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DID YOU READ

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.

“Araya”
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.

“Bronson”
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.

“Disengagement”
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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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.

via GIPHY

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…

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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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