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Zach Galifianakis on His Latest “Funny Story”

Zach Galifianakis on His Latest “Funny Story” (photo)

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If you watched Zach Galifianakis’ supremely weird performances in films like “The Hangover” or “Dinner For Schmucks” and thought “This guy belongs in a mental hospital!” you were right, at least for one role. In the new film “It’s Kind of a Funny Story,” Galifiankis plays Bobby, a guy very much like “The Hangover”‘s Alan or “Dinner For Schmucks”‘ Therman: an funny eccentric with a strange way of looking at (and interacting with) the people around him. But for all the characters’ similarities, the worlds they inhabit are very different. Bobby’s is the New York City psych ward where he meets Craig (Keir Gilchrist), the suicidal teen who is the film’s hero. The pair become unlikely friends in this coming-of-age story based on the novel by Ned Vizzini and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, the creators of “Half Nelson” and “Sugar.”

I asked Galifianakis about working with Boden and Fleck and whether he could relate to the problems of both main characters. Somehow we wound up talking about beards. It was a good time all around.

Fred Armisen and Stephen Colbert Sample Foghat Wine

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Fred Armisen and Stephen Colbert Had a Rockin’ Wine Tasting

Catch Fred on the new season of Portlandia Thursdays at 10P on IFC.

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As per The Late Show’s themed gift recommendation this past December, we all spent the holidays delightfully unwrapping various Foghat albums and compilations. And while those cassettes remain in our tape decks, there’s still more ’70s boogie rock to enjoy in the form of fermented grapes. Yes, Foghat has its very own wine, straight from the cellars of drummer and Late Show fan Roger Earl, and Portlandia’s Fred Armisen joined host Stephen Colbert to sample the goods. And thanks to Earl’s watchful eye and drumstick swirl during fermentation, the pinot noir unfolds nicely on the tongue and has the perfect notes to swig directly from the bottle while shrieking, “HELLO, CLEVELAND!”

Watch Fred Armisen and Stephen Colbert don literal “fog hats” and take a slow ride through some tasty spirits below.

Fans Get Buried Alive to Watch “Buried”

Fans Get Buried Alive to Watch “Buried” (photo)

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How much would someone have to pay you to let them bury you alive? For the four “winners” of Fantastic Fest’s “Buried With ‘Buried'” contest, the answer was: nothing. No, these four brave souls — all women, interestingly — willingly volunteered for the opportunity to watch Ryan Reynolds’ new film about a guy buried alive while being buried alive themselves. The four were selected through a Facebook contest and, after signing waivers, they were blindfolded and driven to a secret location, where watched the film on LCD screens inside their own personal coffins (roomier than the standard issue, they told me). The prize for surviving the ordeal was a chance to meet Ryan Reynolds at Fantastic Fest, but all four said they would have done it without that incentive just because it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. These women and I differ sharply on the meaning of the word “opportunity,” but I give them credit for their bravery.

I interviewed all four fearless ladies on the red carpet for “Buried”‘s Fantastic Fest premiere last Thursday. They looked little worse for wear, and even planned to watch the movie again that night. In slightly roomier confines, no doubt.

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Michelle Rodriguez vs. Tim League at the Fantastic Debates

Michelle Rodriguez vs. Tim League at the Fantastic Debates (photo)

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One of the best parts of going to film festivals are the fights that break out after screenings. Typically, these arguments are limited to spirited discussions about the relative merits of a movie. But at Fantastic Fest‘s annual Fantastic Debates, things get a bit more physical. Filmmakers and critics square off in formal debates on a geektastic topic — say, whether video games represent a colossal waste of time or an emerging artform — and then settle the feud once and for all inside the squared circle with two minutes of incredibly awkward boxing.

This year’s Fantastic Debates had a tremendous card ranging from high comedy (directors David and Nathan Zellner clad in belly shirts and wrestling tights spitting fake blood and teeth) to legit beef (Twitch founder Todd Brown passionately arguing with “The Dead” director John Ford about the morality of filmmakers posting anonymous comments about their work on the Internet). In the main event, Fantastic Fest co-founder Tim League squared off against actress Michelle Rodriguez over the question of whether or not “Avatar” deserved to win the Oscar for Best Picture. As you may recall, Rodriguez trained as a boxer for six months for her role in the film “Girlfight.” As for League, well, he played a lot of “Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!” as a kid. Here’s how it turned out.

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