DVD Round Up: IFC Films Releases Wave of Interesting Art Films

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CHICAGO – I love IFC Films. They release such a diverse, interesting slate of films every year that one never quite knows what they’re going to get with each individual offering. Five recent IFC titles are the subject of the latest DVD Round-Up, our regular column drawing attention to titles that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.

Titles in this very arthouse edition of the Round-Up include a stylish horror film called “Nightmare,” a twisted thriller called “PVC-1,” a puzzle of a story known as “Fermat’s Room,” an Icelandic movie called “White Night Wedding,” and an odd flick directed by Madonna known as “Filth and Wisdom”. Art film fans should check them all out. Keep IFC going as strongly as they have lately. But if you need more information, official synopsis, cast, and tech details follow.

PVC-1” and “White Night Wedding” were released on September 15th, 2009.

“Fermat’s Room,” “Filth and Wisdom,” and “Nightmare” will be released on September 29th, 2009.

“Fermat’s Room”

Fermat's Room
Photo credit: IFC

Synopsis: “Four famed mathematicians, all strangers to one another, are invited to the remote home of a mysterious man known only as ‘Fermat’. Once there, they are locked in a room and given a series of logic puzzles that must be solved within one minute each. For each late answer, hydraulic presses will push the walls closer together. Why have they been placed in this elaborate death trap? What is their connection to each other? And for genius minds about to be brutally crushed, is staying alive the ultimate enigma? Federico Luppi (“Cronos,” “Pan’s Labyrinth”) and Lluis Homar (“Bad Education,” “Broken Embraces”) star in the stunning Spanish thriller that The Daily Express calls “ingenious and thoroughly entertaining Fermat’s Room is a nail-biting fight for survival.”

“Fermat’s Room” stars Lluis Homar, Santi Millan, Alejo Sauras, Elena Ballesteros, and Federico Luppi. It was written and directed by Luis Piedrahita and Rodrigo Sopena. The film is presented in 1.85:1 widescreen and accompanied by a Spanish language Dolby Digital 5.1 track. The film is not rated.

There are no special features.

“Filth and Wisdom”

Filth and Wisdom
Photo credit: IFC

Synopsis: “Madonna’s directorial debut, Filth and Wisdom, is a hilariously sexy tale of three roommates who must delve into mischievous and naughty behavior in pursuit of bigger and brighter futures. A Ukrainian immigrant, A.K.(Eugene Hutz), finances his dreams of ‘transcontinental superstardom’ with his band, Gogol Bordello by turning tricks as a role-playing cross dresser. As A.K. literally whips the privileged of London into shape, he also secretly pines for the object of his affection, Holly (Holly Weston), an aspiring ballerina looking for her big break while moonlighting as a slippery stripper. Meanwhile, Juliette (Vicky McClure) steals medicine from her pharmaceutical job in hopes of quenching her dreams of helping Africa’s youth. Filth and Wisdom is every bit as erotic and playful as it is poignant and touching, revealing the universal struggles we all face in our pursuits of happiness.”

“Filth and Wisdom” stars Eugene Hutz, Holly Weston, Vicky McClure, and Richard E. Grant. It was written by Madonna and Dan Cadan and directed by Madonna. The film is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen and accompanied by an English language Dolby Digital 5.1 track. The film is not rated.

The only special feature is the film’s trailer. No Madonna commentary? Come on.


Photo credit: IFC

Synopsis: “A young film student has a one-night stand with an aspiring actress. The next morning, there is a video camera pointed at their bed. But rather than a sex tape, they find what appears to be a brutal snuff movie starring themselves as the killers. They have no memory of the murders and there is no evidence of the carnage. Do the answers to this waking terror wait in the student’s own work, or could the line between reality and illusion slice straight to the edge of madness? Jason Scott Campbell and Nicole Roderick star in this mind-bending shocker that Horror Talk calls “a thinking man’s horror film in the realm of Donnie Darko. Writer/director Dylan Bank makes a fearless, stylish debut, fusing psychological horror and indie auteur cinema!”

“Nightmare” stars Jason Scott Campbell and Nicole Roderick. It was written by Dylan Bank and Morgan Perme and directed by Bank. The film is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen and accompanied by an English language Dolby Digital 5.1 track. The film is not rated.

Special features include an alternate ending, “The Morning After” interview, and the film’s trailer.


Photo credit: IFC

Synopsis: “In 2000, a group of masked men invaded the home of a poor family in rural Colombia. They then attached a bomb encased in PVC-1 tubing around the mother’s neck and demanded 15 million pesos. The family would be told by phone where to bring the money. If the ransom were not delivered according to exact instructions, the collar bomb would be detonated. Greek/Colombian writer/director Spiros Stathoulopoulos films the story of this harrowing ordeal in one unbroken take for an unprecedented achievement in real-time suspense that stunned audiences at the Cannes Film Festival.”

PVC-1” stars Merida Urquia, Daniel Paez, and Alberto Sornoza. The film was written by Spiros Stathoulopoulos and Dwight Istanbulian and directed by Stathoulopoulos. The film is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen and accompanied by a Spanish language Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track. The film is not rated.

There are no special features.

“White Night Wedding”

White Night Wedding
Photo credit: IFC

Synopsis: “In 24 hours, forty-something professor Jon will be getting married to a student half his age. But before he can make it to the ceremony, he’ll have to deal with a massive debt to his mother-in-law to-be, his extremely drunk best man, the logistics of a remote Icelandic island, an increasingly hostile reverend, and the guilt-ridden memory of his emotionally unstable first wife. Can love survive one final night under the midnight sun or is the road to happiness paved with blissful ignorance Hilmir Snaer Gudnason stars in this internationally acclaimed comedy/drama from writer/director Baltasar Kornakur, that The Calgary Herald calls “a hilarious, darker version of Woody Allen or Alexander Payne. You won’t see a better film this year than White Night Wedding!””

“White Night Wedding” was written by Baltasar Kornakur & Olafur Egil Egillson and directed by Kornakur. The film is presented in 2.35:1 widescreen and accompanied by an Icelandic language Dolby Digital 5.1 track. The film is not rated.

Special features include the film’s trailer.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

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