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While we were out.

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Karl Markovics plays Salomon Sorowitsch.
A few things that slipped by while we were at the festival or doing our civic duty and waiting around in a windowless room to be called to be put on a jury:

The list of films contending for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar® was announced: 63 countries submitted a film, a new record thanks to the participation of Azerbaijan and Ireland. We’ve always found the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar® to be the second most reliably frustrating Oscar® category after that of Best Documentary Feature Oscar®, but this year’s list is both solid and strikingly sparse on films that the average moviegoer will have even had a chance to have heard of — "The Orphanage," "Persepolis" and "The Counterfeiters" are, of the few titles with distributors, the only ones likely to receive a release in more than a handful of theaters. It’s hard out there for an international film, sure, but we’re also curious as to why this year’s sleeper darling "Once" wasn’t Ireland’s submission — was it DQ’d for some reason? It would seem a shoo-in to win, and one we wouldn’t have grumbled about. Except for our unexplainable hallucination of subtitles onto "Once" for… Czech and non-use of Gaelic, we suppose. We’re tired and apparently going crazy — "Kings," is, incidentally, mostly in Gaelic, and "Once"’s best Oscar hopes probably are in the song category. Also, it’s only October, and we’re in trouble if the year’s films are already blurring into one massive (but apparently subtitled) megafilm.

David Lynch is in Israel promoting transcendental meditation as a path to inner and outer peace, reports the AP. Such is the power of his filmmaking that when he met with Israeli President Shimon Peres, Peres did not slap his own forehead and say "Oh, meditation is the answer! If only we’d been told earlier, we could have avoided all of the unrest caused by centuries of religious, political and cultural conflict!"

And at Pusan, director Peter Greenaway joined that curmudgeonly club of filmmakers and the like who’ve declared cinema dead. Writes Clifford Coonan at the Independent:

"Cinema’s death date was 31 September 1983, when the remote-control
zapper was introduced to the living room, because now cinema has to be
interactive, multi-media art," he told a director’s masterclass.

It should be noted that September has 30 days.

We’ve always liked Greenaway’s argument that cinema is being held back by its ties to literature and straightforward narration, something he did return to in this latest rant, adding that "Cinema is wasted on cinema – most cinema is bedtime stories for adults." Related: A mere month and a half ago, Ridley Scott at the Venice Film Festival announced that "I think movies are getting dumber, actually. Where it used to be 50/50, now it’s 3% good, 97% stupid." (Via the Guardian.) Oh, memories, misty watercolor memories…

+ 63 Countries Seeking Foreign Language Film Oscar® (
+ Lynch Promotes Meditation on Israel Trip (AP)
+ Greenaway announces the death of cinema – and blames the remote-control zapper (Independent)
+ Pitt happy, but Ridley Scott grumbles (Guardian)

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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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.

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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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