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DID YOU READ

In the works: Catching up.

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"The world showed no compassion to me!"
Before we go on to more relevant news, we’d like to retract a statement we made earlier about Gerard Butler possibly having the worst agent in the world. Variety reports that Butler is attached to play Snake Plissken in a remake of "Escape From New York," which seems to us indicative of a brilliant larger plan to make Butler neo-B-movie king of the world.

Trailers: Two from last year’s Tribeca. "Lonely Hearts," the meh retelling of the crimes and punishment of the Lonely Hearts Killers, has a trailer here.

"Color Me Kubrick," charming but forgettable fluff featuring John Malkovich as a con man who pretended to be Stanley Kubrick (while knowing very little about his work) and got away with it because no one actually knew what the reclusive Kubrick looked or acted like, has a trailer here.

Acquired: David Gordon Green‘s very good "Snow Angels" has been acquired by Warner Independent. Our review from Sundance is here; we’re glad to see this got picked up, though WIP is apparently not planning on releasing it until next year. Green is also in talks to write and direct an adaptation of John Grisham‘s nonfiction book "The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town." [Hollywood Reporter.]

"Youth Without Youth," Francis Ford Coppola‘s first film in ten years, is being considered for acquisition by Tom Cruise‘s shiny new United Artists. According to Anne Thompson, "Inspired by his daughter Sofia to make a low-budget personal film, Coppola may have skipped the festival route of selling the movie after witnessing the stir that her pic ‘Marie Antoinette’ faced at Cannes last May." [Variety]

Sony Pictures Classics hearts Germany — after making good with "The Lives of Others," SPC has picked up Stefan Ruzowitzky‘s "The Counterfeiters," "the true story of the largest counterfeiting operation in history, set up by the Nazis in 1936." [indieWIRE] SPC has also picked up "Interview," Steve Buscemi‘s remake of the 2003 film of the same name from murdered Dutch filmmaker/provocateur Theo Van Gogh. Buscemi stars in the film, alongside omnipresent British starlet Sienna Miller — the film will open in July. [Variety]

Craig Zobel‘s "Great World of Sound" has been acquired by Magnolia Pictures for a fall release. The film, which follows two struggling salesmen who get roped into a record company scam, premiered at Sundance this year and screened at SXSW. [indieWIRE]

In the works: Neil Marshall, director of effective UK horror flicks "The Descent" and "Dog Soldiers," will be going mainstream and upscale with an edgy reinvention of the Sherlock Holmes character based on an upcoming comic book. [Variety]

French filmmaker Alexandre Aja (last of "The Hills Have Eyes" remake) will remake Joe Dante‘s 1978 "Jaws" parody "Piranha." We can only greet this news with a yawn of boredom and anger: Yawn! [Variety] Elsewhere, a "Dolemite" remake is in the early stages, with Bill Fishman (of "Tapeheads") to direct. Yawn of bewilderment: Yawn? [Hollywood Reporter]

Stephen Frears, gleaming with prestige after "The Queen," is in talks to direct "The Burial," a courtroom drama that’s not only based on a true story, it also includes elements of overcoming racism and fighting evil corporations. And Southern accents! Awards gold. [Hollywood Reporter] Meanwhile, a film about ex-prime minister Margaret Thatcher is in development from Pathe and BBC Films — it will focus on the 17 days before the Falklands War in 1982. [Variety]

Daniel Craig and Julianne Moore are in talks to star in "Blindness," the next film from "City of God" director Fernando Meirelles. The film is an adaptation of this novel from Portuguese  writer Jose Saramago, and looks at an unnamed city hit by an mysterious epidemic of sudden blindness, and, possibly, deep symbolism. [Hollywood Reporter]

"The Last King of Scotland" director Kevin Macdonald will next be helming "State of Play," an adaptation of this British miniseries about journalism, politics, murder, etc. Brad Pitt will star. [Variety]

And the great animator Hayao Miyazaki‘s next (and possibly last?) film will be "Gake no ue no Ponyo" (Ponyo on a Cliff), about "a goldfish princess named Ponyo who wants to become human and her relationship with a 5-year-old boy." The film’s set for a summer 2008 release in Japan, and will reportedly consist entirely of 2-D animation, with no use of CG. [Variety]


+ New Line plotting Butler ‘Escape’
(Variety)
+ Trailer: Lonely Hearts (Apple)
+ Trailer: Color Me Kubrick (Apple)
+ WIP turns Green with 2 projects (Hollywood Reporter)
+ Inside Move: Coppola tackles ‘Youth’ (Variety)
+ Sony Classics Nabs North American Rights to "The Counterfeiters" (indieWIRE)
+ Sony nabs ‘Interview’ (Variety)
+ Magnolia Gets Zobel’s "Great Word of Sound"; Fall Release Planned (indieWIRE)
+ Warner Bros. gets a clue (Variety)
+ Aja bites into ‘Piranha’ (Variety)
+ Fallout takes on ‘Dolemite’ redo (Hollywood Reporter)
+ Frears in talks to helm ‘Burial’ (Hollywood Reporter)
+ Iron Lady ready for close-up (Variety)
+ Meirelles pic has eye on talent (Hollywood Reporter)
+ Macdonald to direct ‘State of Play’ (Variety)
+ ‘Ponyo’ next for Miyazaki (Variety)

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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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.

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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…

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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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Reality? Check.

Baroness For Life

Baroness von Sketch Show is available for immediate consumption.

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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.

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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.

Jenn: I LOVE ISSA RAE!

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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 IFC.com and the IFC app.

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