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Opening This Week: September 7th, 2007

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By Christopher Bonet

IFC News

[Photo: “3:10 to Yuma,” Lionsgate, 2007]

A round-up of the best (or worst) $10 you’ll spend this week.

“The Brothers Solomon”

Will Arnett of “Arrested Development” fame stars in his second Bob Odenkirk comedy after last year’s dismal “Let’s Go to Prison,” this time playing one of two socially inept home-schooled brothers who attempt to sire a child for their dying father. The film was written by former “SNL”-er and other Solomon sibling Will Forte.

Opens wide (official site).

“The Bubble”

Israel’s most promising young director, Eytan Fox, delivers another exposé on sexuality and the political climate, following a group of friends whose lives are affected by the gay romance of an Israeli and a Palestinian man. The film and its title both serve as a love letter to the city of Tel Aviv, where the film is set.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“Fierce People”

Filmed over three and a half years ago, this Griffin Dunne comedy sounds a bit like “Mean Girls” meets “Running with Scissors” meets every other independent coming-of-age movie from the last five years. The teenage son (Anton Yelchin in his pre-“Huff” days) of an anthropologist moves with his drug-dependent mother (Diane Lane) to the estate of an aging billionaire (Donald Sutherland). Dunne’s comedy has been making the film festival circuit the past few years, having premiered at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival.

Opens in New York (official site).


Completely unrelated to the children’s novel by Gary Paulson we all grew up reading in elementary school, this horror film comes courtesy of newcomer Adam Green, whose attempts to restore the traditions of ye olde horror films of the ’70s will hopefully allow us to forget all of the “Saw”‘s and “Hostel”‘s of the world. Jason Voorhees himself, Kane Hodder, stars as an ax-wielding psychopath who preys on a group of tourists in the New Orleans swamps.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“The Hunting Party”

Richard Gere and Terrence Howard star in this new comedic thriller courtesy of “The Matador” director Richard Shepard, about a three-person news team who embark on an unauthorized mission to find the number one war criminal in Bosnia for an interview, but who instead find themselves in serious jeopardy when they are mistaken as a CIA hit squad. The film premiered earlier this month at the Venice Film Festival.

Opens in New York and Los Angeles (official site).

“I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With”

Yeah, so we totally love the title, the supporting cast, and pretty much anything Jeff Garlin is in. Garlin writes, directs and stars in this unconventional romantic comedy (is there any other kind?) about an overweight comedian who’s unable to hold on to a girlfriend, including his new chubby chasing female companion (Sarah Silverman). The film premiered at Tribeca last year.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“In the Shadow of the Moon”

This new documentary from filmmaker David Sington chronicles the events of the NASA Apollo missions as the surviving crew members recount their stories of moon landings. While astronaut Neil Armstrong declined an interview and remained as elusive as J.D. Salinger, the film features archival footage of space never before released.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“Romance & Cigarettes”

John Turturro’s much storied directorial feature finally finds a release after a heated battle between the director and the distributor, Sony Pictures Entertainment. While Sony may have balked at the film’s peculiar use of popular music to tell the tale of a construction worker’s adulterous affair with a lingerie boutique owner, we can’t help but feel giddy at the prospect of hearing James Gandolfini and Susan Sarandon belt out “The Girl That I Marry” from “Annie Get Your Gun.”

Opens in New York (official site).

“Shoot ‘Em Up”

Before we settle in with all of the heavy-handed “serious” films of the fall season, we can’t help but get excited about “Monster Man” director Michael Davis’s latest action film, in which a British nanny with an extensive military background (Clive Owen, looking like the James Bond he almost was) helps a woman (Monica Bellucci) protect an infant from a ruthless hitman (Paul Giamatti). The film, unsurprisingly, received an overwhelmingly positive reception at this year’s Comic-Con.

Opens wide (official site).

“3:10 to Yuma”

“Walk the Line” director James Mangold remakes the classic Glenn Ford western in which a captured outlaw (a mean Russell Crowe in a return to form) attempts to psych out a small-time rancher (Christian Bale) before his transport to Yuma prison. Standard action flick or good ol’ cat-and-mouse thriller? We could care less, we’re just excited to finally see award season started with.

Opens wide (official site).

“The Unknown Soldier”

German director Michael Verhoeven’s documentary charts the history of the Wehrmacht Exhibition between 1999 and 2004, which challenged the preconceived notions that Nazi war crimes during World War II were committed by a minority of officers by showcasing photographs and footage of ordinary soldiers gleefully tormenting and executing civilians on the Eastern front.

Opens in New York (official site).

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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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