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That's Fan-tastic

5 Bizarre Fan Festivals You Can Actually Attend

Blonde Festival Latvia

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This week’s brand-new episode of Documentary Now! spotlights an Icelandic town with a serious Al Capone fetish. If the episode teaches us anything, it’s that people will take their obsessions to some bizarre lengths. If you’ve ever loved something so much that you’ve found yourself in a Holiday Inn banquet hall while dressed in a giant unicorn costume, then this just might be the list for you.

5. International UFO Congress

Ever been abducted by aliens? Or at least hope to be? Have we got a festival for you! For one week each year, like-minded enthusiasts gather with experts to break down the latest in Ufology, talk government conspiracies and attend a film festival with awards like Best Abductee/Contactee Documentary. A qualified therapist is even on hand to lead “Experiencer Sessions.” Who knows, a little green man himself might show up someday, if he can afford the ticket to Phoenix and enjoys a good cocktail party.


4. Go Blonde

20th Century Fox

When Latvia found their economy sagging in 2009, they consulted with top economists and came up with a pragmatic solution: A massive festival celebrating fair-haired ladies. The theory was that blondes have more fun, and hopefully more disposable income. The annual event, now the biggest “Blonde Fest” in the world, includes parades, Marilyn Monroe lookalike contests (much like Arborg, Iceland’s Al Capone-themed contest) and an all-night party. And it’s worked, becoming an economic booster similar to the Carnival celebration in Brazil, except with a lot less brunettes.


3. Anthrocon

Sony

Ah, Anthrocon, the convention that caters to people who enjoy spending their time in and around anthropomorphized animal costumes. Many wear full getups as they peruse the tables at the annual convention, which house a variety of furry-inspired art, before gathering in “The Zoo” to meet and party with like-minded people. Er, like-minded people dressed in six-foot purple cat costumes, that is.


2. Frozen Dead Guy Days

Disney

In the early ’90s, a Norwegian citizen named Trygve Bauge attempted to start his own cryogenics facility in Nederland, Colorado. Unfortunately, the business was dead on arrival, just like Bauge’s grandfather, Bredo Morstøl, the only person to actually get frozen before the whole thing went kaput. And remain on ice he has, for the last twenty odd years. The frosty fella’s popularity inspired a festival of course, complete with “Frozen Dead Guy” lookalike contests, coffin races and dips in the icy Colorado River.


1. Festival of the Steel Phallus

kanamara matsuri

Every year at the Kanayama Shrine in Japan, hundreds gather to honor the male member. Kanamara Matsuri, or “Festival of the Steel Phallus,” is based on an old legend about a demon that consumed male genitalia. (Seriously. Google it if you don’t believe us.) A blacksmith was tasked with building an iron phallus, which broke the demon’s teeth. Now, every year the metal phallus is honored with parades, and a variety of vegetables, candies and the like, all shaped like this popular part of the human anatomy. You can’t make this stuff up, folks.

Think these festivals are strange? Check out Iceland’s Al Capone lookalike contest spotlighted on this week’s brand-new Documentary Now!

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For more Documentary Now!, check out the complete archive.

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SAG Life

Rappers Act Up

Watch the Yo! IFC Acts Movie Marathon Memorial Day Weekend.

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Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Everett Collection (and the '90s)

Memorial Day weekend: how to celebrate? Nothing quite says “screw spring—let’s do summer” like blockbuster movies starring rappers who ditched lucrative music careers in order to become actors. It happened a lot, remember? Especially in and around the ’90s. Will Smith, Eminem, Ice Cube, Ice-T, Marky Mark Wahlberg, Ludacris…icons with the hubris to try the silver screen instead and have it totally work out.

But what if more rappers had made the leap? That’s a rhetorical question—movies (and life) would’ve been better, obviously. To prove it, here are some movies that would’ve been more memorable with rappers.

The Godfather

Starring Biggie, not Brando.
Godfather-BIG

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory

Only Coolio could improve upon Gene Wilder’s performance.
Coolio-Wonka

Billy Elliot

Billy Elliot, with a dose of Missy Elliott.
Missy-Billy-Elliott

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Low hanging fruit, Hollywood.
Robin-Hood-and-Lil-Jon

And of course…

Kanye-of-The-Lambs

See NONE of those movies and a whole bunch of real ones this Memorial Day weekend on IFC’s rapper-filled movie marathon.

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Brock Hard

Brockmire’s Guide To Grabbing Life By The D***

Catch up on the full season of Brockmire now.

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“Lucy, put supper on the stove, my dear, because this ballgame is over!”

Brockmire has officially closed out its rookie season. Miss the finale episode? A handful of episodes? The whole blessed season?? You can see it all from the beginning, starting right here.

And you should get started, because every minute you spend otherwise will be a minute spent not living your best life. That’s right, there are very important life lessons that Brockmire hid in plain sight—lessons that, when applied thoughtfully, can improve every aspect of your awesome existence. Let’s dive into some sage nuggets from what we call the Book of Jim.

Life Should Be Spiked, Not Watered Down.

That’s not just a fancy metaphor. As Brockmire points out, water tastes “awful. 70% of the water is made up of that shit?” Life is short, water sucks, live like you mean it.

There Are Only Three Types of People

“Poor people, rich people and famous people. Rich people are just poor people with money, so the only worthwhile thing is being famous.” So next time your rich friends act all high and mighty, politely remind them that they’re worthless in the eyes of even the most minor celebrities.

There’s Always A Reason To Get Out Of Bed

And 99% of the time that reason is the urge to pee. It’s nature’s way of saying “seize the day.”

There’s More To Life Than Playing Games

“Baseball can’t compete with p0rnography. Nothing can.” Nothing you do or ever will do can be more important to people than p0rn. Get off your high horse.

A Little Empathy Goes A Long Way

Especially if you’ve taken someone else’s Plan B by mistake.

Our Weaknesses Can Be Our Greatest Strengths

Tyrion Lannister said something similar. Hard to tell who said it with more colorful profanity. Wise sentiments all around.

Big Things Come To Those Who Wait

When you’re looking for a sign, the universe will drop you a big one. You’re the sh*t, universe.

And Of Course…

Need more life lessons from the Book of Jim? Catch up on Brockmire on the IFC App.

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Oh Mama

Mommie May I?

Mommie Dearest Is On Repeat All Mothers Day Long On IFC

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The cult-classic movie Mommie Dearest is a game-changer. If you’ve seen it even just once (but come on, who sees it just once?), then you already know what we’re talking about.

But if you haven’t seen it, then let us break it down for you. Really quick, we promise, we’ll even list things out to spare you the reading of a paragraph:

1. It’s the 1981 biopic based on the memoir of Christina Crawford, Hollywood icon Joan Crawford’s adopted daughter.
2. Faye Dunaway plays Joan. And boy does she play her. Loud and over-reactive.
3. It was intended as a drama, but…
4. Waaaaaay over-the-top performances and bargain-basement dialogue rendered it an accidental comedy.
5. It’s a cult classic, and you’re the last person to see it.

Not sold? Don’t believe it’s going to change your life? Ok, maybe over-the-top acting isn’t your thing, or perhaps you don’t like the lingering electricity of a good primal scream, or Joan Crawford is your personal icon and you can’t bear to see her cast in such a creepy light.

But none of that matters.

What’s important is that seeing this movie gives you permission to react to minor repeat annoyances with unrestrained histrionics.

That there is a key moment. Is she crazy? Yeah. But she’s also right. Shoulder nipples are horrible, wire hangers are the worst, and yelling about it feels strangely justified. She did it, we can do it. Precedent set. You’re welcome.

So what else can we yell about? Channel your inner Joan and consider the following list offenses when choosing your next meltdown.

Improperly Hung Toilet Paper

Misplaced Apostrophes

Coldplay at Karaoke

Dad Jokes

Gluten Free Pizza

James Franco

The list of potential pedestrian grievances is actually quite daunting, but when IFC airs Mommie Dearest non-stop for a full day, you’ll have 24 bonus hours to mull it over. 24 bonus hours to nail that lunatic shriek. 24 bonus hours to remember that, really, your mom is comparatively the best.

So please, celebrate Mother’s Day with Mommie Dearest on IFC and at IFC.com. And for the love of god—NO WIRE HANGERS EVER.

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