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DID YOU READ

Opening This Week: November 3rd, 2006

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By Christopher Bonet

IFC News

[Photo: “Romanticó,” Meteor Films, 2006]

A round-up of the indie and indie-ish films opening in theaters this week.

“Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan”

“Jagshemash!” Sacha Baron Cohen returns to the big screen in this controversial mockumentary that made a huge splash at the Toronto Film Festival. The racist, sexist, and anti-Semitic Borat might draw protests from the Kazakh government, but we doubt that will prevent audiences from flocking to see this biting satire on American culture.

Opens wide (official site).

“Flushed Away”

Our favorite British animators at Aardman Studios return for their first fully CGI feature film, opting to abandon their signature style of clay animation. The film’s synopsis seems to be pretty standard for animated animal fare (this time: they’re rats!), but the Brit celebrity voices of Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, and Gandalf himself, Ian McKellan, are far more appealing than this recent animated entry. Plus, rumors abound that Gromit makes a cameo appearance, which just made this movie five times cooler.

Opens wide (official site).

“Romanticó”

Mark Becker’s first documentary feature since 2003’s “Lost Boys of Sudan” chronicles a Mexican troubadour’s return home following a failed music career in San Francisco. The film premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“Shottas”

Described in the media as “the Caribbean ‘Scarface,'” this Jamaican thriller was filmed in 2002 and has been awaiting release ever since. The film tells the story of two young men and drugs in both Kingston and Washington D.C. DJ Spragga Benz and reggae musician Ky-Mani Marley (yes, son of Bob) star.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“Soap”

This tragicomedy focuses on the relationship between a 32-year old owner of a beauty clinic and a reclusive transsexual as their personal lives begin to reflect the transsexual’s favorite soap opera (Get it? “Soap”?). Pernille Fischer Christensen, the film’s director, was awarded the Best Debut Film and Silver Berlin Bear Awards at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival.

Opens in New York (official site).

“Umrao Jaan”

J.P. Dutta adapts the classic Urdu novel “Umrao Jan Ada,” about the life of a courtesan in turn of the century India.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“Unknown”

First-time director Simon Brand enlists Greg Kinnear, Barry Pepper, Joey Pants and Mel Gibson’s Jesus in this new thriller about five men who awaken in a warehouse with no recollection of how they got there. Think “Memento,” except now there are five guys and no Sammy Jankis.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“Volver”

Ah, Almodóvar. It’s been nearly two years since your last masterpiece (“Bad Education”), and now the entire film community is crazy about your latest Cannes-winner. Carmen Maura stars in her first Almodóvar film since 1988, as a ghost who returns to the home of her two daughters to help restore order to their unstable lives. Plus, it’s always nice to see that Penélope Cruz does in fact know how to act (We’re still trying to get over “Sahara”).

Opens in New York and Los Angeles (official site).

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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 IFC.com

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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.

Uncle-Buck

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…