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DID YOU READ

Opening This Week: June 15th, 2007

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By Christopher Bonet

IFC News

[Photo: “Eagle vs. Shark,” Miramax Films, 2007]

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

“Beyond Hatred”

Olivier Meyrou’s probing documentary tracks the events following the murder of François Chenu, the victim of a deadly gay bashing incident in Paris, as Chenu’s family searches for understanding in the wake of his death, and attempts to forgive his killers. The film won the Best Documentary award at Berlin last year.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“DOA: Dead or Alive”

Perhaps the most derided sub-genre in all of cinema, the video game movie strikes (and strikes out?) yet again in this dire-looking adaptation of the popular fighting game “Dead or Alive”. The film is (shockingly) not directed by Uwe Boll; instead, it offers fight choreographer and “The Transporter” director Corey Yuen cashing in on whatever credibility he had for what was hopefully a big fat paycheck. The film? Is about some sort of fighting tournament that attracts a bunch of hot women who also play volleyball in bikinis for some reason. Pre-pubescent boys everywhere are salivating.

Opens in wide release (official site).

“Eagle vs. Shark”

This year’s offbeat summer comedy for the hipster set is a New Zealand flick from Taika Waititi that follows two awkward strangers in a quirky romance. Though it looks a little “Napoleon Dynamite”-lite, the film has been attracting lots of buzz bouncing around the film festival circuit after its Sundance premiere. Jemaine Clement of new HBO series “Flight of the Conchords” stars.

Opens in New York (official site).

“Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer”

The Fantastic Four return with new villains, a bloated budget and huge paychecks for the returning cast. Though the film may serve as one big springboard for a long-rumored Silver Surfer spin-off, we gotta admit… the Surfer does look pretty cool. Early rumors of Galactus being little more than a “cloud,” however, have us less than intrigued. (Er, smoke monster from “Lost,” anyone?)

Opens wide (official site).

“Fido”

So, in brief, this film is a lot like “Lassie,” only instead of a friendly dog, Timmy has a flesh-eating zombie as his best friend and faithful pet. While Canadian director Andrew Currie’s “zom-com” sounds a bit like “Shaun of the Dead” set in Lynchian America, we’re just delighted by the casting of Billy Connolly as Timmy’s undead best friend.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“Jhoom Barabar Jhoom”

Two strangers, engaged to different people, arrive in Europe to get married but fall in love with each other instead in Shaad Ali’s Indian romantic musical comedy.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“Lights in the Dusk”

Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki concludes his “Finland” trilogy with this film about a lonely night watchman in Helsinki who gets caught up in a series of criminal misdeeds. The film premiered at Cannes last year.

Opens in New York (official site).

“Macbeth”

Promising Australian director Geoffrey Wright may have fallen on hard times after 1992’s skinhead flick “Romper Stomper” (straight-to-DVD slasher “Cherry Falls” comes to mind), but we’re glad to see him return to his roots in this contemporary retelling of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” set in the Melbourne ganglands.

Opens in Seattle (official site).

“Nancy Drew”

We’d prefer a feature film with TV’s “Veronica Mars” over this adaptation of the popular kid lit series originated by Edward Stratemayer, but it looks like we’ll have to wait a while longer. Nickelodeon staple Emma Roberts plays the teenage detective who tries to solve the murder of a beautiful movie star with the help of her father (Tate Donovan).

Opens wide (official site).

“Strike”

“The Tin Drum”‘s Volker Schlõndorff directs this film based on the true story of a nearly illiterate woman who became one of the founders of Poland’s Solidarity union, which would eventually lead to the fall of the Berlin Wall. The film premiered at last year’s Toronto Film Festival.

Opens in New York (official site).

“The Trials of Darryl Hunt”

This documentary from filmmakers Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg chronicles the appeals process of a man who was wrongfully convicted of murder, and who served 19 1/2 years before being exonerated thanks to DNA evidence.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“Unborn in the USA: Inside the War on Abortion”

Filmmakers Stephen Fell and Will Thompson document the history of the pro-life movement following 1973’s Supreme Court decision affirming a woman’s constitutional right to privacy.

Opens in limited release (official site).

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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.

via GIPHY

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…

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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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