage.

Sadly, the pair met a tragic ending when both were killed by Death Eaters during the Battle of Hogwarts, leaving their son, Teddy, orphaned much like his godfather Harry Potter. Accio hankies!


10. The Doctor/Rose Tyler, Doctor Who

Speaking of wolves, Rose “Bad Wolf” Tyler (Billie Piper) captured the Doctor’s hearts from the moment he told her to “Run!” in the very first episode of the re-booted Doctor Who series. Their affection for one another grew steadily deeper during their travels in the TARDIS, whether they were stuck in 1950s London, facing down pure evil in the Satan Pit, or battling Cybermen.

But their relationship took a tragic turn during the season two finale episode, “Doomsday,” when the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) and Rose found themselves separated in parallel universes with no way of being reunited (lest two universes collapse as a result of a paradox). A sobbing Rose told a holographic transmission of the Doctor she loved him, but before he could reply, the transmission cut out, leaving our beloved Time Lord (and most of the audience) with a tear-stained face and two broken hearts all alone in the TARDIS.

SXSW 2012: Willem Dafoe heads to the bush for “The Hunter”

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There’s a lot going on in Willem Dafoe‘s new film “The Hunter,” which premiered earlier this week at SXSW. The movie, which is helmed by Australian director Daniel Nettheim, tells the story of a man hired to kill the last living Tasmanian Tiger. Since most American audience members might not know much about the now-extinct animal, Nettheim gave IFC the rundown on its backstory.

“It was eventually hunted to extinction by colonial settlers,” he explained. “This is the premise, the starting point, for our story about a man, a mercenary played by Willem, who is sent to track down what is supposed to be the last living Tasmanian tiger.

Dafoe’s character is hired by a biotech company to recover Tasmanian Tiger tissue and organ samples for them. He pretends to be a scientist and stays with a family that might or might not know something about the supposedly extinct creature. But Dafoe spends much of him time in the woods performing scenes only with himself and his traps for the Tiger.

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“I’m playing scenes, I’m just playing them with my tools, myself and my landscape,” he explained. “It’s kind of like stripped down essential filmmaking when it’s just one actor, simple actions, a landscape and a camera.”

Unsurprisingly, Dafoe’s name was towards the top of the list of actors that Nettheim wanted for the role.

“Very early on when I was writing scenes, and it always helps when I’m writing to picture a face, so I had Willem’s face in mind,” he said. “I think that I’d seen an old still from ‘Platoon’ of Willem’s face surrounded by greenery, and it just seemed like a great fit.”

So what should audiences know about “The Hunter” going in? “It’s a beautiful human story,” Nettheim said. “So, yes, it’s a man looking for a tiger, but this is a man undergoing a profound transformation of character. So it’s first and foremost a human story.”

Are you interested in seeing “The Hunter” when it comes out in theaters? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

SXSW 2012: Willem Dafoe talks training for “The Hunter”

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Willem Dafoe has won audiences over yet again with his new film, “The Hunter.” The thriller follows him as mercenary Martin David after he is hired by a biotech company to kill a creature previously thought to be extinct. The movie required Dafoe to spend a lot of time in the Tasmanian wilderness, and also forced him to learn a heck of a lot about the craft of hunting.

The film premiered at SXSW, where IFC was able to catch up with Dafoe and director Daniel Nettheim to talk about the film. Even though it tells a bigger tale, “The Hunter” is often very simple in its storytelling.

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“It’s kind of stripped down essential filmmaking when it’s just one actor, simple actions, a landscape, and a camera,” Dafoe said of the movie.

Of course, there’s more than just Dafoe in the film. “The Hunter” also stars Frances O’Connor and Sam Neill, but spends plenty of time alone with Dafoe in the forest hunting a Tasmanian Tiger that was believed to be extinct. Dafoe spent a lot of time working with a bush survival expert who helped him prepare for the role. The expert taught him tips like how to de-scent himself so animals wouldn’t notice him and more.

“[He taught me] everything from how to move through the bush to how to spot a trail, what kind of things he takes in a bush, what does he need, what can he find out there, and then there was a whole array of snares and traps that were quite intricate and very beautiful that he would make by hand, and he taught me how to do that,” Dafoe explained. “It was very thrilling because when you learn something like that, that really becomes a key to the character.”

“The Hunter” opened in Australia on September 29, 2011, and hopefully will come to US theaters near us soon.

Are you intrigued by Dafoe’s preparation for “The Hunter”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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