DID YOU READ

SXSW 2012: Mike Birbiglia explains his inspiration for “Sleepwalk with Me”

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It’s hard to ignore the fact that there are some pretty major parallels between the life of Mike Birbiglia and his new movie that premiered at SXSW, “Sleepwalk with Me.” Birbiglia is a successful stand-up comedian, while the film’s main character Matt Pandamiglio is on the brink of success and trying to break out in his career.

Though the story is largely fictional, Birbiglia admitted to IFC that he did draw on a lot of his own real-life experiences to write (and direct and act in) the film. While his jokes used to just be funny anecdotes, Birbiglia said he realized while performing at the US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen that he could get a better response from his audience if he started telling more intensely personal stories than he had been before.

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The story he told in Aspen was called “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend,” which is from the same one-man show that he’s touring with right now. He told the story at that comedy festival, and said the response was so great that it changed how he viewed his brand of comedy

“It’s basically about this embarrassing thing that happened in high school which is I had my first girlfriend, it was so exciting, but then she had another boyfriend, so I was like the back-up boyfriend,” he said. “And eventually she invites me to meet her parents, and it’s going really well, and then this other guy comes over, and I realize that I’m hanging out with my girlfriend’s boyfriend.”

It was a hard tale for Birbiglia to tell, but the pay-off was worth it in the end.

“It was such an embarrassing story and it was so hard for me to tell that on stage the first time in Aspen, Colorado, when I finally did it … I was like, ‘I think that what I’m doing here is I’m getting as many laughs as what I was doing before, and it’s connecting to the audience in a way that when you give the audience something, they give you something back,'” he said. “It’s something more than laughs.”

Do you prefer it when comedians tell embarrassing, personal anecdotes from their own life instead of just funny anecdotes? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Warm Bodies

Bloody Valentines

10 Romantic Horror Movies for Valentine’s Day  

Catch My Bloody Valentine this Valentine's Day Sunday at 8P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection

Watching hapless victims running for their lives might not sound romantic, but a scary movie is perfect for a cozy night on the couch with someone special. (Unless you’re a character in a horror movie, as any romantic moment eventually turns into murderous mayhem.) Before you catch My Bloody Valentine this Valentine’s Day on IFC, check out some horror movies that will both warm your heart and chill your bones.

1. Let The Right One In

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A surprisingly touching tale of a bullied child and his vampire crush, the acclaimed 2008 Swedish horror film perfectly captures the feelings of being in the throes of naive first live. Pair it with the solid 2010 American remake, and be sure to have some tissues on hand to go with the blood red wine and dark chocolates.


2. Bram Stoker’s Dracula

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Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 take on Bram Stoker’s classic tale upped the lavish romanticism with an ageless, yet alluring, Dracula driven by a centuries spanning love. For better or worse, we wouldn’t have Twilight without this sumptuous gothic romance.


3. The Fly

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One of the greatest body horror movies of all time centers on the most doomed relationship you’ve ever seen. If you find Jeff Goldblum as attractive as Geena Davis does, well, we advise you to make the most of it early on before Cronenberg’s masterpiece mutilates him.


4. Bride of Chucky

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Why can’t movie monsters find love? Because it’s literally horrifying. Luckily that’s the point in Bride of Chucky, where the murderous puppet finds a soulmate who shares his penchant for sharp objects. A high point in the series that spoofed its own silliness while still scaring the hell out of us.


5. Bride of Frankenstein

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Of course, there wouldn’t be a Bride of Chucky without the original movie monster romance. James Whale’s horror classic both introduced a new level of pathos to the Frankenstein story and gave us a lady monster for the ages.


6. Hellraiser

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Lemarchand’s box first broke the barriers between life and death as part of a (deeply unromantic) love story. An unfaithful wife seduces and murders men to resurrect her dead lover, and when her daughter finds out things get gorily complicated.


7. A Chinese Ghost Story

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A night in a haunted temple has a man falling in love with a beautiful ghost in this horror comedy from director Ching Siu-tung. Oh, and he has to save her spirit from an evil tree demon. We haven’t mentioned the swordsman or the gymnastic martial arts yet, but you’ll definitely enjoy them too.


8. Candyman

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The creepy Candyman is looking for love, which is a hard sell when you’ve got a hook for a hand and are usually covered in bees. Oh, and you’re a revenge-fuelled murderous specter. Helen Lyle must deal with his romantic intentions as well as an unfaithful boyfriend, and it really doesn’t go well for anyone. You’d think it’d be nice to have someone who always comes when you call…


9. Warm Bodies

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An unlikely love story between the living and the dead, Warm Bodies follows “R” as he grunts and groans his affection for the chief zombie-hunter’s daughter. No other story has ever so completely shown the healing power of love.


10. My Bloody Valentine

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My Bloody Valentine stars the Grinch of the holiday, the murderous miner who has sworn that a small town should never again host a dance on that day. Of course a gang of sexy teens decide to ignore him. And of course he comes back, with wonderfully horrific results.

Call-In Commentary: Watch the “Brake” trailer with star Stephen Dorff

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Stephen Dorff is known as being a versatile actor, but his latest film “Brake” must have pushed the limits. In the picture, Dorff plays a Secret Service agent who awakens to a captivity within a plexiglass coffin inside the trunk of a car, at the mercy of terrorists who are demanding information for a sinister plot. The star plays nearly the entire movie within this confined environment, similar to Ryan Reynolds’ recent “Buried” but with considerably more action elements.

To get a firsthand take on the movie, Dorff participated in our Call-In Commentary series, where filmmakers and stars provide narration to their movie trailer. Check it out below to hear firsthand anecdotes, and then check out “Brake” in theaters March 21.

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MORE CALL-IN COMMENTARIES:

Watch the “Detachment” trailer with director Tony Kaye
Watch the “Bending the Rules” trailer with WWE Superstar “Edge”
Watch “The Snowtown Murders” trailer with director Justin Kurzel
Watch the “Being Flynn” trailer with writer-director Paul Weitz
Watch the “Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie” trailer with Tim and Eric
Watch the “Boy” trailer with writer-director Taika Waititi

View more Call-In Commentaries…

Will you be checking out “Brake”? Let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter.

SXSW 2012: “Shut Up and Play the Hits” directors talk working with LCD Soundsystem

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There are many documentaries being shown at SXSW this year, but one that fans are most excited for is the LCD Soundsystem film “Shut Up and Play the Hits.” Directors Will Lovelace and Dylan Southern documented the final performance the hit band played at Madison Square Garden in 2011. It shows the effect the finale had on the band as well as those around them.

IFC was lucky enough to catch up with Lovelace and Southern at the film festival to get their take on presenting the documentary at the event dedicated to film and music. Unsurprisingly, it received a great response at its premiere.

“We had a huge sound system at the venue where we showed the film the other night, and it felt like being at Madison Square Garden again,” Lovelace said. “It was so loud, it was insane.”

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It would have been easy just to have had their film be a straight retelling of LCD Soundsystem’s last concert, but Lovelace and Southern made a point to have it be more than that. Even though “Shut Up and Play the Hits” just takes place over the last 48 hours of the band’s existence, the film tells a larger story.

“We didn’t want to make a film that was a biography of just the band. And we’re very much interested in making something that came from a specific moment of time,” Lovelace said. “With every song they played [at the concert], you could see it going through his head that, ‘That’s the last time I’ll sing “Daft Punk” to an audience. That’s the last time we’ll play this.’

He added, “You could really get a sense of how that felt for them as a group of friends as the concert progressed.”

Are you looking forward to seeing “Shut Up and Play the Hits”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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