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Highlights from Another Hot Fest: Sarasota

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By Lily Oei/IFC News

Seven years in, the Sarasota Film Festival, which ran from January 28 through February 6, proves that even a regional festival will have something to help you scratch any cinematic itch.

The fest is still establishing itself among industryites (although
several made the trip directly from Park City), but already has the
complete devotion of local townfolk, particularly at the many gala
functions (really, these kids like to dress up). Here are some highlights from the week:


“Sandman” and fantasy geeks rejoice. Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean continue their 20-year partnership with their first feature effort. In it, a rebellious teen makes a wish and gets exactly what she asks for—to
her dismay. Think “Alice in Wonderland” meets “Time Bandits” on an
upside down street in a parallel universe, with special f/x courtesy of
the wizards at Henson.


Winner of the audience documentary prize at Sundance, this film is a look at the competitive world of quadriplegic rugby, aka the eponymous murderball. While “Murderball” is pegged around the international rivalry between Canadian coach Joe Soares and U.S. captain Mark Zupan, the documentary also delves into the individual lives of players, laying out their stories without being
even a touch treacly. Based on co-director Dana Adam Shapiro’s magazine
story back in 2002, it’s proof that something good can come from a Maxim

“Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story”

A mockumentary by Brant Sersen featuring the Daily Show’s Rob Corddry
and a number of other familiar comic faces. It’s a classic story of redemption—caught cheating and banned from the sport, former paintball great Bobby Dukes returns to the sport to reclaim his reputation. About
90 percent of the script was improvised, but it never feels like it. As they say in
the movie, you’ll come out feeling “bobbicized” and “dukealated.”


A good old-fashioned chop-socky from Thailand, complete with a “high
speed” race in tuk tuks and a chase scene that not only includes the
perquisite sheets of glass to slow down the titular hero, but also
boiling oil and a wreath of barbed wire. The film stars the unflappable
Tony Jaa, who does all his own stunts without the help of wires. But don’t just take my word for it, Wu Tang Clan member Rza has also thrown his weight behind the film.

New Music

The local Florida West Coast Symphony always gets involved with the
festival, but for the more progressive, this year’s schedule included
the Independent Visions concert series. On the slate, Boulder’s
Devotchka with its Eastern bloc-mariachi rock, a solo-ing Bob Mould, and
the always rousing Ted Leo + the Pharmacists. Whether it was faulty
promotion or shyness on the part of the natives, the Mould and Ted Leo
shows were undersold—probably the only time you’ll experience such
intimacy at any of their performances.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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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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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

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