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Fantastic Fest Runs “Red”

Fantastic Fest Runs “Red” (photo)

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Another round of programming announcements from Fantastic Fest includes the news that Robert Schwentke’s graphic novel adaptation “Red,” starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren as former CIA agents forced back into action, will be screening as a sneak preview at the festival, as will “Mother’s Day,” starring Rebecca De Mornay, the new film from “Repo! The Genetic Opera”‘s Darren Bousman. More exciting to me personally is the announcement that Bill Pullman will be appearing in person to help mock “Independence Day” in a special Master Pancake Theater screening of the Roland Emmerich alien disaster epic.

The complete announcement, descriptions courtesy of the festival:

PREMIERES

Agnosia (2010)
Director: Eugenio Mira, Spain, World Premiere
The producers of Pan’s Labyrinth and The Orphanage present a truly unique romantic thriller from Fantastic Fest veteran Eugenio Mira (The Birthday). “I’ve read few screenplays in my life that have impressed me as much as Agnosia,” said director Guillermo del Toro. Director Eugenio Mira will be live in person.

Bunraku (2010)
Director: Guy Moshe, USA, US Premiere
In a world with no guns, a mysterious drifter (Josh Hartnett), a young samurai and a bartender (Woody Harrelson) plot revenge against a ruthless leader (Ron Perlman) and his army of thugs, headed by nine diverse and deadly assassins. This visually stunning film is filled with uniquely choreographed action sequences of a new style that melds east with west and old school with new. Director Guy Moshe will be live in person.

09082010_mothersday1.jpgMother’s Day (2010)
Director Darren Bousman, USA, Sneak Preview
After a botched robbery, three brothers, one severely injured, burst into their mother’s house, only to find that she lost it months earlier in a foreclosure. The new owners (Jaime King and Frank Grillo) and their guests, gathered for an ill-timed birthday party, become the brothers’ unwitting hostages. With the situation quickly devolving, the brothers have only one choice: call Mother (Rebecca De Mornay) to mastermind their escape. Director Darren Bousman, Rebecca DeMornay & Jaime King will be live in person.

RED (2010)
Director: Robert Schwentke, USA, Sneak Preview
Based on the cult D.C. Comics graphic novels RED is an explosive action-comedy starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren. Frank, Joe, Marvin and Victoria used to be the CIA’s top agents – but the secrets they know just made them the Agency’s top targets. Now framed for assassination, they must use all of their collective cunning, experience and teamwork to stay one step ahead of their deadly pursuers and stay alive. To stop the operation, the team embarks on an impossible, cross-country mission to break into the top-secret CIA headquarters, where they will uncover one of the biggest conspiracies and cover-ups in government history. Karl Urban (Star Trek, Lord of the Rings) will be live in person.

SPECIAL EVENT SCREENINGS

Class of 1984
Special screening to celebrate the debut of new book “DESTROY ALL MOVIES!!! The Complete Guide to Punks on Film” edited by Zack Carlson & Bryan Connolly. More info on the book here.

The year is 1984. A rabid pack of rampaging punk teens run our schools, our drugs and our prostitutes. Brutality and decadence are everywhere. Enter first-year teacher Andrew Norris (Perry King), who’s forced to violently turn the tables on the bloodthirsty gang before their trashwave swallows the town alive. Writer/director Mark L. Lester’s reckless masterpiece debuted at Cannes Film Festival to severely divided reviews.

What detractors and many thrill-seeking fans both sadly overlooked was the fact that the movie had been done exactly right. Each actor turns in a memorable, convincing performance amid knifings and punk slam pits. Beloved ham Roddy McDowall pulls off what may have been his best scene of the decade. The film moves constantly forward at full speed, with humor and intelligent dialogue balancing out the horrors perpetrated by the vicious teens. Class of 1984 is a perfect exploitation film. It’s relentlessly seedy, overflowing with assault, suicide, racism, drug use and crime crime crime, all of which is perpetrated by minors! The tension of victimization and vengeance create some of the most stirring scenes of violent retribution on record. But beyond all this, there’s a bitterly absorbing air of human helplessness and leather-clad heartlessness that makes this movie the flat-out best in its genre.

09082010_independenceday1.jpgMaster Pancake Theater – Independence Day
During Fantastic Fest 6, the boys of Master pancake will be skewering the It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World of sci-fi disaster flicks. Featuring a massive cast of pretty good A-listers (Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum) and awesome B-listers (Judd Hirsch, Harry Connick Jr., and Brent “Data” Spiner) in the fight of their lives against a horde of invading aliens. Marc Savlov of the Austin Chronicle called ID4: “A gasping, bloated roller-coaster ride that veers from scenes of truly awesome destruction to stretches of numbingly bad melodrama and back again.” The president himself, Bill Pullman, will be joining the Pancake team to mock the hell out of this bloated rollercoaster.

Spaceballs Quote-Along
Mel Brooks’ Star Wars parody is soooo much more than just a parody film, bursting with the sorts of jokes that the writers of all the recently-made and vastly inferior “spoof films” only wish they could dream up. If your Schwartz is as big as mine, you’re probably uncomfortably excited with just the prospect of this show happening. Somewhere in space, Dot Matrix’s virgin alarm is ringing loudly. For this special voyage of the Eagle V, Lone Star himself (Bill Pullman) will be live in person to kick off the fun.

The Intergalactic Nemesis
The year is 1933. Pulitzer-winner Molly Sloan and her assistant Timmy Mendez are on the trail of a story so big, it’s impossible to believe. The Intergalactic Nemesis is a truly unique live show. Imagine a modern spin on the radio serial that combines projections of 1250 hand-drawn comic illustrations, 3 voice actors performing a wide array of characters, a foley artist performing 100s of sound effects and an award winning pianist performing a riveting live score. You’ve never experienced anything like it!

ADDITIONAL FEATURE FILM OFFICIAL SELECTIONS

14 Blades (2010)
Director Daniel Lee, Hong Kong, Regional Premiere
Betrayed by his fellow Imperial bodyguard soldiers, Qinglong (Donny Yen) must seek out and rally the loyalists to rise and restore the Emperor to power. In his way are the deadliest assassins in the land, his former brethren, the Jinyiwei.

Bibliotheque Pascal (2010)
Director Szabolcs Hajdu, Hungary/France, Regional Premiere
In order to regain custody of her daughter, Mona sets off on a surreal journey that will take her to the shadowy world of sexual slavery in Bibliotheque Pascal, the strangest brothel you could ever conceive.

09082010_coldfish1.jpgCold Fish (2010)
Director: Sion Sono, Japan, Regional Premiere
Equal parts black humor and bloody dementia in this true crime portrait of a Japanese tropical fish dealer responsible for over forty murders.

A Horrible Way To Die (2010)
Director: Adam Wingard, USA, US Premiere
When a serial killer escapes from prison, the dangerous past of a young woman dealing with alcoholic rehab quickly begins to catch up with her. Director Adam Wingard will be live in person.

In the Attic (2009)
Director: Jiri Barta, Czech Republic, Regional Premiere
Courageous toys from an old suitcase undertake a dangerous journey through a forsaken attic to rescue their friend, Buttercup a beautiful doll who finds herself in the clutches of the all-powerful plaster Head, ruler of the Empire of Evil.

The Last Circus (Balada Triste) (2010)
Director: Álex de la Iglesia, Spain, US Premiere
Álex de la Iglesia’s genius for dark humor is at its most eloquent in his latest parody about the Spanish Civil War. Two clowns attack and disfigure one another in jealous rages over a beautiful dancer. In the name of love, they destroy the very object of their affection. Director Álex de la Iglesia will be live in person.

Mutant Girl Squad (2010)
Directors: Tak Sakaguchi, Noburu Iguchi, Yoshihiro Nishimura, Japan, Regional Premiere
In 2009, Tak Sakaguchi (Be A Man! Samurai School), Yoshihiro Nishimura (Tokyo Gore Police) and Noboru Iguchi (Robogeisha), got drunk and vowed to make a movie together. One year later, here it is. This splatter-ific, fetishy, hyperactive take on the X-Men is going to shock, horrify and delight you. Director Yoshihiro Nishimura live in person.

Naan Kadavul (2009)
Director: Bala, India, North American Premiere
Naan Kadavul is like an Alejandro Jodorowsky version of a Bollywood movie. A long haired Vedic ubermensch burns corpses, lives in graveyards, smokes dope, beats up people, and proclaims himself to be God before eventually become the savior to a collective of severely deformed beggars. Do not miss this film.

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)
Director: Jalmari Helander, Finland, US Premiere
Santa Claus is somewhat less than jolly – in fact, he’s the stuff nightmares are made of – in Jalmari Helander’s Rare Exports, an atmospheric and witty re-working of a cherished folk tale. Co-writer and co-creator Juuso Helander will be live in person.

09082010_garriot1.jpgRichard Garriott: Man on a Mission (2010)
Director: Mike Woolf, USA, Encore screening
Last year Richard Garriott became the first son of an astronaut to go to space, but this is no millionaire’s joy ride, he pioneered private space travel to make his dream come true: from his training in Russia to his launch in Kazahkstan to the dramatic, never before seen footage inside the capsule during fiery re-entry, this is a historic moment in human space travel. Richard Garriott live in person.

Summer Wars (2009)
Director: Mamoru Hosoda, Japan, Austin Premiere
When an online social networking community gets attacked by a piece of sentient malware that threatens to deliver a denial of service attack to the entire world, one girl and her massive extended family unites to restore peace to cyberspace. Gorgeously animated with tons of heart and soul to boot, SUMMER WARS is one of our favorite anime titles in recent years.

Transfer (2010)
Director: Damir Lukacevic, France, North American Premiere
Herman and Anna, a wealthy aging couple decides to extend their lives by leasing the bodies of two young Africans. For one million euros, the Africans signed away their lives for 20 hours a day, but in the 4 hours a day they have back in their own bodies, they begin to regret the arrangement.

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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.

via GIPHY

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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