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Hugo Weaving is “very passionate” about “Last Ride”

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It’s been three years in the making, but Hugo Weaving‘s 2009 Australian indie “Last Ride” has finally made its way to American shores.

Even though he’s made many movies since like “Cloud Atlas,” both parts of “The Hobbit” and “The Wolfman,” it’s clear that “Last Ride” is a project that stuck close to Weaving’s heart. He easily could have passed up the opportunity to talk about the project with journalists when he learned that Music Box Films would be distributing it in the US, but instead he opted to conduct phone interviews from his home with an array of outlets including IFC in order to promote interest in the small project.

“I’m very pleased to be talking about it,” he said. “It’s great that it’s getting a release in the States. There aren’t many films that you do that you feel very passionate about and strongly about, but this is certainly one of them, so it’s nice to know that it’s getting a release even if it’s two and a half, three years later than it was here.”

“Last Ride” follows Weaving as the fugitive father Kev who goes on the run with his 10-year-old son Chook (played by Tom Russell) after committing a terrible crime. Instead of focusing on the chase, “Last Ride” tells its story through the eyes of those being chased. Kev realizes the weight of what he’s done wrong long before Chook even realizes they’re being followed, and Chook’s reaction to the realization of his father’s crime forever changes both of their lives.

On US shores, Weaving is best known for his collaborations with the Wachowskis in projects like “The Matrix” and “V for Vendetta,” and with Peter Jackson on his five “Lord of the Rings” films. Needless to say, his performance in “Last Ride” is a bit of a departure from all of those projects. But it’s these little-known Australian movies that Weaving finds himself feeling the closest to.

“Most of the films I’ve done have been small, Australian films, a lot of which haven’t seen too much light of day. A little bit here and there,” he said. “But it’s always very hard for Australian films, because of the nature of the world in which we live in, the dominance of the American film industry even you know as far away as Australia. It’s quite hard for an Australian film to get much of a look even in Australia, let alone in the rest of the world.”

Weaving gives a powerful performance in “Last Ride” and critics have responded to that, nominating him for awards from both the Australian Film Institute and Film Critics Circle of Australia. But it’s Russell, his young costar, who really lays on the wow factor. “Last Ride” deals with seemingly every dark topic imaginable, from murder to child molestation to suicide, and Russell seemed to have taken it all in stride. It’s all the more impressive knowing that it was the first feature film he starred in.

Russell was 10 at the time he filmed “Last Ride,” and Weaving acknowledged that it was hard at times to shoot those scenes with someone who wasn’t as seasoned an actor as he was.

“It was difficult in some ways. Difficult because he wasn’t used to the film set, wasn’t used to working,” Weaving said. “But with Tom, he’s so present and he’s so there … And he’s a delightful boy, a lot of fun, and just a kid, you know? Just a kid who you point the camera at him and whatever he’s doing is interesting.”

He continued, “But yeah, it did mean that there were some other scenes that were quite –particularly some intensely dramatic scenes — there were a couple where he was not in that mood to be intensely dramatic and you think well, he’s a 10-year-old kid, and you’ve got to try to find that in him in another way. No, he’s great. He’s absolutely wonderful. It was a real treat to work with him.”

“Last Ride” came out in New York and on VOD on June 29.

Are you interested in seeing more of Weaving’s smaller films come to US shores? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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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….

E.coli-class-

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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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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