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Movies for book people, books for movie people.

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Flora Cross.As Time magazine’s arts crew points out, "tis the season when Hollywood gets literate." This prompts them to launch into a blow by blow comparison of the major literary adaptations vying for awards and box office dollars this year, and whether or not they live up to their generally beloved source books. If you’re wondering, they say "Brokeback Mountain" the short story was better, and we’d agree — of course, it’s one of the best short stories we’ve ever read. They also like "The Ice Harvest," the novel and "The Ice Harvest," the film equally well. We’re a little intrigued by the book, despite mixed feelings on the film — also, Terry Armour at the Chicago Tribune reports that, for all the film’s general bleakness, its ending isn’t nearly as dark as the book’s:

"The novel ended even more darkly than the film and the original script did," [Harold] Ramis said. "Everyone who ever looked at the original script–even Scott Phillips and the screenwriters [Richard Russo and Robert Benton]–said, `Gee, can it be so bleak at the end and have any commercial life?’"

On the topic of two other high-profile (though ultimately not-so-successful) literary adaptations, James Mottram at the Independent holds up "Bee Season" and "Where the Truth Lies" as prime examples of what can go wrong when successful indie types head over to Hollywood, though both films he addresses are technically indie. Mottram oddly ignores the whole adaptation angle, which is the basis of why "Bee Season" got made, passing up a prime chance to remind the world of "Where the Truth Lies" author Rupert Holmes‘ previous songwriting career. Really, then, why even bother?

Pat H. Broeske at the New York Times reports on Lasse Hallström‘s "The Hoax," about Howard Hughes’ supposed biographer Clifford Irving, whose book turned out to be a complete fabrication:

Mr. Irving is already complaining that the film takes so many creative liberties, that it will be "a hoax about a hoax."

Also at the Times, Broeske revisits the claims of Melvin Dummar, the Utah gas station operator who allegedly once found a solitary Hughes lying near the side of the road in the Nevada desert. After Hughes’ death, a handwritten will was discovered at the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In it, "Melvin DuMar" is left one-sixteenth of Hughes’ estate. The will was ruled a forgery, but Broeske writes that Gary Magnesen, a former FBI agent, has just published a book supporting Dummar’s story.

Once more at the Times, Dana Stevens has an interesting piece in which she reviews two books about black actors working during the period when the only roles open to them were terrible caricatures (this seems to be the issue haunting us today): Jill Watts’ "Hattie McDaniel: Black Ambition, White Hollywood," about  the actress best known for the role of Mammy in "Gone With the Wind"; and Mel Watkins "Stepin Fetchit : The Life and Times of Lincoln Perry," about the vaudeville and early talkies actor who created the controversial character he named after a racehorse.

And at the Hollywood Reporter, Gregory McNamee digs up some of the good gossip in "Live Fast, Die Young : The Wild Ride of Making Rebel Without a Cause," which, authored by two Us Magazine vets, appears to have plenty. Hoooo, yes.

+ Books Vs. Movies (Time)
+ Inside an ‘Ice Harvest’ secret (Chicago Tribune)
+ Why some indie directors fall on their faces in Hollywood (Independent)
+ Based on an Untrue Story (NY Times)
+ Melvin and Howard and Now Gary (NY Times)
+ Caricature Acting (NY Times)
+ Live Fast, Die Young (Hollywood Reporter)

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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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