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Spring Indie Film Preview 2010

Spring Indie Film Preview 2010 (photo)

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Fans of Ewan McGregor, Kristen Stewart and James Van Der Beek (!) will be seeing double this spring, as arthouses and multiplexes host an array of indie films ranging from the travails of septuagenarian New Yorkers looking for love (“The Last New Yorker”) to 13-year-old assassins on the hunt for their first kill (“Kick-Ass”). If real life is more your speed, there are new documentaries about reviving animation strips (the Disney doc “Waking Sleeping Beauty”) and stripping down (the burlesque history “Behind the Burly Q”), while foreign wonders like the French crime epics “A Prophet” and “Mesrine” mix with Korean treasures “Mother” and “The Good, The Bad and The Weird.”

But of course, why limit yourself to just what’s playing in the first-run theater near you? We’ve also included a look at the films that will be playing Anywhere But a Movie Theater (online, on demand, and on DVD) in the next few months, as well as a tri-coastal calendar of repertory theaters that are hosting all kinds of one-night-only events, including a screening of “Up in the Air” writer/director Jason Reitman’s favorite films in Los Angeles. All in all, why risk being caught out in the rain or snow when the perfect storm of movie magic is happening inside.


February 19

“The Ghost Writer” (IMDb, trailer)
The Cast: Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Kim Cattrall, Olivia Williams, Timothy Hutton, Eli Wallach, Jim Belushi, Tom Wilkinson
Director: Roman Polanski
Fest Cred: Berlinale
The Gist: Arthouse fans may turn their nose up at the “Twilight” franchise, but you can probably thank the Cullens for empowering Summit to pick up the latest from Polanski, an adaptation of former political journalist Robert Harris’ novel about a disgraced British prime minister, Adam Lang (Brosnan), who holes up at an island retreat to pen his memoirs with the help of a ghost writer (McGregor). But when the new co-author begins to piece together the truth of an investigation into Lang’s involvement in torturing terrorist suspects, he begins to fear he may end up like the mysteriously disappeared writer he replaced on the project.

“2010 Oscar Nominated Shorts”
The Gist: Magnolia Pictures is once again teaming with the British-based Shorts International to present two programs — animated and live-action — of this year’s Oscar-nominated shorts on the big screen. In the animated category, those films include the latest adventure of Wallace & Gromit in Nick Park’s “A Matter of Loaf and Death,” Nicolas Schmerkin’s “Logorama,” Javier Recio Gracia’s “The Lady and the Reaper,” Nicky Phelan and Darragh O’Connell’s “Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty,” and Fabrice O. Joubert’s “French Roast.” In the live-action program, you will be able to see Juanita Wilson and James Flynn’s “The Door,” Patrik Eklund and Mathias Fjellström’s “Instead of Abracadabra,” Gregg Helvey’s “Kavi,” Luke Doolan and Drew Bailey’s “Miracle Fish,” and Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson’s “The New Tenants.”

“Blood Done Sign My Name” (IMDb, trailer)
The Cast: Nate Parker, Ricky Schroder, Afemo Omilami, Lela Rochon, Nick Searcy, Michael Rooker, Darrin Dewitt Henson, Gattlin Griffith
Director: Jeb Stuart
The Gist: Not known for heavy dramas, “Die Hard” and “The Fugitive” screenwriter Stuart adapts fellow North Carolinean Tim Tyson’s autobiographical tome about the coalition of civil rights activists and religious leaders who came together to tame the social unrest that followed the acquittal of three white men of a racially charged murder of an African-American war vet in ’60s Oxford. As Stuart recently told the New York Times, this isn’t going to be “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

“Bulletproof Salesman” (IMDb, trailer)
Director: Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker
Fest Cred: SXSW, Silverdocs, Woodstock
The Gist: “Gunner Palace” and “How to Fold a Flag” docmakers Epperlein and Tucker are back with the story of Fidelis Cloer, an armored car dealer who traverses Iraq looking for sales and in the process reveals the reality of the wartorn nation. Los Angeles’ Downtown Independent is hosting the film’s exclusive one-week run.

“Dreamkiller” (IMDb, trailer)
The Cast: Dario Deak, John Savage, Tyrone Power Jr., John Colton, Diandra Newlin, Penny Drake
Director: Catherine C. Pirotta
The Gist: This psychological thriller stars Deak and Colton as two doctors who aren’t allowed to celebrate for too long after their discovery of a cure for fear backfires when their patients’ previously held murderous inclinations begin to manifest into reality.

“The Good Guy” (IMDb, trailer)
The Cast: Alexis Bledel, Scott Porter, Bryan Greenberg, Anna Chlumsky, Aaron Yoo, Andrew McCarthy
Writer/Director: Julio DePietro
Fest Cred: Tribeca
The Gist: Imagine if John Hughes had continued to probe the quarterlife crises of the Brat Pack generation that he seemingly abandoned with “Career Opportunities” in ’91 well into the glossier ’00s and you have a good idea of Chicago hedge fund manager-turned-director DiPietro’s feature debut, which stars “Friday Night Lights”‘ Porter and Greenberg as Wall Street day traders who ultimately vie over the same girl (Bledel).

“Happy Tears” (IMDb, trailer)
The Cast: Demi Moore, Parker Posey, Ellen Barkin, Rip Torn
Writer/Director: Mitchell Lichtenstein
Fest Cred: Berlinale, Mill Valley, Starz Denver
The Gist: Unlike some who want to distance themselves from their famous lineage, “Teeth” director Lichtenstein is making no secret of being the son of Roy with his second feature, named after one of his dad’s paintings (and even uses it for the poster) and perhaps touches on something personal with the story of two sisters (Moore and Posey) who head back to their hometown of Pittsburgh to tend to their ailing father (Torn).

“The Last New Yorker” (IMDb, trailer)
The Cast: Dominic Chianese, Dick Latessa, Kathleen Chalfant, Josh Hamilton
Director: Harvey Wang
The Gist: “The Sopranos” Chianese co-stars with Latessa as a pair of 70-year-old Manhattanites whose lifelong friendship is tested when Chianese’s Lenny decides to embark on a romance that may lead him out of living in the big city, much to the chagrin of his pal who can’t stand its ever-changing nature.

“Lourdes” (IMDb, trailer)
The Cast: Sylvie Testud, Léa Seydoux, Bruno Todeschini, Gilette Barbier, Gerhard Liebmann, Irma Wagner
Writer/Director: Jessica Hausner
Fest Cred: Venice, Toronto, Pusan, Warsaw, London, Vienna, Sundance
The Gist: Once again proving to be an elusive filmmaker to categorize, “Hotel” director Hausner took home a bucket of awards from last year’s Venice Film Festival for this drama about a multiple sclerosis-afflicted woman, confined to her wheelchair during a pilgrimage to the Pyrenees, whose deeply held skepticism is put to the test when she actually experiences something miraculous at the religious shrine.

“Phyllis and Harold” (IMDb, trailer)
Director: Cindy Kleine
Fest Cred: Iowa Independent, Toronto Jewish, Jewish Eye, Santa Fe
The Gist: Following the death of her father, the titular Harold, Kleine makes a sequel to her 1998 doc “Til Death Do Us Part” about her parents’ different perspectives on their 55-year marriage. This time around, Kleine focuses more on her own upbringing and her relationship to her mother, who was indulging in an affair that Kleine had to protect from her father during the later years of their marriage.

“Scream of the Bikini” (IMDb)
The Cast: Kelsey Wedeen, Rebecca Larsen
Director: Kiff Scholl
Fest Cred: Thrillspy
The Gist: A spoof of ’60s spy thrillers, Wedeen and Larsen star as supermodels who moonlight as bounty hunters in this low-budget midnight movie that is being advertised as a lost South American production that was only recently uncovered.

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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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