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Too soon?

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"You're a New Yorker. That will never change. You've got New York in your bones."We are behind this week, beloveds. We take a day off, get a haircut and a hamburger (not at the same location), suddenly we have surreal piles of work. Anyway, forgive us if we’re all over the map and a little less than timely. We’ll be back in full form next week. Pinky swear.

The "Karla" controversy continues in Canada, where the Karla Homolka biopic was dropped from the Montreal World Film Festival (where it was supposed to have its world premiere) after protests over the film’s subject matter lead to several of the festival’s sponsors threatening to pull funding.

Ah, wasn’t it around this time last year that many were pitching a fit over the Toronto International Film Festival’s inclusion of doc "Casuistry: The Art of Killing a Cat"? Nothing changes. Like the "Casuistry" protesters, none of those taking issue with "Karla" (which, judging from the trailer, is hardly high art) have actually seen the film, which is still in post-production. But Simon Houpt at the Globe and Mail did manage to get his hands on a rough cut, and finds the film "sombre and directed with restraint," though he points out it also "has the feel of a movie-of-the-week." Houpt looks at the film from the perspective of whether or not it exploits its subject matter, rather than on its merits as a quality piece of cinema, but we get the impression that, like "Casuistry," it’s ultimately less remarkable than the amount of fuss it’s generated.

Peter Howell at the Toronto Star has a more interesting perspective on "Karla," using it as a launching point to muse on how much time has to pass before a tragedy becomes acceptable film fodder. "Is there a statute of limitations for disgust?" he wonders, looking over some of the current and upcoming projects with the potential to offend: "Last Days," which, despite not being the most flattering Kurt Fauxbain portrait imaginable, has yet to anger any fans of the late Nirvana frontman, though those same fans were troubled by talk of a biopic with Stephen Dorff in the mid-90s; "Downfall," which was accused of humanizing Hitler (as if that didn’t make his actions all the more frightening); the three 9/11 movies in the works; tsunami film "Hereafter."

We’re of the mindset that it’s all in how the film’s done — no subject, treated the right way, is really off limits (though the difficulty rating varies wildly from case to case in that regards). That being said, why make a movie about Homolka, who helped her sadistic husband rape and murder several women, including her own sister? The film, which of course we haven’t seen either, and really couldn’t care less about, doesn’t seem to have aims above its potential shock value, timing be damned (and we, like, we assume, most Americans, knew next to nothing about Homolka and her husband, Paul Bernardo). We’re dreading the upcoming wave of 9/11 film and literature (difficulty rating: high), but at the same time, "25th Hour," coming from Spike Lee, who generally seems to be getting more grating as the years go by, and arriving in theaters in late 2002, when we were all still so raw from the events of the year before, said more in its oblique look at post-9/11 life (and as a bruising, split-lipped valentine to New York City) than we imagine any film, even given the benefit of time passing, could manage. Same with this short story by professional angry literary type Dale Peck, published in 2003. Timing isn’t always everything.

+ Watching Karla: It’s not flash and trash (Globe and Mail)
+ Time limit on disgust is always shifting (Toronto Star)

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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.


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…


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.


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).


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.


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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