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James Franco’s “Three’s Company” Art Project

James Franco’s “Three’s Company” Art Project (photo)

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Last year, Joseph Gordon-Levitt ruled Sundance’s experimental, installation-based New Frontier Program with selections from his crowdsourced, collaborative hitRECord project. This year, the big name is everyone’s favorite adorably droopy-eyed multi-hyphenate James Franco, whose “Three’s Company: The Drama” is “a multi-media examination of the classic 70s sit-com” that Franco hopes will gives us “a slightly oblique perspective” on the medium of television.

Here’s the entire line-up, descriptions courtesy of the festival.

A Machine to See With
Blast Theory (United Kingdom)
Mixing documentary material, stolen thriller clichés and the films of Jean-Luc Godard, A Machine to See With invites the audience to take risks, play games and connect the fantasy of a thriller movie with the political questions that each one of us must face through interaction with an automated system of interaction and control that navigates the participant through the underbelly of the city. A Machine to See With premiered at the 2010 01SJ Biennial.

All That is Solid Melts Into Air
Mark Boulos (United Kingdom, The Netherlands)
All That is Solid Melts into Air juxtaposes two documentary videos on opposite sides of the wall. The viewer is in between these two powerful videos trying to negotiate the films. One film depicts the Nigerian Guerrilla group that battles the colonization of petroleum resources on their land. The other film depicts stock traders in Chicago who are speculating on futures. As the films play the audio and intensity of the films crescendo to an uproar.

We Like America and America Likes Us (The Corpse)
The Bruce High Quality Foundation (U.S.A.)
The hearse/ambulance is a vehicle designed for both pragmatic emergency response and ceremonial lament. Its chassis astride a fresh piece of asphalt — a corpse on clean sheets — embodies a great American contradiction, a national character with a remarkable gift for survival despite its moves toward implosion. A showing of dark patriotism and a yearning for the possibility of transcendent national purpose while holding the contradictions and let-downs of history, We Like America and America Likes Us (The Corpse) is an allegory of American national consciousness.

SPIN and HIPOCAMPO 2
Daniel Canogar (Spain)
Canogar work explores the short lifespan of the technologies that we use daily. He takes electronic detritus and transforms it into stunning sculptural installations. Spin is an installation comprised of the copied contents of 100 discarded DVDs that are projected back onto their surface, revealing the moving images trapped within the discs. Hipocampo 2 is a sculptural work made of tangles of electric, telephone, and computer cables. Lines of light are projected onto the sculpture creating an illusion of the motion of electricity through time and space.

Three’s Company: The Drama
James Franco
Three’s Company: The Drama is a multi-media examination of the classic 70s sit-com. Television has undoubtedly shaped our world: our increased exposure to dramatic entertainment, the shapes of our houses, the shape of the time in our day. In this piece James Franco hopes to pull television from the box and view it from “a slightly oblique perspective.”

After Ghostcatching
Bill T. Jones and OpenEnded Group (U.S.A.)
A re-envisioning of Ghostcatching (1999), After Ghostcatching is built up from the same motions and vocalizations of Bill T. Jones used in the earlier work, but explores the themes of disembodiment and identity with the new possibilities opened up by 3D projection and a custom 3D renderer. As viewers don their 3D glasses, they experience the virtual movement in real depth.

Theater III + Edgar
Avish Khebrehzadeh (U.S.A.)
Avish Khebrehzadeh’s works evoke fairy tales and dreamscapes, often inspired by her actual dreams and memories. Her painting and video form one integrated work. In Theatre III+Edgar, three loosely linked vignettes unfold. A pregnant woman is carried past a village into the desert where the three men who have been carrying her, leave her. She disappears down a hole with the man who has been digging it.

Moony
Akio Kamisato, Satoshi Shibata and Takehisa Mashimo (Japan)
Moony, by Akio Kamisato, Satoshi Shibata and Takehisa Mashimo from IAMAS in Japan, uses steam as both a screen and an interactive interface. Touch one of the virtual butterflies projected into the vapor, and it will fly away and disappear. But hold your hand into the steam for a while and butterflies will flock around and play with you. Moony received the Ars Electronica [the next idea] art and technology grant in 2004.

The Johnny Cash Project and The Wilderness Downtown
Aaron Koblin & Chris Milk (U.S.A.)
In The Johnny Cash Project participants are invited to create a drawing that is woven into a collectively rendered, hand drawn animated music video tribute to Johnny Cash set to his song “Ain’t No Grave.” The work continues to grow and evolve as more people participate.

! WOMEN ART REVOLUTION and RAW/WAR
Lynn Hershman Leeson (U.S.A.)
!Women Art Revolution is a documentary film exploring and revealing the Feminist Art Movement in the US from 1968 to the present. The rarely seen footage and interviews uncover how the Feminist Movement transformed the art of our times. RAW/WAR is an interactive, community-curated video archive which allows users to access footage, as well as share their own stories through text, images, video clips, and links that highlight the achievements and practices of women artists.

Myth and Infrastructure and Dreaming of Lucid Living
Miwa Matreyek (U.S.A.)
Myth and Infrastructure is a multi-media performance involving projected animation on screen, body, and props. Matreyek’s body becomes part of a layered world of animation, light and shadow. Her strikingly beautiful images lure the viewer into the piece and the story. The dreamy audio is sung by Anna Oxygen. Dreaming of Lucid Living is an exploration of shadow and animation and themes of domestic spaces, dream-like vignettes, large and small cities, magical powers.

Glowing Pathfinder Bugs
Squidsoup (United Kingdom)
Glowing Pathfinder Bugs is an interactive art installation that uses projection to visualize virtual bugs on a real sandpit. The bugs are aware of their surroundings and respond to its form in their vicinity. Viewers can pick bugs up, dig holes and create mounds that the bugs respond to. The piece was originally commissioned by Folly Gallery for Portable Pixel Playground.

ELEPHANT
Deke Weaver (U.S.A.)
ELEPHANT is the second chapter in Weaver’s lifelong project, The Unreliable Bestiary: an ark of stories about animals, our relationship to them, and the worlds they inhabit. Inspired by the literary concept of the unreliable narrator and the medieval bestiary, which gave every living thing a spiritual purpose the project will present an evening-length performance for each letter of the alphabet – the letter representing a particular endangered animal or habitat. From burial rituals to subtle interpersonal communications to post-traumatic stress, elephant and human societies have remarkable similarities.

Pandemic 1.0
Lance Weiler (U.S.A.)
Pandemic 1.0 is a transmedia storytelling experience that spans film, mobile, online, real-world, social gaming and data visualization. Over the course of the festival the story will unfold enabling viewers / players to step into the shoes of our protagonists. The story experience starts when a mysterious sleep virus begins to affect the adults in a small rural town, the youth soon find themselves cut off from civilization and fighting for their lives. Will they survive? Can you survive?

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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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.

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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…

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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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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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