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What’s Up In January

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By Christopher Bonet

IFC News

[Photo: “Sacco and Vanzetti,” Willow Pond Films, screening as part of the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival]

Recent Acquisitions: Universal Pictures

Jan 1—31

The Museum of Modern Art in New York City presents this contemporary retrospective of films produced by Universal Pictures. Some highlights include the Hugh Grant comedy “About a Boy,” the Matt Damon thriller “The Bourne Identity” and Steven Soderbergh’s “Out of Sight”

Overlooked and Unverrated

Jan 4—Feb 8

The Egyptian Theater in Santa Monica, California presents this retrospective on the films of the past that either failed at the box office or received negative critical reception during their initial release. From classical Hollywood to foreign films, film noirs to westerns, nearly all of the titles in this series are not yet available on DVD. This is a rare chance to see some classic Michael Powell films, so be sure to check out this month-long series.

An Artist and a Gambler: Robert Altman Remembered

Jan 5—23

In honor of the late, great director, this month-long retrospective at the IFC Center in Greenwich Village showcases Altman’s work, from his Oscar-nominated films “Nashville” and “Gosford Park” to underrated gems “Thieves Like Us” and “California Split.”

8th Annual New York Film Critics Series: Great Documentaries

Jan 6—Feb 11

This yearly series presents a select group of films presented by the New York Film Critics Circle. This year’s selections include great documentaries from the past 70 years, including Terry Zwigoff’s “Crumb,” Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky’s “Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills” and the influential Dziga Vertov silent “The Man with a Movie Camera.”

2007 New York Jewish Film Festival

Jan 10—25

This annual film festival enters its 16th year as it showcases films about the worldwide Jewish experience. Takes place at the Walter Reade Theater in New York City.

Agnes Martin: With My Back to the World in Person

Jan 12

Director Mary Lance will be on hand for a question and answer session following a screening of this documentary about the reclusive female artist Agnes Martin, filmed alone in her New Mexico studio as she reminisces about the New York City art scene of the 1950s.

Helen Mirren in Person

Jan 12—13

British actress Helen Mirren made history this past year with three separate Golden Globe nominations and stands as the forerunner for the Best Actress Oscar for her work in “The Queen.” Mirren will be available for both days at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood and will take part in discussions following screenings of some of her earliest works, including Michael Powell’s “Age of Consent,” Pat O’Connor’s “Cal” and the Terry George film “Some Mother’s Son.”

2007 Golden Globe Awards

Jan 15

The Diet Pepsi of award shows hits the Beverly Hills Hilton this year, honoring the year’s best in film and television. Warren Beatty receives this year’s Cecil B. DeMille Award for all of his pre-“Town & Country” work. The Golden Globes will be broadcast live on NBC.

Human Rights Watch International Film Festival

Jan 17—22

The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston presents this film festival that screens socially-conscious documentaries; highlights for this year include Peter Miller’s “Sacco and Vanzetti,” about the infamous Red Scare case of the 1920s and Gaston Biraben’s “Captive,” about the 1976 military coup in Argentina.

Slamdance Film Festival

Jan 18—27

The festival that is commonly referred to as “by filmmakers for filmmakers” begins alongside the ever-popular-but-declining-in-credibility Sundance Film Festival. This year’s festival made headlines following the removal of the video game “Super Columbine Massacre RPG!” from the program, the first game or film ever to be removed from the festival.

Sundance Film Festival

Jan 18—27

The most influential American independent film festival is back at Park City, UT. This year’s festival includes new films from favorites David Gordon Green, Justin Lin and Hal Hartley, and will also feature new directorial features from actors such as Steve Buscemi, Sarah Polley and Justin Theroux. We’re hoping this year’s festival will return to a focus on the films instead of the celebrity culture its recently been known for because…well…we really don’t want to see Paris Hilton there again.

In a Lonely Place: Akira Kurosawa Retrospective

Jan 18—31

The American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica presents this retrospective on one of the most influential filmmakers in the history of cinema, the legendary Akira Kurosawa. Highlights for this series include “Stray Dog,” “Rashomon,” “Throne of Blood,” “Yojimbo”….we really can’t lie. They’re all masterpieces.

Barbara Stanwyck: A Centennial Salute

Jan 26—Feb 27

Let’s face it, Barbara Stanwyck still remains as one of the most iconic figures of the film noir genre, immortalized through her role as Phyllis Dietrichson in Billy Wilder’s “Double Indemnity”. Throughout her career, Stanwyck would continue to challenge the studio system in non-traditional female roles, later earning her four Best Actress nominations and an Honorary Oscar for her screen work. Be sure to catch some of her best films at the Silver Theatre and Cultural Center at the American Film Institute in Hollywood for this monthlong retrospective.

2007 Screen Actors Guild Awards

Jan 28

The countdown to the Oscars continues as the Screen Actors Guild awards the greatest film and television performances of 2006. The SAG awards will air live on TNT.

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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.


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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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…


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.


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).


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.


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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