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Odds: Monday – The inescapable Borat, Bollywood, Bowie.

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In the biz: Borys Kit at the Hollywood Reporter writes that "Universal Pictures has won the intense bidding war for ‘Bruno,’ Sacha Baron Cohen‘s follow-up movie to ‘Borat.’" Universal’s shelling out a lot of cash on the basis of a film that’s by no means a safe bet — Baron Cohen’s Bruno character is also a lot less endearing than Borat, but ah, well. We wish him only the best. Also at the Hollywood Reporter, Gregg Goldstein notes that ThinkFilm has picked up doc "The Hip Hop Project," which premiered at Tribeca earlier this year. Via Coming Soon, "the sequel to 2004’s ‘Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle’ is planned for a late January start date in Shreveport, Louisiana. John Cho and Kal Penn are set to reprise their roles as Harold and Kumar, respectively." And via WENN, Jesse James Hollywood, the inspiration for Emile Hirsch‘s character in Nick Cassavetes"Alpha Dog," is suing Universal Pictures and "claims the movie will ‘irreparably harm’ his ability to receive a fair trial." The movie, if it ever comes out, will be Justin Timberlake‘s theatrical debut ("Edison" having gone straight to video).

More "Borat": In an odd piece in the Guardian, Johnny Dee reminds the world about Mahir Cagri, the Turkish man who becomes internet famous for his unintentionally hilarious personal website (you remember, "I Kiss You!!!"), and who he sees as a clear inspiration for Baron Cohen’s character. Christopher Howse in the Telegraph writes that

When he was in America for advance publicity for the film, in character, [Baron Cohen] remarked, "I would like to meet the fearless anti-Jew warrior, Melvin Gibson." That’s a joke against poor Mel, of course. But how much postmodernist irony can we consume before we begin to swallow straight the lines that say the opposite of what is meant?

Peter Howell at the Toronto Star wonders the same thing.

In other news, Grady Hendrix at Kaiju Shakedown writes that "After 20 years, Carina Lau and Tony Leung have finally said they’re a married couple."

Anupama Chopra at the New York Times reports on the changing face of Bollywood film:

The universal Bollywood hit is becoming increasingly difficult to pull off. A decade ago, the Hindi film market was largely considered a homogenous monolith. What worked in one town was likely to work in another. But over the years the business has splintered dramatically, forcing industry pundits to create new labels for films.

We’re loving the phrase "Supergentry."

At the Independent, David Thomson sings the praises of Isabelle Huppert, but qualifies it in his intro with "At the risk of getting too excited about a blonde actress with a touch of red in her hair…" Hyuck! At the Observer, Liz Hoggard (briefly) sings the praises of David Bowie, bad actor:

But you have to love David for trying. He’s played Pontius Pilate, Andy Warhol, a marooned alien and a goblin king in a fright wig in Labyrinth. Just when you think he might have got the hang of it (he won rave reviews for Nic Roeg‘s The Man Who Fell to Earth and Oshima‘s Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence) along comes a turkey like Absolute Beginners.

And at Slate, Doree Shafrir asks the eternal question "Why can’t a screenwriter be an auteur, too?" The answer, we all know, is that the director can ultimately just grab the script with a "Yoink!" and run off howling with laughter and waving a Sharpie over his or her head, but Shafrir is more specifically focused on the Guillermo Arriaga/Alejandro González Iñárritu feud laid out by Terrence Rafferty in the New York Times a week ago.

+ Universal raises eyebrows with "Bruno" deal (HR)
+ ThinkFilm hip to ‘Hip Hop’ docu project (HR)
+ Second Harold & Kumar Starts in January (Coming Soon)
+ Lawyers Try To Block Movie on Murder Case (WENN)
+ The real Borat (Guardian)
+ We know he’s joking… don’t we? (Telegraph)
+ Why it’s okay to laugh at Borat (Toronto Star)
+ FRIDAY IS FUN-DAY (Kaiju Shakedown)
+ Can Bollywood Please All the People, All the Time? (NY Times)
+ Film Studies: The French directors’ woman (Independent)
+ Why I love David Bowie’s acting (Observer)
+ Bored of Directors (Slate)

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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.


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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