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Chock Full Of Spock

Chock Full Of Spock (photo)

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The arrival of “Star Trek” signals the start of blockbuster season (in our orbit, “Wolverine” doesn’t count), and the indie world wastes no time with responding in kind with a few big name players of its own.

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Atom Egoyan landed himself a Palme d’Or nomination at last year’s Cannes for the latest of his patented multi-stranded narratives of introspection, this one a meditation on the marginalization of truth and the role of technology in the post-9/11 mindset. Devon Bostick stars as Simon, an orphaned student whose class assignment translating a newspaper article about the would-be martyrdom of a pregnant woman has personal ramifications when he writes a fictionalized op-ed from the perspective of the now-grown child that takes on a life of its own once it hits the web.
Opens in New York and Los Angeles.

“Audience of One”
Pastor-turned-director-turned-studio-mogul Richard Gazowsky appealed to his congregation’s generous spirit after receiving what he described as a “prophetic whisper” to make movies for God. Documentarian Mike Jacobs shadows the proceedings, as Gazowsky, having transformed the church into a makeshift movie studio, invites his dedicated team of true believers to hunt the white whale with him in the form of a $50 million biblical science-fiction epic which, he maintains, will reshape the landscape of faith-based filmmaking.
Opens in New York.

“Flower in the Pocket”
True to the style of emerging Malaysian New Wave cinema, first-time filmmaker Liew Seng Tat’s no-frills parable about a trio of plucky prepubescents maintains a strict emotional distance, inviting viewers to dictate their own level of involvement. With their workaholic father too busy tending the mannequins he fixes for a living to pay them mind, spirited brothers Li Ahn and Li Ohm roam the neighborhood with friend Ayu (Amira Nasuha), a fatherless misfit whose mother radiates a warm, nurturing glow that is at once both alien and alluring. In Mandarin with subtitles.
Opens in New York.

Inspired by John Cassavetes’s 1980 thriller “Gloria,” which landed star Gena Rowlands her second Oscar nomination, French arthouse director Erick Zonca makes his English-language debut, transplanting the action from New York to Los Angeles. Tilda Swinton, who could make a car insurance commercial compelling, stars as the titular shambolic drunk who assists in kidnapping the son of a fellow AA member (Kate del Castillo), but finds the ransom hard to come by after her booze-fueled antics run her afoul of some Mexican thugs.
Opens in limited release.

“Kabei – Our Mother”
Prolific Japanese helmer Yoji Yamada marks the awe-inspiring career milestone of an 80th feature film with a traditionalist period piece musing on his nation’s ever-present burden of post-war shame and the all-important role of family. In 1940s Tokyo, professor Shigeru Nogami (Mitsugoro Bando) finds himself imprisoned for transgressions against the official record of the Japanese invasion of China. In the outside world, the sympathetic but silent community rallies to the aid of his wife (Sayuri Yoshinaga), who struggles to raise her two daughters without her husband’s support.
Opens in Hawaii.

“Little Ashes”
Brit director Paul Morrison (“Wondrous Oblivion”) takes the reins of writer Philippa Goslett’s debut script, with the latter taking creative license in depicting the fiercely debated homosexual relationship between the young Salvador Dalí and poet Federico García Lorca (which Dali has always flatly denied) as fact. A pre-“Twilight” Robert Pattinson stars as the renowned Spanish surrealist, who becomes Bella Swan to Lorca’s Edward Cullen as the gay dramatist and poet (played by Javier Beltrán) pursues Dalí with relentless vigor throughout their long friendship.
Opens in limited release.

“Love ‘N Dancing”
Despite its well-intentioned escapist premise, this latest offering from “She’s All That” director Robert Iscove seems the sort of sickly sweet affair where you wonder how people this wholesome and good-looking can pretend to have the type of problems anyone real can relate to. Amy Smart stars as a bored English teacher whose untapped talent on the dance floor catches the eye of a swing dancing champion (Tom Malloy, who also scripts and produces), leading to an invitation to partner with him at the upcoming national championship.
Opens in limited release.


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


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.


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…