Fix, Olivia Wilde, Tao Ruspoli

Fix, Olivia Wilde, Tao Ruspoli (photo)

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You may be aware by now of actress Olivia Wilde. I guess she’s been in every glossy guy spread from Maxim to GQ in a bathing suit. She’s also made her mark on TV in House M.D., and unfortunately the show beloved by the Bush twins, The OC. But she’s not all vapid teen drama, in fact she came to my attention with “Tron Legacy” where we she will play a “loyal confidant to Kevin Flynn.” Tron 2.0, as it was formerly called, will be first rate cinema spectacle when it’s released in 2010 and should cement Wilde as a real star. You know the kind who reads, campaigns for progressive politics and is genuinely interesting.

Her parents, Andrew and Leslie Cockburn, (Olivia took the show name “Wilde” from Oscar) are hotshot investigative journalists. “‘Olivia was exposed to a lot of very clever people when she was little,” [Leslie Cockburn told GQ]. She recalls Olivia eavesdropping one night on a conversation between Richard Holbrooke and Mick Jagger–until the Rolling Stone turned around and shooed Olivia to bed. “How many girls were told to go to bed by Mick Jagger?”

Olivia added “I’d fall asleep listening long before I understood what they were talking about,” she says. “I appreciated the constant excitement, the murmur of all these engaged conversations. Christopher Hitchens used to babysit me when I was young” [GQ]

One can only imagine the myriad effects a radical contrarian like Christopher Hitchens could have upon the formative years of a young girl. I bet she likes a good argument and a great glass of wine. But enough speculation, Olivia is in a film by Tao Ruspoli called “Fix” that opens November 20th that has piqued my interest. It’s based on a true story about Ruspoli’s brother and how after a drug conviction he was given the choice of rehab or 3 years in prison. The trick was that he had to show up before a limited deadline and pay a huge deposit to the rehab clinic to be admitted.

The film (like the real event) is a race across LA by “documentary filmmakers Bella and Milo” to get Milo’s blown out brother, Leo, from jail to rehab before the deadline. They get hampered by strange characters while also trying to find the money to admit him – perhaps a lucrative but ironic drug deal will prove the only way to make it happen.

“Fix” features music by Dead Prez , Ima Robot, Simon Dawes, Beautiful Girls, and Nico Stai. The handsome director and Founder of The Los Angeles Filmmakers’ Cooperative, Tao Ruspoli, is married to Olivia Wilde in the real world, sorry you drooling dreamers.

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Weird Roles

Anthony Michael Hall’s Most Rotten Movies

Catch Anthony Michael Hall in Weird Science on Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Universal/Everett Collection

Anthony Michael Hall was the quintessential ’80s nerd. We love him in classics like The Breakfast Club and National Lampoon’s Vacation. But even the brainiest among us has his weak spots. In honor of Weird Science airing this Rotten Friday, we analyze Hall’s worst movies.

Weird Science (1985) 56%

A low point for John Hughes, Weird Science is way too wacky for its own good. Anthony Michael Hall’s Gary and his pal Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) create the “perfect woman.” Supernatural chaos ensues. The film costars a young Bill Paxton, floppy disks, and a general disconnect from all reality.

The Caveman’s Valentine (2001) 46%

This ambitious drama starring Samuel L. Jackson couldn’t live up to its rich premise. Jackson plays Romulus, a Juilliard-educated, paranoid schizophrenic who lives in a cave. Hall co-stars as Bob, a rich man, who wants to see Romulus play the piano. The plot centers around Romulus investigating a murder, but with so much going on, the movie never quite finds its rhythm.

All About the Benjamins (2002) 30%

Ice Cube plays a bounty hunter who teams up with Mike Epps’ con man to catch diamond thieves. Hall plays Lil J, a small-time drug dealer. It’s definitely a role we’ve never seen Hall in, but overall the movie isn’t funny or original enough to justify its violence.

Freddy Got Fingered (2001) 11%

This showcase for Tom Green’s goofy gross-out comedy is often hailed as one of the worst films of all time. Green plays Gord, a 20-something slacker, who dreams of having his own animated series. Hall is Dave Davidson, a CEO of an animation studio who eventually helps Gord find success. Too bad Tom Green wasn’t so lucky.

Johnny Be Good (1988) 0%

Hall plays against type as Johnny Walker, a star quarterback. Robert Downey Jr. is his best friend and Uma Thurman plays his devoted girlfriend. Despite the support of a future A-list cast, the movie lacks central conflict and charm. Or, as TV Guide put it, “Johnny be worthless.” Ouch.

Catch the “Too Rotten to Miss” Weird Science this Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Season 6: Episode 1: Pickathon

Binge Fest

Portlandia Season 6 Now Available On DVD

The perfect addition to your locally-sourced, artisanal DVD collection.

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End of summer got you feeling like:

Portlandia Toni Screaming GIF

Ease into fall with Portlandia‘s sixth season. Relive the latest exploits of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s cast of characters, including Doug and Claire’s poignant breakup, Lance’s foray into intellectual society, and the terrifying rampage of a tsukemen Noodle Monster! Plus, guest stars The Flaming Lips, Glenn Danzig, Louis C.K., Kevin Corrigan, Zoë Kravitz, and more stop by to experience what Portlandia is all about.

Pick up a copy of the DVD today, or watch full episodes and series extras now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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Byrning Down the House

Everything You Need to Know About the Film That Inspired “Final Transmission”

Documentary Now! pays tribute to "Stop Making Sense" this Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Cinecom/courtesy Everett Collection

This week Documentary Now! is with the band. For everyone who’s ever wanted to be a roadie without leaving the couch, “Final Transmission” pulls back the curtain on experimental rock group Test Pattern’s final concert. Before you tune in Wednesday at 10P on IFC, plug your amp into this guide for Stop Making Sense, the acclaimed 1984 Talking Heads concert documentary.

Put on Your Dancing Shoes

Hailed as one of the best concert films ever created, director Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs) captured the energy and eccentricities of a band known for pushing the limits of music and performance.

Make an Entrance

Lead singer David Byrne treats the concert like a story: He enters an empty stage with a boom box and sings the first song on the setlist solo, then welcomes the other members of the group to the stage one song at a time.

Steal the Spotlight

David Byrne Dancing
Cinecom/Everett Collection

Always a physical performer, Byrne infuses the stage and the film with contagious joy — jogging in place, dancing with lamps, and generally carrying the show’s high energy on his shoulders.

Suit Yourself

Byrne makes a splash in his “big suit,” a boxy business suit that grows with each song until he looks like a boy who raided his father’s closet. Don’t overthink it; on the DVD, the singer explains, “Music is very physical, and often the body understands it before the head.”

View from the Front Row

Stop Making Sense Band On Stage
Cinecom/Everett Collection

Demme (who also helmed 1987’s Swimming to Cambodia, the inspiration for this season’s Documentary Now! episode “Parker Gail’s Location is Everything”) films the show by putting viewers in the audience’s shoes. The camera rarely shows the crowd and never cuts to interviews or talking heads — except the ones onstage.

Let’s Get Digital

Tina Weymouth Keyboard
Cinecom/Everett Collection

Stop Making Sense isn’t just a good time — it’s also the first rock movie to be recorded entirely using digital audio techniques. The sound holds up more than 30 years later.

Out of Pocket

Talk about investing in your art: Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz told Rolling Stone that the members of the band “basically put [their] life savings” into the movie, and they didn’t regret it.

Catch Documentary Now!’s tribute to Stop Making Sense when “Final Transmission” premieres Wednesday, October 12 at 10P on IFC.

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