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What’s Up In March

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By Christopher Bonet

IFC News

[Photo: “Rear Window,” Paramount Picture, 1954 — screening as part of the Fashion in Film Festival]

Miami International Film Festival

Mar. 2-11

For early spring breakers hitting South Florida, the Miami International Film Festival might be a great time to check out Paul Verhoeven’s latest film, “Black Book,” or perhaps the Luc Bresson tribute. Regardless of what film is playing, the frostbitten IFC News team is jealous.

Pimps, Prostitutes and Pigs: Shohei Imamura’s Japan

Mar. 2-29

2006 saw the loss of one of Japan’s premier New Wave directors, as Shohei Imamura passed away at the age of 79. Often seen as the “anti-Ozu,” Imamura rejected the middle-classicism of the celebrated 1950s Japanese filmmakers and instead focused on the portrayals of the downbeat and downtrodden of Japan’s lower classes. Films to be screened in this series include “Vengeance is Mine,” “Warm Water Under a Red Bridge” and “The Pornographers.”

“Infernal Affairs”: The Complete Trilogy

Mar. 9

Check out the original Hong Kong police thriller recently re-made by Martin Scorsese into 2006’s Best Picture Oscar winner, “The Departed,” at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in D.C. Also included in the screening of the original “Infernal Affairs” are the two sequels that followed, which each explore what happened before and after the events of the first film.

A Panel on “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”

Mar. 15

As Matthew Broderick continues his career as one of the strongest stage actors in New York, we still think of his fondly as our favorite 80s teenager, Ferris Bueller. From a pre-nose job Jennifer Grey to an ever-quotable Ben Stein, John Hughes’ “Ferris Bueller” remains as one of the smartest-written films in a decade most of us would rather forget. To celebrate the release of “Don’t You Forget About Me: Contemporary Writers on the Films of John Hughes,” a new collection of essays based on the works of John Hughes, the IFC Center will feature a panel discussion with the writers (of which there are many). Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Fashion in Film Festival

Mar. 17-25

The Museum of Moving Image in Queens presents this interesting collection of feature films, documentaries, video art, experimental films and newsreels that investigate how the art of fashion is presented through film. Films to be screened include Alfred Hitchcock’s Anita Colby-inspired “Rear Window,” the Howard Hawks silent satire “Fig Leaves” and a collection of newsreel and doc footage curated by fashion expert Marketa Uhlirova.

“Network,” with special guest Sidney Lumet

Mar. 19

Legendary director Sidney Lumet (“The Wiz”!) will be on hand for this screening of his Oscar-nominated 1976 television satire “Network” at the Academy Theater in Beverly Hills.

“Live Free or Die” with Andy Robin

Mar. 22

Stamford, CT native and former “Seinfeld” writer Andy Robin directs his first independent feature, “Live Free or Die,” about a ragtag group of criminals attempting to stage a heist in the Granite State. Robin will be on hand at the Avon Theatre in Stamford for a Q & A session after the film.

Lost & Found: “The Curse of Quon Gwon” and “Her Wild Oat”

Mar. 29

“The Curse of Quon Gwon,” long thoughts of as a lost example of early Asian-American cinema, and “Her Wild Oat,” an early Colleen Moore flapper comedy of the silent era, receive restoration treatments from the Academy and will screen at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood. Michael Mortilla will provide a live piano accompaniment at the screenings — swank!

The 9th Annual Method Fest Independent Film Festival

Mar. 29 – Apr 5

The only film festival solely dedicated to the art of acting, the Method Film Festival hits Calabassas, CA, for a week, showcasing independent features and shorts of actors embracing their inner Stanislavsky. Somewhere, Ryan Gosling is stoked.

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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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