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DID YOU READ

The 2011 Golden Globe Winners

The 2011 Golden Globe Winners (photo)

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In a night of very few surprises, “The Social Network” continued its dominance of the 2011 awards season, racking up four Golden Globes for Best Picture (Drama), Best Director (David Fincher), Best Screenplay (Aaron Sorkin), and Best Score (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross). Along with “Social Network,” Fincher, and Sorkin, most of the Oscar frontrunners showed no signs of slipping from their positions in their respective races. Colin Firth won best dramatic actor for “The King’s Speech,” while Natalie Portman took home best dramatic actress for “Black Swan” and my personal award for the Most Endearingly Awkward Moment of the night when she cracked herself up delivering a joke about her meeting her fiance on the set of the film.

The best supporting performances both came from David O. Russell’s boxing movie, “The Fighter” — Christian Bale won on the male side and Melissa Leo won on the female side, besting her co-star Amy Adams — while Annette Bening won best comedic actress for “The Kids Are All Right.” Really, the only true shocker of the night came in the category of best comedic actor, which went to Paul Giamatti in “Barney’s Version” over two Johnny Depps (“The Tourist” and “Alice in Wonderland”), Jake Gyllenhaal, and Kevin Spacey. Giamatti also netted my personal award for Most Uncomfortably Awkward Moment of the night for the sheepish pass he made at presenter Halle Berry during his acceptance speech followed by the cut to a shot of Berry expressing what I would charitably describe as disinterest.

Here’s the full lineup of film winners at the Globes:

Best Motion Picture – Drama: “The Social Network”
Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy: “The Kids Are All Right”
Best Director: David Fincher, “The Social Network”
Best Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, “The Social Network”
Best Actor – Drama: Colin Firth, “The King’s Speech”
Best Actress – Drama: Natalie Portman, “Black Swan”
Best Actor – Musical or Comedy: Paul Giamatti, “Barney’s Version”
Best Actress – Musical or Comedy: Annette Bening, “The Kids Are All Right”
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, “The Fighter”
Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo, “The Fighter”
Best Foreign Language Film: “In a Better World”
Best Animated Film: “Toy Story 3”
Best Original Score:Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, “The Social Network”
Best Original Song: Diane Warren (“You Haven’t Seen The Last of Me”), “Burlesque”

Since the actual awards yielded so few surprises or memorable speeches, what people will be talking about around the water cooler tomorrow — or Tuesday if they’ve got tomorrow off for Martin Luther King Day — is the hosting job delivered by Ricky Gervais. When he hosted last year, Gervais was so fearless in attacking the stars and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association that I was certain he’d never be invited to host any awards show again, much less the Golden Globes. To my shock, the Globes invited him back and he delivered a monologue for the ages, equally brutal and brutally funny. Here it is:

As the night went on, Gervais’ introductions didn’t grow any warmer (he welcomed Bruce Willis to the stage by rattling off a list of credits of his worst movies including “Hudson Hawk” and “Color of Night” and describing him as “Ashton Kutcher’s dad”). After slaughtering one celebrity after another, Gervais vanished completely from the show’s final hour, prompting quite a few viewers to begin wondering aloud on Twitter and Facebook whether the Hollywood Foreign Press Association had kicked him off the show in mid-broadcast. I’m reading descriptions from journalists in the room that the jokes played poorly in Beverly Hills, and that’s not surprising: Gervais’ targets are so pampered they aren’t used to even hearing the word ‘no,’ much less getting teased for the terrible movies they occasionally (or often) make.

I have no idea whether Gervais will be back for a third tour of duty on the Globes, but I admired his effort. While long bubbling claims of impropriety about the HFPA resurfaced in the days leading up to the awards, all any of the winners had to say was “Thank you to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for this incredible honor.” Someone had to address the elephant in the room, and it clearly wasn’t going to be Colin Firth.

Awards mean very little; I want to say awards mean nothing but that’s not true. They do mean something, and that something is money. That’s why people bribe lobby so hard for these awards; because they look good on ads that encourage people to go to the theater. And if they get a reluctant viewer to go see “Black Swan,” they’ve served a purpose. But we make too much out of them, and Gervais did a fine job of reminding us of that. I — and I suspect a lot of people — watch the Golden Globes for two reasons: out of obligation and to make fun of them. Gervais is the perfect Globes host because he understands both those impulses.

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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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