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Fantastic Fest’s Follow-up Punch Includes the US Premiere of “Stone”

Fantastic Fest’s Follow-up Punch Includes the US Premiere of “Stone” (photo)

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Edward Norton and director John Curran will bring the US premiere of “Stone” to Fantastic Fest on September 24th, the big news in the latest round of programming announcements from the Austin-based genre festival. Norton plays an inmate eligible for early release, whose wife (Milla Jovovich) sets out to help him manipulate his parole officer (Robert De Niro).

Also set for a gala screening — indie buried alive thriller “Buried,” with Ryan Reynolds and director Rodrigo Cortés appearing in person. The line-up also includes Mexican cannibal family drama “We Are What We Are,” Hong Kong actioner “Fire of Conscience” and the 1960 original and new remake of Korean thriller “The Housemaid.”

The rest of the lineup, descriptions courtesy of the festival:

30 Days of Night: Dark Days (2010)
World Premiere, USA, director: Ben Ketai
Director Ben Ketai, Kiele Sanchez & Steve Niles (co-writer, author) in attendance (schedules permitting).
It’s been almost a year since the Alaskan town of Barrow’s population was decimated by vampires during its annual month-long sunset. Riddled with grief over the death of her husband, bound by nightmares and void of all emotions beyond hate and sorrow, Stella (Sanchez) has spent the past months traveling the world, trying to convince others that vampires exist. Met with skepticism and laughter, Stella is ready to throw in the towel when a group of lost souls (Coiro, Baird and Perrineau) offers an incredible opportunity: the chance to exact revenge upon Lilith (Kirshner), the vampire queen responsible for the assault on Stella’s sleepy Alaskan town. With nothing remaining to live for, and nothing left to fear, Stella joins their mission and ventures into the uncharted underbelly of Los Angeles where she pushes herself to the most extreme limits to stop the evil from striking again.

08272010_carancho1.jpgCarancho (2010)
Regional Premiere, Argentina, director: Pablo Trapero
Ambulance drivers and ambulance chasers, dirty police and corrupt doctors, fraudulent insurance brokers and some truly desperate people are the players in a wildly original and occasionally brutal thriller set on the streets of Buenos Aires.

Drones (2010)
Regional Premiere, USA, directors: Amber Bensen and Adam Busch
Directors Amber Bensen and Adam Busch as well as stars Angela Bettis and Kevin Ford will be in attendance.
When Brian discovers an improbable secret about his best friend and OmniLink coworker, everything in his world changes and his safe life of workplace detachment is no longer an option. Close encounters of the office kind, like sales or intergalactic war, is an uncertain business.

Fire of Conscience (2010)
US Premiere, Hong Kong, director: Dante Lam
A slick cops-and-robbers film that coats melodrama with a thick layer of blood and gunpowder. Dante Lam has emerged as one of the most exciting Hong Kong action directors with films like THE BEAST STALKER (2008) and SNIPER (2009). His latest work delivers the goods with chases, fisticuffs, massive fire fights; exploding bodies and more.

Hatchet 2 (2010)
North American Premiere, USA, director: Adam Green
Director Adam Green, Kane Hodder and Danielle Harris live in person!
Witness the resurrection of bayou-dwelling psycho-killer Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder), who terrorized a party of witless New Orleans tourists in Adam Green’s 2006 cult hit HATCHET. After emerging as the sole survivor of Crowley’s comically over-the-top murder spree, Marybeth (Danielle Harris) learns the secrets of the madman’s origins and returns to the Louisiana swamps to avenge her family’s death. Also featuring genre fan fave Tony Todd as Reverend Zombie and FRIGHT NIGHT director Tom Holland as Bob.

08272010_thehousemaid.jpgThe Housemaid (1960)
South Korea, director: Kim Ki-young
Celebrated as one of the greatest Korean films of all time, THE HOUSEMAID tells the story of a composer who invites chaos into his home when he begins an affair with the family’s mysterious new maid, a disturbed woman with a penchant for catching rats with her bare hands. The print featured at this year’s Fantastic Fest has been restored by the Korean Film Archive with the support of Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of films from non-Western countries.

The Housemaid (2010)
Regional Premiere, Korea, director: Im Sang-soo
A reimagining of the Korean classic of the same name, the 2010 version of THE HOUSEMAID turns the tables on the story. This time around a perfectly normal servant enters the home of a truly dysfunctional wealthy family who beat her down with an array of psychological, sexual and sometimes physical trauma. With strong performances, lush design and an exceptional story, this update serves as a worthy companion to the original classic and makes for a truly unique double bill.

I Spit on Your Grave (2010)
Austin Premiere, USA, director: Steven R. Monroe
A remake of the controversial 1978 cult classic of the same title, Steven Monroe’s I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE is a shock-fest that revisits the story of a young writer’s horrifying sexual assault at the hands of a backwoods gas-station attendant and his knuckle-dragging cronies while on sabbatical in the countryside. After being brutally attacked and left for dead, she returns for vengeance. Trapping her male attackers one-by-one, she inflicts acts of physical torment upon them with a ferocity that surpasses her own ordeal. When the carnage clears, victim has become victor.

Kidnapped (2010)
North American Premiere, Spain, director: Miguel Ángel Vivas
Jaime (Fernando Cayo) and Marta (Ana Wagener) are a middle-aged couple with a teenage daughter named Isa (Manuela Vellés). The family is in the process of moving into a big new house. Marta wants to gather the family for dinner at home to celebrate. Isa has her own plans; she wants to go out with her boyfriend. Jaime is stuck in the middle of it all. Everyone’s evening is ruined when a gang of masked hoodlums pay a visit to the home.

Legend of the Fist (2010)
US Premiere, Hong Kong, director: Andrew Lau
Life in Japanese-occupied Shanghai in the 1920s was no picnic. Military warlords and criminal henchmen ruled the streets. The city’s one ray of hope was the young martial artist Chen Zhen (Donnie Yen), whose legendary showdown against a dojo full of Japanese warriors ended with his apparent death, though his body is never found. Seven years later, a wealthy entrepreneur called Koo returns from abroad and makes a grand entrance on the Shanghai social scene by befriending the city’s most notorious mafia boss. Could this be the return of Chen Zhen?

08272010_ongbak3.jpgOng Bak 3 (2010)
North American Premiere, Thailand, director: Tony Jaa
The legend of ONG BAK 3 begins after Tien (Tony Jaa) has lost his fighting skills and his beloved step-father from the raid led by Jom Rachan (Saranyu Wonggrajang). Tien is brought back to life with the help from the Kana Khone villagers. Deep into the meditation taught by Phra Bua (Nirutti Sirijanya), Tien finally is able to achieve ‘Nathayut’. His talents are put to the test again when his rivals including the Golden-Armored King’s Guard (Supakorn ‘Tok’ Kijusuwan), the mysterious killers in black, and Bhuti Sangkha (Dan Chupong) return for the final massive showdown.

Redline (2010)
North American Premiere, Japan, director: Takeshi Koike
Rev your engines, adrenaline junkies! REDLINE is a new feature from famed Madhouse Studios that reunites animator Takeshi Koike (NINJA SCROLL, ANIMATRIX) with his long-time collaborator Katushito Ishii, the genius behind FUNKY FOREST: THE FIRST CONTACT. This meeting of warped minds results in a mind-melting psychedelic assault that is easily the wildest animated Japanese film to surface in years.

Stake Land (2010)
US Premiere, USA, director: Jim Mickle
Director Jim Mickle, Connor Paolo, Nick Damici and Danielle Harris live in person!
Following a political-economic meltdown of unexplained origins, the world has been overrun by humanoid creatures who feed off human blood. A disparate group of survivors band together to weave their way through the communities of both vampires and equally dangerous religious cultists in search of an alleged sanctuary in the north. The cast includes Nick Damici, Connor Paolo, Kelly McGillis, Danielle Harris and Michael Cerveris.

Undocumented (2010)
World Premiere, USA, director: Chris Peckover
Director Chris Peckover and cast members live in person!
A small group of documentary filmmakers chronicle the trials and inequities faced by Mexican illegal immigrants. When they join a group of families illegally crossing the border to record the experience firsthand, their truck is pulled over and detained. What happens next plunges their group into unimaginable horror.

We Are What We Are (Somos Lo Que Hay) (2010)
US Premiere, Mexico, director: Jorge Michel Grau
When the patriarch of the family passes away, the teenage children must take responsibility for the family chores: the preparation of the rituals, the hunting and putting the all-important meat on the table. These newfound responsibilities are even more daunting, however, when you live in the city and happen to be a family of cannibals.

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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…

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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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GIFs via Giphy

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.

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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.

Jenn: I LOVE ISSA RAE!

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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 IFC.com and the IFC app.

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G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

E.Coli High is in your gut and on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Brothers-in-law Kevin Barker and Ben Miller have just made the mother of all Comedy Crib series, in the sense that their Comedy Crib series is a big deal and features a hot mom. Animated, funny, and full of horrible bacteria, the series juxtaposes timeless teen dilemmas and gut-busting GI infections to create a bite-sized narrative that’s both sketchy and captivating. The two sat down, possibly in the same house, to answer some questions for us about the series. Let’s dig in….

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IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

BEN: Hi ummm uhh hi ok well its like umm (gets really nervous and blows it)…

KB: It’s like the Super Bowl meets the Oscars.

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

BEN: Oh wow, she’s really cute isn’t she? I’d definitely blow that too.

KB: It’s a cartoon that is happening inside your stomach RIGHT NOW, that’s why you feel like you need to throw up.

IFC: What was the genesis of E.Coli High?

KB: I had the idea for years, and when Ben (my brother-in-law, who is a special needs teacher in Philly) began drawing hilarious comics, I recruited him to design characters, animate the series, and do some writing. I’m glad I did, because Ben rules!

BEN: Kevin told me about it in a park and I was like yeah that’s a pretty good idea, but I was just being nice. I thought it was dumb at the time.

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IFC: What makes going to proms and dating moms such timeless and oddly-relatable subject matter?

BEN: Since the dawn of time everyone has had at least one friend with a hot mom. It is physically impossible to not at least make a comment about that hot mom.

KB: Who among us hasn’t dated their friend’s mom and levitated tables at a prom?

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

BEN: There’s a lot of content now. I don’t think anyone will even notice, but it’d be cool if they did.

KB: A show about talking food poisoning bacteria is basically the same as just watching the news these days TBH.

Watch E.Coli High below and discover more NYTVF selections from years past on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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