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Surfers, Dancers and Wolverine

Surfers, Dancers and Wolverine (photo)

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With Tribeca well under way, there’s much in the way of art house fare this week for everyone with a rich international flavor. Go crazy!

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“A Wink and a Smile”
Seattle-based documentary filmmaker Deirdre Allen Timmons makes her debut by pulling back the velvet curtain on the world of burlesque, where art and erotica co-exist in the same spectacle. Timmons introduces ten game volunteers, comprised of eager housewives and bored professionals, to Miss Indigo Blue’s House of Burlesque, where the ladies find self-confidence and empowerment as they’re instructed by Miss Blue in the age-old art of theatrical titillation.
Opens in New York.

“Battle For Terra”
Having spent much of the last 15 years honing his skills as a digital artist on the likes of “Hellboy,” effects wizard Aristomenis Tsirbas wields the pixelated megaphone for his feature debut, a futuristic world-at-war saga adapted from his own 2003 short “Terra.” Marooned in deep space, the last remnants of humanity, led by the imperialistic General Hemmer (Brian Cox), set about eradicating the population of the peaceful planet of Terra so as to claim it for themselves. On the planet’s surface, two rebellious teens (Evan Rachel Wood and Justin Long) do whatever they can to prevent their planet’s destruction.
Opens wide and in 3D.

Belgian actor-turned-helmer Bouli Lanners’ follow-up to his 2005 debut “Ultranova” is a darkly comic road trip that served as his country’s official entry to the most recent Academy Awards. Lanners stars as Yven, a disgruntled, middle-aged car dealer who returns home to find a young man (Fabrice Adde) attempting to burgle his house. Rather than calling the police, Yven elects to drive him across country to his parents’ place on the French border. In French with subtitles.
Opens in limited release.

“Ghosts of Girlfriends Past”
Employing the template of “A Christmas Carol” peppered with a little Valentine’s Day schmaltz, this latest incarnation of the battle of the sexes, courtesy of “Mean Girls” director Mark Waters, arrives in May (obviously!) to once more remind us that women are from Venus and men are from some planet where they embrace commitment like they embrace broadly drawn romantic comedies that patronize them for not embracing commitment. Matthew McConaughey is Connor Mead, a celebrity photographer and playboy who’s visited by three ghosts who lead him on a romantic retrospective of his many conquests on the way to his one true love, Jenny (Jennifer Garner).
Opens wide.

Mother-daughter bonds run deep in this labor of love feature from writer/director Mary Haverstick. Haverstick’s tale of grief and the ravages of disease, laced with her late mother’s poetry, finds Oscar-winner Marcia Gay Harden playing opposite her own daughter, Eulala Scheel, in the latter’s acting debut. Harden stars as Inga, a spectator to her disintegrating marriage to Hermann (Michael Gaston) following a mastectomy.
Opens in limited release.

“I Can See You”
Writer/director Graham Reznick’s no-budget debut is an abstract visceral parody of one of horror’s most noted clichés, which Reznick himself describes as “a psychedelic horror experience.” “You” is about three fledgling advertising executives (Ben Dickenson, Duncan Skiles, Chris Ford) looking to brainstorm the rebranding of a kitchen cleaner, who naturally decide that the best place to do that is in a cabin in the woods in the middle of nowhere. When one of their girlfriends disappears, another suffers a mental breakdown, and the situation quickly begins to unravel.
Opens in New York.

“Ice People”
Having done much in recent years to bring light to the plight of the Rwandan people, French-American documentary filmmaker Anne Aghion paints a less harrowing but equally compelling portrait of the most inhospitable terrain on Earth. Focusing on a quartet of researchers, Aghion charts the vast, outer reaches of human endurance as the group commit to six months of “deep field” isolation in temperatures as low as minus-60° as they search for fossilized evidence of a once lush and verdant Antarctica that might enlighten us as to the history of our planet.
Opens in New York.

“The Limits of Control”
Through his eclectic career, director Jim Jarmusch’s fascination with genre-splicing and casting against type have yielded results good (“Dead Man”), bad (“Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai”) and downright anemic (“Broken Flowers”). This latest effort finds the divisive helmer returning to the theme of the enigmatic stranger operating according to his own mysterious code. Isaach De Bankolé stars as a mysterious loner hired to do a job in Spain, where he encounters a barrage of colorful characters that includes Bill Murray’s shady businessman, Tilda Swinton’s fixer and Paz de la Huerta’s sultry femme fatale. John Hurt, Gael García Bernal and Hiam Abbass round out the supporting cast.
Opens in limited release.

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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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