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Basterds, the IRA and the real Mad Men

Basterds, the IRA and the real Mad Men (photo)

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Another monster release slate this week finds, amongst other things, interpretations of the Irish troubles, both real and imagined. Also, we meet the real life Mad Men, QT’s Basterds and the godfather of African-American indie film as a bearded ten-year-old boy.

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“Art & Copy”
Filmmaker Doug Pray (“Surfwise”) goes inside the advertising industry to uncover the creative minds behind such iconic slogans as “Got Milk?” and “Just Do It,” encountering a multitude of contrasting viewpoints, from those who feel they have whored themselves out in the name of commerce to those hopelessly addicted to the rush of satisfying the constantly changing needs of the modern world. Don Draper, eat your heart out.
Opens in New York.

“The Baader Meinhof Complex”
This year’s German nominee for the best foreign-language film Oscar, Uli Edel’s adaptation of journalist Stefan Aust’s chronicle of the terrorist group Red Army Faction blends history lessons with the thrills and kills of a hard-hitting drama. The film spans ten years in the life of Ulrike Meinhof (Martina Gedeck) as she joins up with violent political activists Andreas Baader (Moritz Bleibtreu) and Gudrun Ensslin (Johanna Wokalek) on a campaign of urban warfare before getting captured and becoming heroes in the eyes of the ultra left wing. In German with subtitles.
Opens in New York; opens in Los Angeles on Aug. 28th.

“Casi Divas”
Following up her 2006 ensemble comedy “Efectos Secundarios,” Mexican writer/director Issa López offers up another multi-stranded laughfest of spirited ambition south of the border. Four bright-eyed, small-town would-be ingénues from scattered parts of Mexico audition for a big-shot producer (Julio Brancho), who’s holding a nationwide talent search for the star of his next film, unaware that notorious screen diva Eva Gallardo (Patricia Llaca) has earmarked that part for herself. In Spanish with subtitles.
Opens in limited release.

“Confessionsofa Ex-Doofus-ItchyFooted Mutha”
Confirming that he will continue to confound expectations until the day he dies, pioneering African-American artist, writer, musician and filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles concocts a boisterous, kaleidoscopic spin on his colorful life and times with this interpretive memoir. Playing himself, beard and all, at every stage of his life, from wide-eyed ten-year-old boy to the sprightly septuagenarian we know today, Van Peebles fashions an abstract, homemade portrait of his own shaggy dog story so far.
Opens in New York.

“Fifty Dead Men Walking”
In the annals of cinema, the paranoid path of the deep cover informant finding his reality muddied and his loyalties tested is well-trodden. Inspired by the memoir of real-life IRA infiltrator Martin McGartland, who survived capture and torture only to be forced into hiding (and who has since renounced this movie), Canadian helmer Kari Skogland’s drama offers a flashbacked account of the mission of the petty grifter (played by Jim Sturgess, a revelation by all accounts) to blag his way into the IRA network at the height of the “Troubles” on behalf of his manipulative handler (Ben Kingsley).
Opens in limited release.

“Five Minutes of Heaven”
One of the brightest talents to emerge from Germany’s recent cinematic renaissance, director Oliver Hirschbiegel (“The Experiment,” “Downfall”) might have stumbled awkwardly onto the international stage with his stagnant “Body Snatchers” remake “The Invasion,” but gets a second chance at wooing English-speaking audiences with a made-for-Brit-TV telling of a notorious sectarian slaying in 1975 Northern Ireland. Picking up a screenwriting award at Sundance for his cleverly woven tapestry of fact and fiction, scripter Guy Hibbert recounts the true-life murder of 19-year-old Catholic Jimmy Griffin, gunned down by 17-year-old UVF member Alistair Little, and imagines a meeting between a grown-up Little (Liam Neeson) and Griffin’s brother (James Nesbitt) for a documentary some 30 years later.
Opens in New York.

“Gospel Hill”
The directorial debut of “Do the Right Thing” actor Giancarlo Esposito, this elegant race-relations drama earns itself a small theatrical run despite having already gone to DVD this past February. Angela Bassett battles both political bullying veiled as progress and the shallow graved ghosts of the past as Sarah Malcolm, a lone voice in an African- American community under siege by developers as her husband John (Danny Glover) attempts to come to terms with the lynching of his brother years earlier, an unsolved murder that still haunts the town’s white sheriff (Tom Bower).
Opens in New York.

“The Headless Woman”
In the same vein as her previous pictures “La Ciénaga” and “The Holy Girl,” much-touted Argentine helmer Lucrecia Martel offers a stripped down, hyper-stylized exploration of guilt and all things familial in this character study of a bourgeois middle-aged dentist Vero (María Onetto). Following a hit-and-run she may or may not have perpetrated on the way to an illicit rendezvous with the husband of her cousin (Daniel Genoud), Vero drifts into a psychological nightmare, haunted by the guilt of a crime she can’t be sure she committed. In Spanish with subtitles.
Opens in New York.

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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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