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DID YOU READ

Gothams, Pusan and snuff films.

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Leo.
This, with a few additions, would have been our "Odds" post last night if we hadn’t rushed off to see "Babel," which in retrospect we probably could have lived without.

Gotham Award nominees! The Best Picture list include "Half Nelson" and "Old Joy," as well as, laughably, "The Departed," "Marie Antoinette" and "Little Children." What does the "I" in IFP stand for again? If this is the trend, then it’s going to be another year in which the Indie Spirit Awards and the Oscars are near-identical.

Via CRI, "[s]peaking at the Rome Film Festival, Hollywood star Nicole Kidman said
she will give up the role in Hong Kong director Wong Kar-Wai‘s project
‘Lady from Shanghai’. The Oscar-winning actress said she wanted to accompany her newlywed
singer husband Keith Urban, who entered a rehabilitation treatment
center Thursday for alcohol abuse." She could have probably stuck it out — it’s possible that WKW will be shooting "My Blueberry Nights" for, like, eight years anyway.

Via Empire, George Clooney will appear in "Burn Before Reading," the next Coen brothers film, though he won’t play the lead. The film, loosely based on Stansfield Turner’s book of the same name, is "a semi-comic CIA pic about an agency man who pens a book detailing some of his missions and then loses the disc with his manuscript on it."

At indieWIRE, Brian Brooks reports that Chinese director Heng Yang’s "Betelnut" and Malaysian director Chui Mui Tan‘s "Love Conquers All" shared the Pusan International Film Festival’s New Currents Best New Asian Filmmaker of the Year award. Grady Hendrix at Kaiju Shakedown was also at Pusan, and reports on the festival’s first Asian Film Market:

Cluelessness is pandemic. People don’t see what they don’t want to see and some of the sellers had little to no idea about the American market. The price tags attached to some truly dodgy pictures were in the six digits, an amount that anyone who’s not the Weinsteins would find prohibitively expensive since there’s no way you can pay a six figure minimum guarantee, pay P&A on a theatrical release and hope to make your money back in this lifetime. Better to take your acquisitions money and head out to Vegas where the chance of a return is greater. But comments from sellers ranged from, "America is a big country" to "This is the best I can do" while showing off price tags from Mars.

And, while on the topic of Korea, Jason Burke at the Observer writes that Jang In-hak‘s "The Schoolgirl’s Diary" was picked up by Paris-based film distributor Pretty Pictures, making it the first North Korean film to be sold to a Western distributor for decades.

[Pretty Pictures’ head James] Velaise hopes to secure a slot for the film at the Cannes Film Festival next May. ‘If the film arrives in Cannes it’ll show another side to North Korean culture. They’re not all out to do nuclear crazy things. There are normal people in that country.’

We wish we’d thought of the "respectable snuff film" angle in Dennis Lim‘s  Sunday New York Times piece first. Our goal for next year: to coin a film phrase.

+ IFP Announces 2006 Gotham Award Honorees and Nominations (IFP.org)
+ Nicole Drops Wong Kar-Wai Plan? (CRI English)
+ Clooney Says Burn After Reading (Empire)
+ "Betelnut" and "Love Conquers All" Take Pusan Prizes; American Presence Slowly Increases (indieWIRE)
+ WHAT I LEARNED IN PUSAN (Kaiju Shakedown)
+ Cinematic bombshell from Kim (Observer)
+ Mondo Multiplex: The Snuff Film Turns Respectable (NY Times)

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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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.

via GIPHY

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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SistersWeekend_103_MPX-1920×1080

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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