This browser is supported only in Windows 10 and above.


Talky thing, ain’t ya?

Posted by on

No, you can't keep it.
Plowing through several days worth of interviews and profiles, the lazy way:

Byambasuren Davaa (director of "The Story of the Weeping Camel" and the more recent "The Cave of the Yellow Dog"), chatting with the London TimesWendy Ide:

Davaa took a crew of just six people to Mongolia, interviewing each in depth to avoid the problems she faced on her first film when she discovered that she had inadvertently employed a vegetarian, which is "suicide" in Mongolia. "I picked the team very carefully and tried to make them adapt and integrate into the culture of the Mongolian nomads. I intended from the beginning that the crew should be very small so that they could build a close relationship with the family."

The inescapable Johnny Depp, talking with the Telegraph‘s John Hiscock:

The notion of playing Hamlet has also been in the back of his mind ever since Marlon Brando suggested he should do it a decade or so ago. "Marlon wanted me to escape movies for a while," he says, slipping into a spot-on Brando impersonation: ‘Take a year off. Go on. Study Shakespeare.’

"So it’s one of the things that keep ricocheting around in my head. He told me that by the time he had got to the point where he felt he could do Hamlet, it was too late. So he said, ‘Do it now, do it while you can.’

"And I would like to do it – although it’s one of the more frightening ideas I’ve had. I think as an actor it is good to feel the fear of failing miserably. I think you should take that risk. Fear is a necessary ingredient in everything I do.

"But if I do Hamlet it will probably be in a small theatre on a small stage and it will have to be very, very soon because I’m getting a little long in the tooth for it."

Michel Gondry, on "The Science of Sleep" with James Mottram at the Independent:

There’s no doubt as to why [Charlotte] Gainsbourg feels the film is "close to" [Charlie] Kaufman‘s work, a comparison that sees Gondry screw up his pale face. "Why would she say that?" he sniffs, half-joking. "I’m going to call her and complain." With his curly brown hair, checked shirt and soft manner, Gondry rather resembles his erstwhile scribe. Slightly exasperated, he concedes they share some sensibilities. "Maybe, we have in common certain negative feelings," he says, "and some feelings about relationships and emotion."

A charmingly odd Naomie Harris, with Stuart Husband in the Observer:

‘On ‘Miami Vice,’ Michael [Mann] kept saying, whatever you need, you can have,’ she says. ‘Like, do you think it would help your research to fly to Ghana and meet some tribal leader? The budget was bottomless.’ Harris settled for heading off to the Bronx and training with the Drug Enforcement Agency. ‘I learnt to fire machine guns and went out on an actual drug baron arrest,’ she says incredulously.

Richard Linklater on "A Scanner Darkly," with Peter Howell at the Toronto Star:

He has no illusions about the box office potential of what he calls "this weird little indie film." "Scanner" is opening against "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest," the Johnny Depp-starring blockbuster sequel that could well have one of the biggest openings in history. Linklater sees "Scanner" as counter-programming for brainy film buffs, who may need to see it two or three times to get what it’s all about.

And if people leave the theatre feeling completely bummed about the future of humanity, that’s okay by him. "Sometimes it’s just what the doctor ordered," he says of the negativity.

D.A. Pennebaker, talking "Monterey Pop" with the San Francisco Chronicle‘s John Clark:

Q: Were you approached about shooting Woodstock?

A: Over and over. Not because I was such a fantastic filmmaker but because hardly anyone had made a film like that. One of the reasons I avoided Woodstock was because I didn’t want to get enmeshed in huge numbers of people. Hanging around it were all of these people who were out to make money. What I considered to be the good managers of the good groups were not going to be in it. Albert (Grossman) wasn’t going to let Dylan go there, or the Band. I thought the music wasn’t going to be good, so I didn’t want to get into it at all.

The great (and old) Seijun Suzuki, with the Guardian‘s Steve Rose:

Suzuki expresses surprise at the regard with which he is now held by the younger film-making generation. When Jim Jarmusch met him a few years after paying homage to him in "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai," he described him as "amazing" and likened him to a Japanese Sam Fuller, but the respect hardly seems to have been mutual. "I told him I liked his film, but I said it wasn’t really good for a character to die on the street," says Suzuki. "For us Japanese, the place of death is very important, but what could I do? This is American culture."

Wim Wenders, talking to Stephanie Bunbury at The Age about America:

"This hostile takeover by the religious right has created an unpleasant climate," he says. "It makes you feel like you want to scratch yourself all the time."

+ Steppes back in time (London Times)
+ Truly, madly, Depply (Telegraph)
+ Michel Gondry: No more the dreamer (Telegraph)
+ Miami Nice (Observer)
+ Linklater’s Dark Place (Toronto Star)
+ Man on the Moon (Guardian)
+ Where whim wanders (The Age)

Watch More

WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

Posted by on

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

Watch More

Reality? Check.

Baroness For Life

Baroness von Sketch Show is available for immediate consumption.

Posted by on
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.

Watch More

G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

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

Posted by on

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….


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.


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.

Watch More