This browser is supported only in Windows 10 and above.


“Being beaten over the head with an ’80s stick.”

Posted by on

"Me, I ride for me."
It’s time, one again, for a cruise ’round the current interview circuit. The San Francisco Bay Guardian, never ones to give the high hat to a novelty film, has Duncan Scott Davidson and Cheryl Eddy looking up and interviewing Bill Allen (not that he’s hard to find), the actor who played Christopher "Cru" Jones in 1986 BMX extravaganza "Rad":

I’m sure a lot of people ask you about the bicycle boogie scene.

Oh god. [Pause] It’s [like] being beaten over the head with an ’80s stick. It’s just very indicative of that time period, and that’s not always a great thing, if it’s the ’80s we’re talking about.

What about the ass-sliding? Another classic Rad moment…

It was really cold, and they gave us these wetsuits which did zero good if you’re just gonna be in and out of the water. It was one of the less glamorous parts about the job.

At the Herald Sun, Claire Sutherland talks to a somewhat dour Rowan Atkinson, who’s prepping for another press go-round for his next film, "Mr. Bean’s Holiday" (not due out in the US until August). Atkinson claims it’s "reasonably unlikely" he’ll make another Bean movie.

Making movies is something Atkinson endures rather than enjoys.

"That’s absolutely true. So why do it? I sometimes think it’s like bashing your head against a brick wall. It’s just nice when you stop, and you can’t get that satisfaction of stopping unless you start."

Benjamin Secher talks to "Days of Glory"‘s Rachid Bouchareb at the Telegraph, and the director shares details about the subject of his next film:

"Oui, Bob Mar-lay," he chants, an enormous grin spreading across his face. The details of the biopic are still vague – Bouchareb denies industry gossip that Jamie Foxx has been cast in the lead role – but in securing the official stamp of approval from Marley’s widow Rita, Bouchareb has already succeeded where many others have failed.

"Marley is the only global superstar ever to emerge from the developing world," he says, when asked to explain his fascination with the singer. "Go to any poor neighborhood on the planet – to the suburbs of Paris or Kingston, Jamaica – and you’ll find a poster of Marley on the walls and hear his music on the stereo. He was a carrier of hope for so many people. He used singing as another way to change the world."

Joseph Gordon-Levitt on movie economics — double feature! Talking with Scott Tobias at the Onion AV Club:

I think that there is a market for good movies, for true—I hate to use the word, because people will think I’m pretentious or something, but—"art." I think you can make money. If you look at all the great movies that have made tons of money, almost all of them are great movies too. Even Titanic. I think Titanic is a great movie. I recently watched it, and I thought it was fucking great.

And with Andrew O’Hehir at Salon:

Given your recent performances, you’re going to get offered parts in films that are a little bit more black and white in terms of their structure and that maybe also pay really, really well. Are you really going to be able to say that you don’t want to do those kinds of movies?

I just want to do good movies, and by the way, "The Lookout" paid really well.

Well, good. I’m glad to hear it.

I’m so lucky to have a job like this. It’s funny to me when I hear actors talk about "littler" movies like "The Lookout." "The Lookout" is a huge movie! It cost like $20 million to make! Come on. The point is not how much it cost to make or what corporation backed it, the point is that it was a good script and that the people making it loved what they were doing.

At the Independent, Cathy Pryor speaks with Thelma Schoonmaker, the Oscar-winning editor (most recently lauded for her work in "The Departed") and widow of Michael Powell:

So there are unwritten scripts? "Oh yes! Scorsese tried to get Michael jobs as a director so some of the projects could get made but there were always problems with insurance, even though Scorsese offered to direct if anything happened to Michael, and so did Coppola. Unfortunately, sometimes Michael would get annoyed at a potential backer they had found and insult him if he said something insensitive. Marty, you see, has learned how to function in the studio world, he’s learned how to walk that tightrope between commerce and art and work with studio people. But Michael never learned that."

Robert Koehler interviews Paul Verhoeven at Cinema-Scope:

Joe Eszterhas has written that Spetters was the basis for Flashdance (1983).

Yes, I’ve seen that although funnily enough he never told me that. He’s very good at changing the reality, and altering the parameters. When he writes about me, either negatively or positively, Joe is very amusing. He makes things up sometimes, or adds to it. He’s done that all along. He did this when he was a journalist.

In all of Eszterhas’ references to you in his book, he would refer to you as “my friend Paul.” So are you friends?

We have very much a love-hate relationship, I would say. He’s written things that are completely untrue. I know because I was there. This may also be the case when he writes about others as well.

And Mark Wahlberg hilariously details his clashes with Scorsese on the set of "The Departed" for John Hiscock at the Telegraph:

"I was only supposed to do a couple of weeks on The Departed so I was able to grow my hair for Invincible. But then the schedule changed and four months later I’m still working on The Departed so I wouldn’t cut my hair and Marty was pissed off," he says, remembering their expletive-filled exchanges. "He was like, ‘You’ve got to cut your f***ing hair,’ and I was, ‘I don’t give a f***.’

"He was, ‘I’m Martin Scorsese… da-dee da.’

"I said, ‘Well, I’m not getting paid for this… da-dee-da. What the f***?’"

+ To Helltrack and back
(SF Bay Guardian)
+ The Atkinson diet (Herald Sun)
+ Forgotten war of Africa’s heroes (Telegraph)
+ Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Onion AV Club)
+ "Life’s not simple" (Salon)
+ Thelma Schoonmaker: Life on the cutting edge of film (Independent)
+ Vulgar Moralism: Paul Verhoeven’s Black Book (Cinema-Scope)
+ My battles with Scorsese (Telegraph)

Watch More

A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

Posted by on
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.

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