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That's a Good Idea

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


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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.”


Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.


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…


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.


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.