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Blind Pigs, Horse Boys and the Nines

Blind Pigs, Horse Boys and the Nines  (photo)

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As the super-serious prestige season begins to gear up in Telluride, Toronto and Venice, an odd blend of matters spiritual, ecological, supernatural, and extraterrestrial are coming to a theater near you this week.

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After his Oscar-nominated short turned the heads of producers Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov, former Weta artist Shane Acker delivers a full-length version of his terrifying vision of the future with this dark, dystopic animated fantasy. Boasting an all-star line-up of voices including Elijah Wood, Martin Landau, Jennifer Connelly, and John C. Reilly, “9” follows a group of sentient dolls, created during the final days of a devastating war against machines, who lead a post-apocalyptic search for a mystical life-giving device that will restore the spark of humanity to our otherwise decimated world.
Opens wide.

After more than 25 years of lugging the camera around on countless DTV nasties, cinematographer Howard Wexler takes only his second turn in the director’s chair, combining alien plagues, prophecies and pod people for this micro-budget sci-fi/horror hybrid. Perennial bit-parter Lochlyn Munro leads a cast of unknown up-and-comers as a small-town sheriff confronted by a spate of murders and disappearances linked to a mysterious meteorite and its parasitic passengers that transform simple folk into monsters.
Opens in Los Angeles.

Hoping to do for Chevron’s share price what The Yes Men did for Dow Chemical, Emmy-Award-winning filmmaker Joe Berlinger skillfully knits together an eco-doc, a humanitarian drama and elements of a tense legal thriller in documenting an epic environmental disaster unfolding in Ecuador. Spending three years alongside the sick and the disabled, Berlinger chronicles the achingly slow progress of the largest environmental lawsuit in history, where the shambolic nature of the legal system really does allow one to make those fist-pounding dramatic speeches in a crowded, camera-filled courtroom.
Opens in New York; opens in Los Angeles on September 18, followed by a limited release on September 25th.

“Appearance of a Man”
An extraterrestrial encounter leads to a crisis of faith for an Arizona preacher in this handmade mystery from writer/director Daniel Pace, his first for almost ten years. Tackling the sprawling global war between science and religion that continues to rage on, Pace offers his interpretation of the famed Phoenix Lights phenomenon, one of the most famous UFO incidents of our time with a story centered on Father Daniel (Tom Basham), who begins to question everything he thought he knew following an encounter with a mysterious being, possibly from the stars,
Opens in Tempe, Ariz.

“Beyond a Reasonable Doubt”
Given his recent track record of directing mostly dodgy action flicks starring ’80s icons on the downslope (“Timecop”, “End of Days”), it’s tough not raise an eyebrow at writer/director Peter Hyams’ decision to cast Michael Douglas in this retread of Fritz Lang’s classic ’50s film noir. Douglas, no doubt staying limber for his big Gordon Gekko reprisal, stars as Mark Hunter, a hotshot prosecutor targeted by a reporter (Jesse Metcalfe) who, suspicious of Hunter’s legal tactics, frames himself for murder to catch Hunter in the act. Amber Tamblyn co-stars as a young D.A. caught between the two.
Opens in limited release.

“Blind Pig Who Wants to Fly”
Internationally renowned for his idiosyncratic, experimental short films, Indonesian avant-garde filmmaker Edwin delivers his first feature: a multi-stranded representation of the bubbling undercurrent of racial tension that sweeps away so many Chinese-Indonesians to the margins of society. Through a series of vignettes, Edwin weaves together the stories of an elderly pool player, a polygamous dentist, a badminton champion, and a blind pig into a swirling maelstrom that depicts a minority population forcibly trapped in a cultural limbo. In Indonesian with subtitles.
Opens in New York.

“Gogol Bordello Non-Stop”
Having spent six years following this rag-tag of folk singers, punks, and gypsies from Eastern Europe as they tirelessly toured the globe, filmmaker Margarita Jimeno offers us her imbedded account of this eclectic ensemble of artists that serve as one of the most enigmatic musical acts around. Centering on charismatic frontman and founder Eugene Hütz, a self-confessed Eastern European culture warrior who migrated to New York, Jimeno details Gogol Bordello’s transformation from a cult favorite to a commercially viable global phenomenon.
Opens in New York.

“The Horse Boy”
The kind of story you just pray Hollywood never gets its paws on, this collaboration between Michael Orion Scott and Rupert Isaacson is a touching intercontinental saga of faith, hope, and sacrifice. Part travelogue, part family drama, and part holistic spiritual exploration, “The Horse Boy” follows Isaacson from Texas to Central Asia discovering his autistic infant son responds to horses, leading the concerned father to relocate his family to Mongolia where he hopes that a process known as shamanic healing can help to treat the boy in ways conventional medicine can’t.
Opens in Dallas and Houston; opens in limited release across the country through the fall.

“I Can Do Bad All By Myself”
One of the hardest working men in film, Tyler Perry continues to champion the average African-American, showing that there is far more to black cinema than guns and gangs, with another tender portrait of a shattered family coming together – complete with the filmmaker’s now-signature drag act. Taraji P. Henson stars as a self-absorbed wannabe singer who suddenly faces the responsibility of taking care of her niece and two nephews when they are caught attempting to rob Madea (Perry). Adam Rodriguez co-stars as a kindly local handyman who helps this makeshift family cope with their new circumstances.
Opens wide.

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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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