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DID YOU READ

Awesome; I can’t fuckin’ watch that!

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Strictly handheld is the way to go.
In the Observer, Simon Garfield talks to director Julien Temple (of Sex Pistols docs "The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle" and "The Filth and the Fury") and talks up his new film, "Glastonbury," a doc that attempts to encompass all 30 years of and the general spirit behind the massive music festival.

Temple pulled through and the result is one of the most absorbing and
inspiring music films ever made. Even that claim underplays it: it is a
music film, one stretching from Melanie singing of peace to Jarvis
Cocker singing of common people, but, like Glastonbury itself, it is
also something else. It is a film about people out of their heads,
about insurance brokers finding themselves, about old folk describing
how festival-goers smell, about the erection of ‘car-Henge’. And even
that doesn’t quite explain what makes Temple’s film so compelling, so
we may have to content ourselves with the only dread phrase that fits:
the Vibe.

Temple also solicited tapes from festival-goers, and incorporated a decent amount of privately shot archival footage into the film in an attempt to capture the communal sense of the festival, a motivation not unlike the Beastie Boys’ with "Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That!," which opens this Friday, and which is made up of footage from 50 DV cameras handed out to fans at the groups’ 2004 concert at Madison Square Garden.

[A side note: we haven’t seen "Awesome…"; we were afraid. This is not even some princessy thing about our not really caring of concert flicks — we were genuinely curious, but also knew with dead certainty that if we attempted to watch a frenetically edited film shot entirely on handheld cameras by amateurs in a crowded arena, we would end up expelling the contents of our stomach on some poor film critic’s unsuspecting head halfway through. We are not as young as we used to be.]

In the Washington Post, J. Freedom du Lac chats with the ‘Boys:

"When it played at Sundance, some people walked out of there — maybe more film-type people," [Mike] Diamond says. "And they were going, ‘This is really loud, and there are a lot of edits, and aaaaaargh! It’s too intense!’ They couldn’t take it."

Says [editor Neal] Usatin: "It’s really subversive, this kaleidoscopic and violent presentation that at the same time is seductive. It reaches out and smacks you across the face."

And at the AP, Jake Coyle surveys the new crop of concert docs ("Awesome…," "Block Party" and "Heart of Gold") and their differing approaches — in "Heart of Gold," he points out, Jonathan Demme not once pans out to the audience, while for "Awesome…" Adam Yauch talks about wanted to recreate the feel of a bootleg recording.

Our beef with concert films is that they often neglect to actually be, well, films — save for a handful of landmark titles, the genre is composed of cultural artifacts and selections that would only ever appeal to dedicated fans of the band in question. But "Awesome…" goes beyond this to not even actually be about the music — Yauch is more concerned with capturing the experience of being at a concert than the performance on stage. To which we’d like to say, why bother with this communal POV crap not time? Why not just give the camera to one person, for true intimacy’s sake? Our suggestions for future films:

"Rock ‘n’ Roll Star: Oasis in Los Angeles"
A thirteen-hour documentary on Oasis’ legendarily testy Los Angeles show on their first US tour (leading to the band’s temporary break-up). Subject piles into a Honda Civic with three other concert-goers and takes a five-hour ride to LA. Arriving at the club, subject is denied entrance despite presenting as evidence of her having reached legal drinking age an expired passport belonging to her friend’s boyfriend’s Korean cousin. Subject waits outside the venue until the concert is over, at which point the four embark on the drive back home.

Highlight: At a rest stop Denny’s, one concert-goer places french fries in his nostrils and proceeds to do a passable walrus imitation.

"Warrant: We’ll Find a Way"
Subject starts taping the long-lived glam metal band’s memorable stop at Maestro’s Italian Restaurant, part of a nationwide tour supporting their under-appreciated fifth album, from a perch behind table 7, but, after being informed by the restaurant’s manager that he cannot stand on a chair, even for the sake of a feature film, switches to a perhaps less successful vantage point behind a couple making out against a decorative column.

Highlight: Busboy Jeremy snickers when guitarist Rick Steier bumps his head against a hanging light fixture. Later, as the credits roll, Jeremy is chased around the parking lot by irate aging metalheads.

"Brazilian Girls: Escape to New York"
Subject arrives at the eclectic dance quartet’s crowded surprise gig in the small Alphabet City venue where they got their start, and immediately pushes through the crowd to the back room, where he and his companions spend approximately thirty minutes attempting to purchase cocaine. After giving "Jimbo" $100 for a baggie containing baby power and ground-up laxatives, subject and companions retire to the bathroom, where, for the remainder of the film, the camera is left atop the toilet facing a tiled wall while the subject and companions consume the contents of the aforementioned baggie.

Highlight: Midway through the band’s impassioned rendition of their popular single "Don’t Stop" (muted but audible through the door), subject observes that "This is way better than the stuff I get from Mike’s guy."

+ This blissful film lasts for 35 years… (Observer)
+ Giving Fans an ‘Awesome’ Task
(Washington Post)
+ New Crop of Concert Films Rock Theaters (AP)

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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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Reality? Check.

Baroness For Life

Baroness von Sketch Show is available for immediate consumption.

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GIFs via Giphy

Baroness von Sketch Show is snowballing as people have taken note of its subtle and not-so-subtle skewering of everyday life. The New York Times, W Magazine, and Vogue have heaped on the praise, but IFC had a few more probing questions…

IFC: To varying degrees, your sketches are simply scripted examples of things that actually happen. What makes real life so messed up?

Aurora: Hubris, Ego and Selfish Desires and lack of empathy.

Carolyn: That we’re trapped together in the 3rd Dimension.

Jenn: 1. Other people 2. Other people’s problems 3. Probably something I did.

IFC: A lot of people I know have watched this show and realized, “Dear god, that’s me.” or “Dear god, that’s true.” Why do people have their blinders on?

Aurora: Because most people when you’re in the middle of a situation, you don’t have the perspective to step back and see yourself because you’re caught up in the moment. That’s the job of comedians is to step back and have a self-awareness about these things, not only saying “You’re doing this,” but also, “You’re not the only one doing this.” It’s a delicate balance of making people feel uncomfortable and comforting them at the same time.

via GIPHY

IFC: Unlike a lot of popular sketch comedy, your sketches often focus more on group dynamics vs iconic individual characters. Why do you think that is and why is it important?

Meredith: We consider the show to be more based around human dynamics, not so much characters. If anything we’re more attracted to the energy created by people interacting.

Jenn: So much of life is spent trying to work it out with other people, whether it’s at work, at home, trying to commute to work, or even on Facebook it’s pretty hard to escape the group.

IFC: Are there any comedians out there that you feel are just nailing it?

Aurora: I love Key and Peele. I know that their show is done and I’m in denial about it, but they are amazing because there were many times that I would imagine that Keegan Michael Key was in the scene while writing. If I could picture him saying it, I knew it would work. I also kind of have a crush on Jordan Peele and his performance in Big Mouth. Maya Rudolph also just makes everything amazing. Her puberty demon on Big Mouth is flawless. She did an ad for 7th generation tampons that my son, my husband and myself were singing around the house for weeks. If I could even get anything close to her career, I would be happy. I’m also back in love with Rick and Morty. I don’t know if I have a crush on Justin Roiland, I just really love Rick (maybe even more than Morty). I don’t have a crush on Jerry, the dad, but I have a crush on Chris Parnell because he’s so good at being Jerry.

Jenn: I LOVE ISSA RAE!

via GIPHY

IFC: If you could go back in time and cast yourselves in any sitcom, which would it be and how would it change?

Carolyn: I’d go back in time and cast us in The Partridge Family.  We’d make an excellent family band. We’d have a laugh, break into song and wear ruffled blouses with velvet jackets.  And of course travel to all our gigs on a Mondrian bus. I feel really confident about this choice.

Meredith: Electric Mayhem from The Muppet Show. It wouldn’t change, they were simply perfect, except… maybe a few more vaginas in the band.

Binge the entire first and second seasons of Baroness von Sketch Show now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

E.Coli High is in your gut and on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Brothers-in-law Kevin Barker and Ben Miller have just made the mother of all Comedy Crib series, in the sense that their Comedy Crib series is a big deal and features a hot mom. Animated, funny, and full of horrible bacteria, the series juxtaposes timeless teen dilemmas and gut-busting GI infections to create a bite-sized narrative that’s both sketchy and captivating. The two sat down, possibly in the same house, to answer some questions for us about the series. Let’s dig in….

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IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

BEN: Hi ummm uhh hi ok well its like umm (gets really nervous and blows it)…

KB: It’s like the Super Bowl meets the Oscars.

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

BEN: Oh wow, she’s really cute isn’t she? I’d definitely blow that too.

KB: It’s a cartoon that is happening inside your stomach RIGHT NOW, that’s why you feel like you need to throw up.

IFC: What was the genesis of E.Coli High?

KB: I had the idea for years, and when Ben (my brother-in-law, who is a special needs teacher in Philly) began drawing hilarious comics, I recruited him to design characters, animate the series, and do some writing. I’m glad I did, because Ben rules!

BEN: Kevin told me about it in a park and I was like yeah that’s a pretty good idea, but I was just being nice. I thought it was dumb at the time.

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IFC: What makes going to proms and dating moms such timeless and oddly-relatable subject matter?

BEN: Since the dawn of time everyone has had at least one friend with a hot mom. It is physically impossible to not at least make a comment about that hot mom.

KB: Who among us hasn’t dated their friend’s mom and levitated tables at a prom?

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

BEN: There’s a lot of content now. I don’t think anyone will even notice, but it’d be cool if they did.

KB: A show about talking food poisoning bacteria is basically the same as just watching the news these days TBH.

Watch E.Coli High below and discover more NYTVF selections from years past on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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