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Opening This Week: March 9th, 2007

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By Christopher Bonet

IFC News

[Photo: “The Exterminating Angels,” IFC First Take, 2007]

A round-up of the best (or worst) $10 you’ll spend this week.


2005’s “Sin City” proved that a $40 million dollar film could be shot entirely in Robert Rodriguez’s garage and still manage to win both critical and commercial success while pleasing fanboys everywhere. Now Zack Snyder, director of 2004’s remake of “Dawn of the Dead,” attempts to transfer another Frank Miller graphic novel from page to screen in “300,” a loose telling of the Battle of Thermopylae. Early reviews indicate that Snyder may have another winner here, as the director, much like Rodriguez in 2005, remains faithful to the Miller-penned source material.

Opens wide (official site).

“Believe in Me”

80s cult independent film director Robert Collector (lesbian prison thriller “Red Heat,” anyone?) returns after a nearly 20-year absence with this family-friendly drama about a basketball coach who starts coaching the girls’ team after expecting to coach the boys’ team. The film won the Best Feature prize at the Jackson Hole Film Festival.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“Beyond the Gates”

Before he attempted to turn “Basic Instinct 2” into a good movie, Scottish director Michael Caton-Jones filmed this drama based on the true story of a Catholic priest and an idealistic English teacher caught in the midst of the 1994 Tutsi genocide in Rwanda. Unsurprisingly, early reviews compare it to 2004’s “Hotel Rwanda,” but believe the story suffers due to the film’s focus on its white protagonists.

Opens in New York (official site).

“Exterminating Angels”

A filmmaker hosting a series of sweaty, breathy auditions for his latest film about female sexuality soon develops intimate relationships with his actresses, blurring the lines of art and life, business and pleasure. In anybody else’s hands, this film would read like a Skinemax flick, but, helmed by “Secret Things” director Jean-Claude Brisseau, the film might just be quality erotica for the art house crowd.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“The Host”

“Memories of a Murder” director Bong Joon-Ho’s latest film made headlines at last year’s Cannes Film Festival; the controversial monster movie takes a few jabs at the United States government for its involvement in South Korea. Well, we love horror films with overt political messages, and the buzz on this one is ridiculous.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“Maxed Out”

Documentarian James D. Scurlock presents his first feature-length film, a look at the nature of debt, both public and personal, government and individual, in the United States.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“The Namesake”

We’re really glad that Indian director Mira Nair’s foray into Hollywood filmmaking was brief (2004’s uninspired “Vanity Fair”). This (more indie) time around she’s got some popular source material in the form of Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel of the same title, and frequent David Lynch cinematographer Frederick Elmes as her D.P. And any time we get to see “Harold and Kumar”‘s Kal Penn play drama is fine with us.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“The Ultimate Gift”

2007 Oscar nominee Abigail Breslin plays a little girl dying of cancer in this faith-based adaptation of Jim Stovall’s novel about a trust fund baby who must go through twelve challenges in order to earn his grandfather’s inheritance. Director Michael O. Sajbel was responsible for last year’s “One Night with the King.”

Opens in limited release (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

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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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