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Odds: Wednesday – On demand, pie.

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Easy as pie.
"If each film ‘generation’ has its own particular point of view, as surely, drastically, the next one will, then what is ours? And how does it aid/impede us?" wonder editors Michael Koresky and Jeff Reichert in the new issue of Reverse Shot:

One obvious answer, the depths of which haven’t been plumbed enough in our film culture, is that most of us came of age as cinephiles in the era of home video. In our early years, films for us weren’t hallowed objects writ large on movie palace screens, or even out-of-the-way art houses — €”they were cramped onto TV screens, played on VCRs, wrenched away from their "€œproper"€ place of worship. Yet this didn’t change the value they held for us. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, we were the first generation which had access to a wide array of movies all of the time.

And so they charge their writers to dwell on a film each has seen over and over, leading to an interesting array of essays ranging from Brendon Bouzard on "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" to Chris Wisniewski on "Cabaret." Interesting stuff, and a nice way of sidestepping the too-common question of the guilty pleasure.

We overuse the term "infuriating," as do many others, but there really is no more accurate way to describe Rick Caine and Debbie Melnyk‘s doc about Michael Moore, "Manufacturing Dissent" (our thoughts from SXSW are here). Melnyk has an article in the Telegraph’s Seven Magazine that essentially lays out the premise and contents of the doc, and echoes the dissonance that arises in the film — the Caine and Melnyk make use of the most irritating of Moore’s own tactics and tone to criticize him:

At a recent event in New York, Moore was asked about our film, which we’d decided to call Manufacturing Dissent.

‘The Noam Chomsky film?’ he replied, coyly referring to the Chomsky documentary Manufacturing Consent. The journalist who had asked the question persisted: ‘No. Manufacturing Dissent, the film about you and your film-making methods.’ But Moore claimed he knew nothing about it.

The Onion AV Club offers a list of "wildly mismatched romantic pairings," among them the classic John Travolta and Lily Tomlin in "Moment By Moment" and James Woods and Dolly Parton in "Straight Talk."

At the Guardian‘s Film Blog, Karina Mantavia has thoughts on the ill-advised Richard Gere/Shilpa Shetty kiss that had outraged Indians burning Gere in effigy:

Give or take a song, the scenario itself has played out like a Bollywood storyline – two lone innocents representing common sense and human values battling against an unjust and repressive society. The furious activists, including those burning effigies of both actors, mainly hail from Hindu fundamentalist groups: Shiv Sena, and the rather sinister youth wing of the rightwing BJP. Both have appointed themselves the guardians of Indian womanhood against corrupt western influences.

According to Min Lee at the AP, Chow Yun-Fat has ankled John Woo‘s $80 million "Red Cliff" just as the film started shooting. The film is the latest in an ancient tradition of films to be declared the most expensive ever made in the nation; a producer claims "the Chinese government views the film, based on an ancient battle, as a showcase of Chinese history and wants it released before the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing."

And at the New York Times, Julia Moskin writes of Adrienne Shelley‘s "Waitress" and it’s love of a particular kind of pastry:

Because Ms. Shelly’s life may have ended in a way that her protagonist both fears and escapes — at the hands of a violent young man — parts of “Waitress” are more painful to watch than Ms. Shelly could have intended. But the film always finds solace in the kitchen, where picturesque clouds of flour drift in warm light, where custards never boil over, where crusts never burn.

+ Issue 19: On Demand (Reverse Shot)
+ Taking on the big man (Telegraph)
+ Inventory: 13 Films With Wildly Mismatched Romantic Pairings (Onion AV Club)
+ The Richard Gere/Shilpa Shetty kiss: made in Bollywood (Guardian Film Blog)
+ Chow Yun-Fat drops out of `Red Cliff’ (AP)
+ Looking for Solace in a Slice of Pie (NY Times)

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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.


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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Reality? Check.

Baroness For Life

Baroness von Sketch Show is available for immediate consumption.

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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.

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