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C’mon, Get Unhappy

C’mon, Get Unhappy (photo)

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This week’s releases arrive draped in a pervasive air of dissatisfaction — Chris Rock’s daughter is unhappy with her hair, a ’70s feminist movement is unhappy with their options, and Jason Ritter and Jess Weixler are unhappy with each other. Elsewhere, British cultural icons are talked up while global corporate interests are torn down.

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“After The Storm”
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Oscar-winning filmmaker and activist James Lecesne’s decision to bring a production of the Off-Broadway musical “Once on This Island” to the storm-ravaged city of New Orleans was both obvious and inspired, with an extra layer of resonance provided in the casting of local kids affected firsthand by the disaster. Captured by director Hilla Medalia, this documentary takes us behind the scenes of the production to follow 12 young actors as they build characters on stage and rebuild their own lives offstage.
Opens in New York.

“Adventures of Power”
Ever since the explosion in popularity of “Guitar Hero” and “Rock Band,” the act of enthusiastically pretending to play instruments that you really can’t isn’t only socially acceptable, it’s actively considered cool. Which might serve to negate a little bit of the absurdist humor in this underdog tale of an air drummer that was written and directed by Ari Gold, who also stars as the central bumpkin mineworker who uses his dad’s union’s copper mine strike as motivation to win the air drumming contest in New Jersey. Adding to the absurdity, Adrian Grenier joins his fictional “Entourage” agent’s namesake in a supporting cast that also includes Jane Lynch and Michael McKean.
Opens in New York; opens in Los Angeles on October 16th.

Despite sharing the International Critics Prize with Alain Resnais’ “Hiroshima Mon Amour” at Cannes in 1959, director Margot Benacerraf’s poetic rendering of a delicate relationship between a people and their land never received an American release. Restored and released for the first time in this country, Benacerraf’s self-described “tone poem” documentary captures 24 hours in the life of a community on the Venezuelan peninsula of Araya, following the workers in the salt mines as they continue to practice a way of life that has remained largely unchanged for more than 400 years. In Spanish with subtitles.
Opens in limited release.

Continuing his career-long fascination with the criminal underworld, Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn takes an oblique trip to the reality gap between documented fact and self-aggrandizing fiction with this experimental portrait of British crime figure Michael Peterson (a.k.a. Charles Bronson). Bronson is a self-mythologizing lunatic whose monstrous reputation was constructed on the back of one 34-year-long prison sentence, the majority of which was spent in solitary confinement. Tom Hardy has earned raves for doing away with all vanity to play the magnetic title character.
Opens in New York; opens in Los Angeles on October 16th.

“Couples Retreat”
BFFs Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau make their third writing collaboration, with a little help from Dana Fox, that finds the swingers all grown up, paired off, shacked up and pissed off as an idyllic-sounding island getaway swiftly devolves into the vacation from hell. Serial rom-commer Vaughn is paired with Malin Akerman as a husband and wife who need to work on their marriage and invite their friends (Favreau and Kristin Davis, Jason Bateman and Kristen Bell, Faizon Love and Kali Hawk) along to a couples’ retreat where participation in therapy is not optional. The comedy also marks the directorial debut of Vaughn and Favreau’s frequent producing partner, “A Christmas Story” star Peter Billingsley.
Opens wide.

“The Damned United”
One of the great soccer managers that England has ever seen, Brian Clough’s triumphs with Derby County and Nottingham Forest were separated by a disastrous 44-day reign as the boss of Leeds United in 1974, during which time his notoriously mercurial personality angered the board, alienated the team and failed to win the club a single game. Under the direction of “John Adams” helmer Tom Hooper, “The Queen” screenwriter Peter Morgan and Michael Sheen once again team up to bring another British cultural icon to life with Sheen starring as the enigmatic maestro Clough, whose managerial ability was matched only by the size of his ego.
Opens in New York and Los Angeles.

Beginning with an exchange of lustful glances followed by a passionate embrace between an Israeli man and a Palestinian woman in a narrow train car heading to France, celebrated Israeli helmer Amos Gitai carves a small, intimate story out of a geopolitical hot potato. Regular Gitai muse Liron Levo plays the Israeli man, Uli, who is returning to France for his father’s funeral, where his stepsister Ana (Juliette Binoche) urges him to accompany her back to the Gaza Strip to search for the daughter she gave up 20 years earlier. Hiam Abbass and Jeanne Moreau co-star.
Opens in New York and will be available on VOD on October 7th.

“Eating Out: All You Can Eat”
Deception, sexual confusion and gym-toned abs are the trademarks of this gay comedy franchise, now in its third installment. Daniel Skelton, Chris Salvatore and Michael Walker are amongst the fresh meat on display, Rebekah Kochan is back as the perpetual girl in the boys club, and John Waters favorite Mink Stole is also set to make an appearance.
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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