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Liam Gallagher takes a bite out of the Beatles’ Apple.

Liam Gallagher takes a bite out of the Beatles’ Apple. (photo)

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Amidst all the groaning and disappointment currently emanating from Cannes, there was a bright spot: Liam Gallagher — he of the ferociously entertaining interviews and, oh yeah, Oasis — arrived at Cannes, fresh from the dissolution of his band, to talk up his forthcoming movie “The Longest Cocktail Party.” Advance rumors have pegged this as a film about the last days of The Beatles, but this, he told The Guardian‘s Xan Brooks, was untrue. It’s about Apple Records, the mostly unsuccessful record label they founded, and it’s based on Richard DiLello’s memoir, which appears to be one of those reasonably amusing tell-all accounts from inside a failure and a warm-up to all those burning-your-industry-bridges autobiographies to come.

It’s worth clicking on the Brooks link just to watch the video, where Gallagher manages to say “You know what I mean?” 20 times in three minutes. Still, he has his lucid moments: he says he’s only going to make one film and then get out (“I’m not gonna be doing films about whales or unkempt eyebrows”), which is a mild shame insofar as musicians don’t have much of a history of making films about other musicians. Then again, critics have long pointed out that Oasis owes a debt to The Beatles, and to make a film even tangentially about them seems to be the logical culmination of a lifetime.

Nonetheless, when Brooks asks about what it means to make a film about The Beatles, Gallagher snaps that this movie won’t feature the band in any way because “that’s been done” and biopics suck. All of which is true. But there’s another reason a Beatles biopic would be redundant, despite the fact there’s never been a full-on, career-spanning one — more so than pretty much any other band, The Beatles meticulously documented themselves to make sure no one would ever have to conjure them up again.

05182010_yellow.jpgThough at first they were content to just be subjects (in the Maysles brothers’ bright and bemused “Meet The Beatles”), the band quickly figured out that image self-management was the only kind that worked. That’s a simplification: they weren’t happy with “Help!” and “Yellow Submarine” and “Let It Be” were only done to fulfill their obligations to United Artists. Still, they’re there on screen, in roughly all of their incarnations; even when they were hiding in the studio, they were on-screen one way or another. If they hadn’t been trying, there still couldn’t have been a more effective way to discourage future filmmakers than flooding the market with their own productions. (It’s no coincidence that all their biopics have focused on the early, relatively undocumented days.)

In fact, “Yellow Submarine” did fictionalize them while they were together more neatly than any post hoc movie could. They admitted long after the fact that they were actually pleased with the film, as well they should’ve been. It gets the balance right between the clean-cut wit of their early incarnation and the later period, when the band was venturing into weirder psychic terrains and…well, you know all this stuff, but the movie splits the difference so genially that it kind of sums up everything lovable about the band without all the garbage. The animation remains genuinely surreal, so much so it can make over-familiar songs seem momentarily strange again.

Liam Gallagher doesn’t want to mess with the Beatles’s legacy; he just wants to use their record label to show why the record industry doesn’t work, or to champion an underappreciated aspect of the band’s oeuvre. (The book looks like terrific source material, honestly.) Good for him.

[Photos: “Yellow Submarine,” MGM/UA Home Entertainment, 1968.]

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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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