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Roman Coppola on “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III,” Bill Murray and wanting to work with Kristen Stewart

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IFC: Maybe he just draws it to him. One of my favorite moments of the movie was when you had the actors and crew recite their names at the end instead of having end credits. Why did you decide to do that, and how many times did you have to film it?

RC: I remember writing that as I was doing the script, like, “Oh, what would be a unique way to end the picture that would be in the spirit of what the movie kind of represents?” To me it’s kind of a collective of people coming together and making this. It felt kind of like a play, and a curtain call is very common in the theater — not that this is particularly theatre-like, my movie, but it’s kind of familiar. In fact I met someone who was like, “Every movie should have an end sequence like that,” and I thought, “Oh, that would be kind of cool, as it is in the theater.”

There’s a movie called “Candy” that inspired it. This movie is by Christian Marquand in which at the end of the film you see all the characters sort of some together out of the context of the story but just sort of as the actors. That inspired the idea and it was sort of a thank you and a way to acknowledge my crew and the whole team of people. I like the notion. It was a little sentiment to me that maybe only I care about but, in the story, these two characters Charlie and Ivana will probably never see each other again. It’s clearly over, and yet Charlie Sheen as an actor and Katheryn Winnick as an actress kind of came together as friends and meeting one another in the context of the movie, and I thought there was something kind of charming about they say farewell to each other but in the end they’re kind of holding hands, together again. It was a neat notion to me to acknowledge that there’s a new relationship that was born out of this. That meant something to me.

In terms of how many takes, we left ourselves plenty of time because it was a pretty ambitious shot and there was the sunset. I actually got a really great take which is the one we used, but I kept shooting a few more because the light kept going down deeper and deeper into the sunset. But I think ultimately we did like 23 takes and I probably used take 16 or something like that.

IFC: I know it might be a strange thing to pick out but it was strangely personal. Usually the end credits are so impersonal, I just thought it was an interesting way of bringing the cast and crew to the audience.

RC: Yeah. It means a lot to me because my little daughter’s in there and my longtime girlfriend and my crew. All the people who came together to help me out got to sort of take a bow, so to me it is rather personal. I’m glad you see it that way.

IFC: We’re huge fans of Bill Murray here at IFC and I know you mentioned you’ve worked with him many times and know him personally. How does the man compare to the legend?

RC: He is a titan, meaning he is larger than life. He is not just a regular human. He’s tall. He has such presence. He comes in the room and he just sweeps everyone up in his charisma and his spell. He’s just a one-of-a-kind, larger-than-life guy. I’ve gotten to know him and also privileged to hang out and see him and stuff, but he definitely evokes a feeling of awe. I’m just going to gush, but he obviously is a person to be around. He’s so incredibly funny and witty and he’s very generous and warm. All the things you would hope for, he is.

IFC: You’ve worked with and known a lot of great filmmakers. Are there any who you think inspired this film the most?

RC: I would say that there’s a few. Movies are very, what’s the word… they can be anything. It’s really magic. There’s certain filmmakers that have shown me, as I see their movies, I think, “Wow, a movie can really be anything or take you anywhere and evoke all sorts of feelings and spark your senses.” So movies that my film kind of aspires to that use sort of that freedom is a movie like “Stardust Memories” or “Annie Hall,” which are of course Woody Allen movies. He’s obviously one of the greats, we all know that. If you look at “Annie Hall” and you look at all the places it goes, it’s really staggering. It’s really just so free, so that really inspired me.

I love Bob Fosse in particular. “All That Jazz” is a movie that I always could just watch again and again, and it similarly has certain fractured narrative and use of fantasy and feeling rather free. I think both those filmmakers owe a debt to [Federico] Fellini. [He] is one of those master filmmakers who is particularly in touch with a sense of fancy and flights of fancy and fantasy and feeling that freedom, that malleability that film can sort of take you anywhere. So a film like “8 1/2” is something that really, deeply impressed me and kind of relates to things I’ve done, so those are the things that come to mind from more a sense of structure and sense of mis-en-scene.

IFC: “The Bling Ring,” which you produce, seems to continue Sophia Coppola’s trend of exploring fame and celebrity and the obsession with it. As a member of the Hollywood elite looking out, what do you think of that topic?

RC: That’s really a great question for Sophia to answer. She works in a very intuitive way so this is more of a concept, talking about that. I think it’s sort of the job of the viewer or the job of the critical world to consider, analyze and discuss themes or ideas. But just working with her, she gets something in her head and is like, “Ah, there’s something I like about this,” or, “Something is interesting about this,” and it’s very rare and frankly like never that it’s a discussion about concept. Like, “Oh, this is a story of our time.” But artists that are sensitive; art is like a membrane that sort of picks those things up, so I think it’s very reasonable to say that it’s a reflection of our sort of celebrity-obsessed culture and sort of a comment on it, certainly. I guess the distinction I’m trying to make is that’s not really the intention.

It’s a world that interests her and I think many people are fascinated by celebrity and we can all be above it, like, “Oh, I don’t really care,” but then you read something on TMZ and you want to read it, and People magazine, you see it on the airplane and you read it cover to cover. It’s just everyone seems to have this curiosity about fame. I don’t think it’s anything new. It’s certainly always been the case that there are those noted people that seem to kind of represent ideas. There’s the good guys, the bad guys, the villains, and you just sort of read into it. Anyways, I’m going sideways, but it’s actually playing very soon in Cannes and has an opening night slot so the world will get a chance to check out soon.

IFC: Lastly, I’m just curious if you have anything in the works right now that you plan to direct or write or produce?

RC: You know, I don’t really know. I don’t have an exciting answer for you. It took a lot of time and process to make this movie. It was very much a handmade movie in that I was very involved with all the phases and I did it with a lot of sweat and help from people that are close to me and so I’m kind of sort of taking a little breather. I’m expecting a baby soon and will enjoy that. Anyway, longwinded answer but I don’t really know. I’m kind of in that state of mind where you start to look around and you read something in the newspaper and you’re like, “Oh, is that a story kernel?” I’m in that state of receptive curiosity of something that will maybe pop into my mind soon.

IFC: Is there anyone specific that you’d like to work with going forward?

RC: I met Kristen Stewart not long ago because I was involved with “On the Road” and I found her to be so charming and interesting. That is someone I admire. Johnny Depp is such a talented person. I could just go on and on. But I don’t have any plans or designs. I’m just like everyone else; there’s these people that of course you’d like to work with.

Watch an exclusive bonus clip from “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III” below!

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What did you think of “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III”? Did you like the casting of Charlie Sheen? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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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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