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Twilight of the Bad Lieutenant

Twilight of the Bad Lieutenant (photo)

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Holiday festivities are about to kick into full gear, but you wouldn’t know it looking at this angst-ridden release slate, since the closest we come to Christmas is Nicolas Cage’s “Bad Lieutenant” doing a lot of “snow.” Instead, planets are discovered, new moons rise and suns set.

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“Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans”
Ever since Nicolas Cage was shown clinging to his “lucky crackpipe,” cinephiles have been jonesing for Werner Herzog’s re-imagining of Abel Ferrara’s arthouse cop thriller. After months of backbiting between Ferrara, who suggested that the film’s producers “burn in hell,” and Herzog’s admission that he had never seen the original film, audiences will finally see Cage in the shoes of Terence McDonagh, the hopped-up, hopelessly bent detective who shakes down suspects and random pedestrians on the trail of an elusive kingpin responsible for the brutal slaying of five Senegalese immigrants.
Opens in limited release.

“The Blind Side”
Having solidified her rom-com career this summer, Sandra Bullock gets more serious this fall as a feisty champion of the less fortunate in this drama from “The Rookie” writer/director John Lee Hancock, based on the early life of NFL offensive lineman Michael Oher. Bullock plays Leigh Anne Tuohy, a God-fearing Tennessean who takes the gentle giant (Quinton Aaron) off the streets of Memphis and, with the aide of her husband (Tim McGraw) and Kathy Bates’ no-nonsense tutor, sets about rebuilding his shambolic education and turning him into an NFL-quality left tackle.
Opens wide.

“Broken Embraces”
Pedro Almodóvar and Penélope Cruz, one of the very best director/star partnerships, reunite once more for this genre-splicing love story, flitting from light to dark with all the trademark cinematic verve we’ve come to expect from the Spanish auteur and his muse. A pretzel-plotted saga of love lost and revenge sought, the story tells of Mateo Blanco (Lluís Homar), a blind filmmaker who, upon learning of the death of his former friend and producer Ernesto Martel (José Luis Gómez), is approached by the man’s resentful son to write a script eviscerating his late father in fiction. The picture drifts back to the early ’90s as Blanco recalls the time both he and Martel vied for the affections of a wannabe actress/call girl (Cruz). In Spanish with subtitles.
Opens in New York.

With the dark shadow of the Holocaust still hanging over Israeli culture, documentary filmmaker Yoav Shamir examines the roots of anti-Semitism and tags along with a group of Jewish-American leaders and a class of Israeli high school students for a diversity of perspectives on the subject. What Shamir finds is a controversy over the victim complex that the term promotes, who it benefits and how this perceived menace has become seriously big business for those who claim to want to erase it.
Opens in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Documentarian Tao Ruspoli turns on his handheld camera for his first narrative feature, which not so coincidentally follows Milo and Bella, a couple of documentarians (Ruspoli and Olivia Wilde) who chaperone Milo’s skeezy brother Leo (Shawn Andrews) on his final day before a court-imposed stint in rehab for their latest film. Quickly discovering that he doesn’t have the money to pay for treatment (which means prison instead), the couple reluctantly dabble in drug dealing themselves to come up with the cash in a down and dirty fusion of “Go” and “The 25th Hour,” all to a soundtrack of Black Prez and Ima Robot, among others.
Opens in limited release.

“Frontier of Dawn”
Veteran French helmer Philippe Garrel directs his son Louis in this throwback to the heyday of the French New Wave, a drama sprinkled with elements of the supernatural that charts the fine line between blissful intoxication and insanity. Garrel Jr stars as François, a young photographer left reeling from the suicide of Carole (Laura Smet), an actress with whom he had an affair. A year later, François is looking to marry and move on, but is plagued by visions of the ghostly Carole, beckoning him to join her in the land of the dead. In French with subtitles.
Opens in New York.

A real-life treasure hunt, this debut from director Darius Marder dug up the best documentary prize at last year’s L.A. Film Festival and was recently nominated for a Cinema Eye Honor. With only the sketchy details of two World War II vets’ less-than-reliable memory as a guide, Marder follows Lance Larson, an amateur treasure hunter, as he scours the once bombed out rural locale of an Austrian village and the dense jungles of the Philippines in search of buried riches that the soldiers plundered 60 years earlier.
Opens in New York.

Celebrated Swedish writer/director Lukas Moodysson looks to garner an international audience with this, his first English-language feature, a transcontinental affair encompassing a trio of thematically linked narratives that invites obvious comparisons to “Babel.” In New York, Michelle Williams and Gael García Bernal’s bored millionaire married couple all but surrender the upbringing of their child to their live-in nanny (Marife Necesito), whose presence, in turn, leaves her own children in the Philippines without her. The situation is further exasperated when Bernal’s video game mogul travels to Thailand, where he comes into contact with a streetwise sex worker (Run Srinikornchot), who does what she has to in order to take care of her child. In English and Tagalog and Thai with subtitles.
Opens in limited release.

“The Missing Person”
“Revolutionary Road” star Michael Shannon stars as a well-groomed private eye hired to follow a man who was believed to have died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks in this Sundance alum written and directed by Noah Buschel. Amy Ryan, Frank Wood and Margaret Colin co-star.
Opens in New York; opens in Los Angeles on November 27th.

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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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