Hundreds of years ago, our founding forefathers were spending their Fourth of July weekend getting ready to grant America its independence. Today, we celebrate with some time on the beach and at friends’ barbecues, all of which could include sitting in massive traffic as your wallet is depleted thanks to sky-rocketing gas prices. There’s a solution: pump the AC, kick up your feet and declare your own independence by tuning into IFC Saturday, July 5th and Sunday, July 6th for a weekend of films born and bred in the USA, featuring “Garden State,” with Zach Braff (who also directs) as a guy going home to Jersey in an effort to figure his life out. Then check out “Stolen Summer,” about a young Catholic kid plotting to convert his Jewish friend in 1970s Chicago, and a group of troublemakers just trying to get by in NY in “Hurricane Streets.” Don’t miss these and other films that’ll take you on a trip across America without getting on a plane or having to pay a fee for your first piece of checked luggage.
Also in July, it’s good guy vs. bad guy in an all out crime spree. Saturday, July 19th and Sunday, July 20th, tune in for a plethora of indie films featuring lock-ups, lockdowns and shakedowns. The line-up includes the Coen brothers’ “Miller’s Crossing,” one of the best gangster films of all time. Taking place in the stylized 1930s, it pits two crime boss rivals against each other as they each try to take control of a city. In “Suicide Kings,” ubÃ«r cool Christopher Walken gives his usual smooth performance as a Mafioso who gets kidnapped by a bunch of young, rich wanna-be criminals. And catch some cool cinematography and art direction in “Confidence,” featuring Ed Burns (who’s made quite a niche for himself since directing, writing and starring in his own first film “The Brothers McMullen” on a shoestring budget). Also on the schedule: “Trans,” “State of Grace,” “Never Die Alone” and “The Pope of Greenwich Village” (premiering this month).
PREMIERES TO LOOK FOR IN JULY:
- “BEE SEASON” With a hidden gem of a performance from Richard Gere, “Bee Season” offers a father cheering his daughter on to win the National Spelling Bee. Premieres Tuesday, July 1st at 6:35pm ET.
- “CAMILLA” One of Jessica Tandy’s last films, “Camilla” follows a group of people, young and old, on the road (literally) to discovering themselves. Premieres Tuesday, July 8th at 7:25pm ET.
- “THE POPE OF GREENWICH VILLAGE” You can’t go wrong with a film from the guy who directed Paul Newman in “Cool Hand Luke.” You also can’t go wrong watching Eric Roberts and Mickey Rourke play Italian-American cousins getting into a whole lot of trouble, no matter how hard they try to avoid it. Premieres Thursday, July 20th at 9pm ET.
- “JERSEY GIRL” Don’t fear the dreaded “Gigli” Ben Affleck/Jennifer Lopez combo this romantic comedy from, yes, Kevin Smith, is really about the sweetly grown-up relationship that forms between Liv Tyler, as a video store worker, and Affleck as a withdrawn single dad. Premieres Saturday, July 26th at 9pm ET.