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The 10 Most Badass Actor/Director Teams In Movies

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A truly great movie requires a connection between the actors and the man behind the camera. And when you make a powerful connection, you don’t want to let it go. Join us as we spotlight 10 actor/director duos who have worked together on numerous occasions and indisputably bring out the best in each other.

10. Kurt Russell and John Carpenter

From sci-fi (Escape from New York) to horror (The Thing) to high-flying kung-fu fantasy (Big Trouble in Little China), Carpenter and Russell bring a sense of fun to any genre. Perhaps it’s time that they reunite once again for a third Snake Plissken outing. If Mad Max can come back, so can Snake.


9. Toshiro Mifune and Akira Kurosawa

The most influential director in Japan’s movie industry had an incredible partner in Toshiro Mifune, a leading man who brought incredible passion to each role. Kurosawa was notoriously meticulous and controlling behind the camera, and Mifune counterbalanced that with his own energy. Together, the duo created masterpieces like Rashomon and Seven Samurai.


8. Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi

The scrappy early films of Sam Raimi were greatly aided by the presence of Bruce Campbell, a weirdly charming actor who brought good looks and ironic distance to the role of Ash in the Evil Dead trilogy. The pair have worked together on numerous occasions, and rumor has it that they’re set to pair again for the much-rumored Evil Dead TV series.


7. Penelope Cruz and Pedro Almodovar

Spanish director Pedro Almodovar is famous for his ability to write strong female characters for the screen, and he found an incredible muse in Penelope Cruz. The pair have collaborated in a quartet of films, which brought the best out of Cruz as an actress and allowed her to stretch her dramatic wings beyond “very pretty lady.”


6. Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Cameron

It’s no stretch to say that Cameron is responsible for some of Arnie’s best films. Terminator, T2, True Lies…we only wish this duo would work together more often.


5. John Wayne and John Ford

The greatest director of Westerns the silver screen has ever seen and the actor who epitomized American masculinity for over half a century – is it any surprise that they left an indelible mark on cinematic history? John Ford directed John Wayne in many of his most famous movies, from 1938’s Stagecoach to Donovan’s Reef. Their best film is probably 1956’s The Searchers.


4. Chow Yun-fat and John Woo

Chinese director John Woo single-handedly re-invented action cinema in the 1990s, but he had a lot of help from stoic actor Chow Yun-fat. The duo first teamed in 1986’s A Better Tomorrow, which was a commercial and critical success, and further refined the formula in that film’s sequel and with 1989’s undisputed classic The Killer. Woo’s balletic cinematography coupled with Chow’s incredible presence resulted in some truly incredible films.


3. Johnny Depp and Tim Burton

There is literally no pairing in modern film that’s tighter than Burton and Depp. Since the duo first worked together in Edward Scissorhands, Depp’s lent his quirky leading man abilities to seven other films, from Ed Wood to Dark Shadows. That’s a pretty serious run of flicks, and even though their pairing has produced decidedly mixed results of late, it’s still a partnership to be reckoned with.


2. Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese

Who knew when Leo was a ’90s teen hearthrob that he would turn into one of his generation’s most acclaimed actors? Leo’s transformation from puppy dog-eyed love interest into seasoned actor is due in no small part to his ongoing working relationship with Martin Scorsese, a pairing that has given us everything from Gangs of New York to their most recent success, The Wolf of Wall Street.

Click here to see all showings of The Departed on IFC.


1. Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese

As prolific as Scorsese and DiCaprio have been in recent years, they still have yet to top one of the most heralded cinematic partnerships in history. Starting all the way back in 1973 with Mean Streets, Scorsese and De Niro’s partnership has extended through almost five decades. Scorsese brings out the best in almost all his actors, but when he works with De Niro, fireworks are guaranteed. The duo are said to be working on a new film, titled The Irishman.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

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.

via GIPHY

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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