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Odds: Thursday – Going to hell in a hotrod.

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"Call them punks, call them animals... but you better get out of their way!"
In the New York Observer, Gabriel Sherman has a depressing piece about the current state of the Village Voice under its new ownership:

The film-review budget has been cut by two-thirds, according to a source, and some film reviews are now being contributed by freelance writers from other New Times papers. According to Voice staffers, New Times has also dismissed The Voice‘s three-person fact-checking department and laid off two of the five copy editors. Last month, [Michael] Lacey killed interim editor Ward Harkavy’s blog, the Bush Beat. The end-page essay has been discontinued. Voice writers now have to use the New Times stylebook, and according to a source, there are words—including “meta” and “subversive”—that are now banned from the paper.

[Okay, we did laugh at that last part, but only because it reminded us of when we were officially banned from referring to things "so late 90s." Anyway, hasn’t "meta" entered the vernacular yet? Everyone we know overuses it to a distressing extent.] It’s a sad state for a paper that’s always upheld high standards, or, failing that, at least high opinions of film criticism, and a place where many major critics got their start.

In the Sydney Morning Herald, Garry Maddox lists his seven deadly sins of moviegoing etiquette, while at the Toronto Star Peter Howell‘s only semi-serious call for more drive-in theaters is a reminder of what’s great about the communal cinemagoing, particularly when the film could be considered a little…lacking.

The drive-in was the last place where anybody wanted to be distracted by a flickering screen. I’m thinking of movies like "Hot Rods to Hell" (how I wish it was available on DVD) and "The Pom Pom Girls," which I almost saw at drive-ins on hot summer nights a long time ago. The kind that has kept shlockmeister Roger Corman happily employed, adored by cults and revered by himself.

Speaking of, in the new issue of Firecracker, Erika Franklin interviews Filipino B-movie maestro Cirio H. Santiago, who directed and produced over 20 movies for Corman for international export:

Utilising the low-cost of movie-making in the Philippines, the diverse landscape (“We can fake many places here: Florida, Vietnam, South America…we have jungle, desert, beaches… it’s all here”) in addition to the pan-Asian appearance of Filipinos who could masquerade as anyone from Vietnam to Hawaii (“as long as we are wearing Hawaiian shirts, we look Hawaiian!” he jokes).

There’s also a new issue of Sight & Sound up; among the offerings online are Charles Gant‘s look at Julien Temple‘s "Glastonbury" and Robin Buss‘s rambler of a look at the love French directors have for Hitchcock that concludes with an interview between Dominik Moll (of "Lemming") and James Bell.

In the Korea Times, Bae Keun-min talks to actress Ko Hyun-jung, who, after a decade in television will make her film debut in Hong Sang-soo‘s latest, "Woman on the Beach," which began shooting last week. She doesn’t have much to say, but the article does mention this about the film:

The film features four 30-something people, who happen to meet each other at a beach and attempt to hook up. Ko will play the role of Mun-suk, a jobless female who studied film music in Germany. Actress Song Seon-mi and actors Kim Seung-woo and Kim Tae-woo have been cast in the other main roles.

In the Guardian, Mark Brown presents a list of the 50 best film adaptations (from books) of all time, according to "a panel of experts." The list is being offered up to the public, who’ll vote on which is the all-time best, and as with any of these type of things, it’s a highly debatable selection. But c’mon, no "Silence of the Lambs"? It should get points just for improving so much on the dismal, airport-paperback quality of its source material.

The latest Blog-a-Thon took place yesterday on the topic of Angie Dickinson. We direct you to Dennis Cozzalio at Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule for "Big Bad Mama" ruminations and pointers to the day’s participants.

At The Reeler, S.T. VanAirsdale revisits IFC’s own "This Film Is Not Yet Rated."

Finally, the "Four Eyed Monsters"‘s dynamic duo, Susan Buice and Arin Crumley, will be appearing at the Soho Apple store next Friday to discuss their film and their podcasting.

+ Can Village Voice Make It Without Its Lefty Zetz? (NY Observer)
+ ‘Yeah, I’m at the movies’ (Sydney Morning Herald)
+ A call for drive-in revival (Toronto Star)
+ May 2006 (Sight & Sound)
+ Ko Hyun-jung to Debut on Big Screen (Korea Times)
+ Film of the book: top 50 adaptations revealed (Guardian)
+ ANGIE DICKINSON: THE WOMAN NEXT DOOR (Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule)
+ Dick, IFC Bring ‘Not Yet Rated’ to NYC Audience (The Reeler)
+ Friday, April 28th (Apple Store – Soho)

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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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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.


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.



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 and the IFC app.

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