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6 Films That Inspired Eric Jonrosh’s The Spoils Before Dying

spoils-inspirations

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On July 8th, IFC premieres The Spoils Before Dying, the “film-itization” of author/filmmaker Eric Jonrosh’s lost masterpiece of sex, murder and jazz. We all know what inspires Mr. Jonrosh (wine mostly), but what about his co-creator, writer Andrew Steele?

Mr. Steele, who co-wrote The Spoils Before Dying with Matt Piedmont, offers some insight below on the films that inspired The Spoils Before Dying’s smoky, 1960s-era jazz vibe. Read on and catch the epic three-night event starting Wed, July 8th at 9p.

1. Jazz on a Summer’s Day

This breezy documentary is set at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival. Hepcats who dig the greasy, funky sounds in The Spoils Before Dying will tap their toes to rare performances from Thelonious Monk, Chuck Berry, Dinah Washington and more. Los Angeles residents can catch Jazz on a Summer’s Day — and get a special preview of The Spoils Before Dying — while also dining on some tasty barbecue on July 4th at Cinefamily. Eric Jonrosh would approve (of the barbecue).

Andrew Steele says: “Beautiful music, graphics, simply shot — Kristen [Wiig’s character in Spoils Before Dying] as Anita Oday-ish character.”


2. Band of Outsiders (Bande à Part)

Jean-Luc Godard’s French New Wave classic basically introduced the concept of the hipster crime film. Quentin Tarantino fans know that the film’s dance sequence (see above) inspired the Pulp Fiction dance-off, while the French title gave the filmmaker the name for his production company A Band Apart.

Andrew Steele says: “Rule breaking cinematic fun…”


3. Too Late Blues

Bobby “Beyond the Sea” Darin and Stella Stevens starred in this John Cassavetes film about “the night people.” (No, not vampires.) As Cassavetes says, they are “the drifters and dreamers” who haunt hot jazz clubs. And just like in Eric Jonrosh’s novel, there’s “too much sex and not enough love…they live in a world of too late blues.”

Andrew Steele says: “Great underrated jazz film. With [a] multiracial cast.”


4. The Big Sleep

Howard Hawks’ iconic film noir is renowned for its complicated plot that makes Ulysses look like a Lockhorns comic strip. You can thank this Humphrey Bogart classic for The Spoils Before Dying‘s many shocking twists and turns.

Andrew Steele says: “Unexplainable plot. Impossible really.”


5. Pull My Daisy

Adapted from Jack Kerouac’s Beat Generation, this short film is one of the defining moments of the Beat era.

Andrew Steele says: “People making something artistic with no money, too many stimulants and a little silly.”


6. Touch of Evil

Orson Welles’ classic crime thriller is best remembered for its three-minute long opening tracking shot and its twisty South of the Border-set plot.

Andrew Steele says: “Just the camera angles alone are enough but add Mexico, rock and roll, Marlene Dietrich and Welles and you have a near perfect movie.”

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Thank Azaria

Best. Characters. Ever.

Our favorite Hank Azaria characters.

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GIFs via Giphy

Hank Azaria may well be the most prolific voice and character actor of our time. The work he’s done for The Simpsons alone has earned him a permanent place in the pop culture zeitgeist. And now he’s bringing another character to the mainstream: a washed-up sports announcer named Jim Brockmire, in the aptly titled new series Brockmire.

We’re looking forward to it. So much so that we want to look backward, too, with a short-but-sweet retrospective of some of Azaria’s important characters. Shall we begin?

Half The Recurring Simpsons Characters

He’s Comic Book Guy. He’s Chief Wiggum. He’s Apu. He’s Cletus. He’s Snake. He’s Superintendent Chalmers. He’s the Sea Captain. He’s Kurt “Can I Borrow A Feeling” Van Houten. He’s Professor Frink. He’s Carl. And he’s many more. But most importantly he’s Moe Szyslak, the staple character Azaria has voiced since his very first audition for The Simpsons.

Oh, and He’s Frank Grimes

For all the regular Simpsons characters Azaria has played over the years, his most brilliant performance may have been a one-off: Frank Grimes, the scrappy bootstrapper who worked tirelessly all his life for honest, incremental, and easily-undermined success. Azaria’s portrayal of this character was nuanced, emotional, and simply magical.

Patches O’Houlihan

Dodgeball is a “sport of violence, exclusion and degradation.” as Hank Azaria generously points out in his brief but crucial cameo in Dodgeball. That’s sage wisdom. Try applying his “five D’s” to your life on and off the court and enjoy the results.

Harold Zoid

Of Futurama fame. The crazy uncle of Dr. Zoidberg, Harold Zoid was once a lion (or lobster) of the silver screen until Smell-o-vision forced him into retirement.

Agador

The Birdcage was significant for many reasons, and the comic genius of Hank Azaria’s character “Agador” sits somewhere towards the top of that list. If you haven’t seen this movie, shame on you.

Gargamel

Nobody else could make a live-action Gargamel possible.

Ed Cochran

From Ray Donovan. Great character, great last name [editorial note: the author of this article may be bias].

Kahmunra, The Thinker, Abe Lincoln

All in the Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian, a file that let Azaria flex his voice acting and live-action muscles in one fell swoop.

The Blue Raja

Mystery Men has everything, including a fatal case of Smash Mouth. Azaria’s iconic superhero makes the shortlist of redeemable qualities, though.

Dr. Huff

Huff put Azaria in a leading role, and it was good. So good that there is no good gif of it. Internet? More like Inter-not.

Learn more about Hank Azaria’s newest claim to fame right here, and don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Flame Out

Brockmire and Other Public Implosions

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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There’s less than a month until the Brockmire premiere, and to say we’re excited would be an insulting understatement. It’s not just that it stars Hank Azaria, who can do no wrong (and yes, that’s including Mystery Men, which is only cringeworthy because of Smash Mouth). It’s that the whole backstory of the titular character, Jim Brockmire, is the stuff of legends. A one-time iconic sportscaster who won the hearts of fans and players alike, he fell from grace after an unfortunate personal event triggered a seriously public meltdown. See for yourself in the NSFW Funny or Die digital short that spawned the IFC series:

See? NSFW and spectacularly catastrophic in a way that could almost be real. Which got us thinking: What are some real-life sports fails that have nothing to do with botched athletics and everything to do with going tragically off script? The internet is a dark and dirty place, friends, but these three examples are pretty special and mostly safe for work…

Disgruntled Sports Reporter

His co-anchor went offsides and he called it like he saw it.

Jim Rome vs Jim “Not Chris” Everett

You just don’t heckle a professional athlete when you’re within striking distance. Common sense.

Carl Lewis’s National Anthem

He killed it! As in murdered. It’s dead.

To see more moments just like these, we recommend spending a day in your pajamas combing through the muckiness of the internet. But to see something that’s Brockmire-level funny without having to clear your browser history, check out the sneak peeks and extras here.

Don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Mirror, Mirror

Portlandia Season 7 In Hindsight

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available Online and on the IFC App.

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Another season of Portlandia is behind us, and oh what a season it was. We laughed. We cried. And we chuckled uncomfortably while glancing nervously around the room. Like every season before it, the latest Portlandia has held a mirror up to ridiculousness of modern American life, but more than ever that same mirror has reflected our social reality in ways that are at once hysterical and sneakily thought-provoking. Here are just a few of the issues they tackled:

Nationalism

So long, America, Portland is out! And yes, the idea of Portland seceding is still less ludicrous than building a wall.

Men’s Rights

We all saw this coming. Exit gracefully, dudes.

Protests

Whatever you stand for, stand for it together. Or with at least one other person.

Free Love

No matter who we are or how we love, deep down we all have the ability to get stalky.

Social Status

Modern self-esteem basically hinges on likes, so this isn’t really a stretch at all.

These moments are just the tip of the iceberg, and much more can be found in the full seventh season of #Portlandia, available right now #online and on the #IFC app.

via GIPHY

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