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Odds: Wednesday – “Brokeback” appeal, Oprah and Ebert.

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"You boys sure found a way to make the time pass up there."There’s much to love about Choire Sicha‘s feature on "Brokeback Mountain" at the New York Observer, first and foremost that it’s written by Choire Sicha, but beyond that, that he takes some issue with the generally accepted truths about the film’s boundary pushing laid out in Anne Thomson‘s Hollywood Reporter column. Sicha:

[T]he eight years it took to make Brokeback suggests something else: Hollywood isn’t leading, it’s lagging. Newsweek, in its Nov. 21 issue, described how Hollywood producers thought playing gay would trash the careers of Mr. Gyllenhaal and Mr. Ledger when they took their parts. Yeah, they’re way ahead of the social curve out there…

If Hollywood’s so damn liberated, well then, what’s everyone so worked up about?

Sicha also points out that the romance and the eroticism of the film are aimed at women ("’Brokeback Mountain’ declares that boy-on-boy is the new girl-on-girl.") and even cites yaoi manga in his attempt to analyze the appeal (to the female population) of Jake and Heath in hot lip lock, which treads into anthropology dissertation territory. We’re seeing the film ourselves next week (woo!), but must confess we have no idea how it’ll be received — our instincts tell us that no one will make a fuss in the face of the glory that is quivering, emoting hotyoungactorflesh, but then there are things like this hilarious Drudge Report "news flash" from last week on the following shocking revelation:

Arriving with nudity and explicit gay sex scenes between two cowboys, UNIVERSAL/FOCUS FILMS’s BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN has quietly become an award season frontrunner, interviews with Academy members reveal.

Our favorite part is less the awesome lateness of the report (Dude, Salon ran a feature on the then-still-in-planning film in January of last year!) than the "quietly," which is just silly.

Elsewhere: Roger Ebert on how he’s responsible for Oprah‘s syndicated television empire:

It begins early one morning in Baltimore, where Gene Siskel and I are scheduled to appear on a morning talk show hosted by a newcomer named Oprah Winfrey. The other guests on the show include a vegetarian chef, and four dwarfs dressed as chipmunks, who will sing "The Chipmunk Christmas Song" while dancing with Hula-Hoops.

Trailer for Terry Gilliam‘s "Tideland" up on its official site. According to festival chatter it was terrible, but we maintain a feeble sense of hope.

At the Washington Post, "Syriana" director Stephen Gaghan takes questions from the crowd.

Anne Thompson points to Matt Welch‘s piece on Reason on the death of the celebrity profile, and weighs in herself ("At last month’s Reuters panel on celebrity and the media, I argued that the well-written celebrity profile had been killed by too-ardent publicity wrangling."), and we’d just like to say, good lord, yes. We’d rather read five thousand words of George Clooney talking about his favorite meatloaf recipes than see yet another near-identical Q&A about meeting him from coffee from a day of his making the rounds pushing his film.

Several people have pointed out Eric Alterman‘s response to Matt Bai‘s New York Times Magazine piece on the death of the Hollywood liberal, and we join in the chorus — it’s sure worth reading.

Also, a new issue of Reverse Shot‘s up. We haven’t had a chance to do more than look over the table of contents yet, but to hell with us, you’ve got David Hudson at Greencine Daily.

+ Chokeback Mountain (NY Observer)
+ Ang Lee’s ‘Brokeback’ explores ‘last frontier’ (Hollywood Reporter)

+ How I gave Oprah her start (
+ Trailer: Tideland (Official site)
+ Movies: "Syriana" (Washington Post)
+ Celebrity profiles (Risky Biz blog)
+ Hollywood homies hammered (MSNBC)
+ Reverse Shot. Autumn 05. (Greencine Daily)

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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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