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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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Give Back

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…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…


IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.


IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).


IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.


IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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