DID YOU READ

News bits.

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And from the future.
Because it’s awfully quiet today — and damn right, it’s a holiday! Nearly!

Big news: Richard Kelly‘s "Southland Tales" has been acquired by Sony Pictures (via Borys Kit at the Hollywood Reporter). Of the notorious Cannes reception and the assumed heavy editing the film would be undergoing:

"(Richard) is going to complete his edit, and when we see his cut, we’ll figure out the distribution plan," SHE president Ben Feingold said. "But it will be theatrical."

The studio is providing suggestions to Kelly, but "it’s his movie," Feingold said. "We’ll have a point of view, but people like (Kelly’s) sensibility."

Also from Mr. Kit, a Jeff Buckley biopic is in the works — "Writer-director Brian Jun, whose ‘Steel City’ was nominated for the grand jury prize at January’s Sundance Film Festival, will write and direct a feature based on the musician’s life. The movie is being produced by Buckley’s mother, Mary Guibert, and Michelle Sy, who executive produced ‘Finding Neverland.’"

Sheigh Crabtree reports that Alison Eastwood will make her directorial debut with "Rails and Ties" for Warner Independent, leading up to an inevitable hair-pulling red carpet catfight with Sofia Coppola, after which they will weep in each other’s arms over how their famous dads kept making them act in their movies.

And Gregg Goldstein notes that new indie distributor Outsider Pictures has announced their slate: "The company launches in August with Spiro Taraviras‘ documentary ‘Buzz,’ which profiles film noir screenwriter A.I. Bezzerides. Other releases set for this year will include Robert Connolly‘s drama of an impoverished family man, ‘Three Dollars’; Randall Rubin and Jon Schroder‘s teen romance ‘Jimmy and Judy’ starring Edward Furlong; and Barbara Willis Sweete‘s docu on the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, ‘Five Days in September: the Rebirth of an Orchestra.’"

Edward Furlong — we thought he was dead! Good on ya, Edward, you’re not.

Elsewhere in the world: CRI reports that Taiwanese pop star Wang Leehom is being considered for the part of "a patriotic youth" in Ang Lee‘s "Lust, Caution." Tom Perry at Reuters writes that "The Yacoubian Building," which screened at Tribeca (our brief impressions are here) and which deals with controversial topics not typically touched upon by Egyptian cinema, including homosexuality, police torture
and government corruption, has topped the Egyptian box office since it’s June 19th premiere.

Egyptian censors tightly control films’ political content. Alaa al Aswany, an anti-government activist, suggested the film was allowed to air to give the impression of greater freedoms.

"They do this every now and then. They have an accumulation of experience in decoration, to make the point that it’s a democracy," he said.

Via AP, Staff Sgt. Raymond J. Plouhar, a Marine and one-time recruiter who appeared in "Fahrenheit 9/11" (he worked the mall parking lot: "It’s better to get them when they’re in ones and twos and work on them that way.") was killed in a roadside bombing in Iraq.

Although Plouhar willingly appeared in the movie, which is critical of the Bush administration’s actions after Sept. 11, his father said Plouhar didn’t realize it would criticize the war.

"I’m proud that my son wanted to protect the freedom of this country whether we all agree with the war or not," he said.

Eugene Hernandez at indieWIRE reports that LAFF prizes (of $50,000 each) went to Steve Collins for "Gretchen" and Amy Berg for "Deliver Us From Evil." And via Sandy Cohen at AP, "Crash" was one of the winner of $25,000 and the Humanitas Prize for work that helps "liberate, enrich and unify society." We’re so far past making fun of "Crash" at this point that…that…we’ve got nothing. Too liberated, we suppose.

Lastly, Xeni Jardin at BoingBoing points out that, in a case of life echoing "Hard Candy" (sans castration) "two Florida girls aged 14 and 15 created a bogus profile on MySpace, grabbed a pair of pistols, then robbed an adult man who arranged to meet the lovely but fictitious 18-year-old ‘Natalia’ in person."

+ Sony travels to Kelly’s "Southland" (HR)
+ Jun hits the right notes for Buckley biopic (HR)
+ Alison Eastwood rides "Rails" with Warner Independent (HR)
+ Indie Outsider sets film slate (HR)
+ Leehom Wong to Star in Ang Lee’s "Lust, Caution"? (CRI)
+ Egyptian film breaks taboos and tops box office (Reuters)
+ Marine in `Fahrenheit 9/11′ killed in Iraq (AP)
+ "Gretchen" and "Deliver Us From Evil" Win Big Award$ in L.A. (indieWIRE)
+ ‘Crash’ screenplay wins Humanitas Prize (AP)
+ Underage teen girls rob adult man they met on MySpace (Boing Boing)

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Thank Azaria

Best. Characters. Ever.

Our favorite Hank Azaria characters.

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GIFs via Giphy

Hank Azaria may well be the most prolific voice and character actor of our time. The work he’s done for The Simpsons alone has earned him a permanent place in the pop culture zeitgeist. And now he’s bringing another character to the mainstream: a washed-up sports announcer named Jim Brockmire, in the aptly titled new series Brockmire.

We’re looking forward to it. So much so that we want to look backward, too, with a short-but-sweet retrospective of some of Azaria’s important characters. Shall we begin?

Half The Recurring Simpsons Characters

He’s Comic Book Guy. He’s Chief Wiggum. He’s Apu. He’s Cletus. He’s Snake. He’s Superintendent Chalmers. He’s the Sea Captain. He’s Kurt “Can I Borrow A Feeling” Van Houten. He’s Professor Frink. He’s Carl. And he’s many more. But most importantly he’s Moe Szyslak, the staple character Azaria has voiced since his very first audition for The Simpsons.

Oh, and He’s Frank Grimes

For all the regular Simpsons characters Azaria has played over the years, his most brilliant performance may have been a one-off: Frank Grimes, the scrappy bootstrapper who worked tirelessly all his life for honest, incremental, and easily-undermined success. Azaria’s portrayal of this character was nuanced, emotional, and simply magical.

Patches O’Houlihan

Dodgeball is a “sport of violence, exclusion and degradation.” as Hank Azaria generously points out in his brief but crucial cameo in Dodgeball. That’s sage wisdom. Try applying his “five D’s” to your life on and off the court and enjoy the results.

Harold Zoid

Of Futurama fame. The crazy uncle of Dr. Zoidberg, Harold Zoid was once a lion (or lobster) of the silver screen until Smell-o-vision forced him into retirement.

Agador

The Birdcage was significant for many reasons, and the comic genius of Hank Azaria’s character “Agador” sits somewhere towards the top of that list. If you haven’t seen this movie, shame on you.

Gargamel

Nobody else could make a live-action Gargamel possible.

Ed Cochran

From Ray Donovan. Great character, great last name [editorial note: the author of this article may be bias].

Kahmunra, The Thinker, Abe Lincoln

All in the Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian, a file that let Azaria flex his voice acting and live-action muscles in one fell swoop.

The Blue Raja

Mystery Men has everything, including a fatal case of Smash Mouth. Azaria’s iconic superhero makes the shortlist of redeemable qualities, though.

Dr. Huff

Huff put Azaria in a leading role, and it was good. So good that there is no good gif of it. Internet? More like Inter-not.

Learn more about Hank Azaria’s newest claim to fame right here, and don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Flame Out

Brockmire and Other Public Implosions

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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There’s less than a month until the Brockmire premiere, and to say we’re excited would be an insulting understatement. It’s not just that it stars Hank Azaria, who can do no wrong (and yes, that’s including Mystery Men, which is only cringeworthy because of Smash Mouth). It’s that the whole backstory of the titular character, Jim Brockmire, is the stuff of legends. A one-time iconic sportscaster who won the hearts of fans and players alike, he fell from grace after an unfortunate personal event triggered a seriously public meltdown. See for yourself in the NSFW Funny or Die digital short that spawned the IFC series:

See? NSFW and spectacularly catastrophic in a way that could almost be real. Which got us thinking: What are some real-life sports fails that have nothing to do with botched athletics and everything to do with going tragically off script? The internet is a dark and dirty place, friends, but these three examples are pretty special and mostly safe for work…

Disgruntled Sports Reporter

His co-anchor went offsides and he called it like he saw it.

Jim Rome vs Jim “Not Chris” Everett

You just don’t heckle a professional athlete when you’re within striking distance. Common sense.

Carl Lewis’s National Anthem

He killed it! As in murdered. It’s dead.

To see more moments just like these, we recommend spending a day in your pajamas combing through the muckiness of the internet. But to see something that’s Brockmire-level funny without having to clear your browser history, check out the sneak peeks and extras here.

Don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Mirror, Mirror

Portlandia Season 7 In Hindsight

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available Online and on the IFC App.

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Another season of Portlandia is behind us, and oh what a season it was. We laughed. We cried. And we chuckled uncomfortably while glancing nervously around the room. Like every season before it, the latest Portlandia has held a mirror up to ridiculousness of modern American life, but more than ever that same mirror has reflected our social reality in ways that are at once hysterical and sneakily thought-provoking. Here are just a few of the issues they tackled:

Nationalism

So long, America, Portland is out! And yes, the idea of Portland seceding is still less ludicrous than building a wall.

Men’s Rights

We all saw this coming. Exit gracefully, dudes.

Protests

Whatever you stand for, stand for it together. Or with at least one other person.

Free Love

No matter who we are or how we love, deep down we all have the ability to get stalky.

Social Status

Modern self-esteem basically hinges on likes, so this isn’t really a stretch at all.

These moments are just the tip of the iceberg, and much more can be found in the full seventh season of #Portlandia, available right now #online and on the #IFC app.

via GIPHY

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