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I Am Oscar’s Broken Heart

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Finally! We’ve managed to come up with an awards show that pleases no one. Nominally “The Indie Oscars,” what the 78th Annual Academy Awards should go down in history as are “The Glum Oscars.” Host Jon Stewart looked miserable spouting Bruce Vilanch-isms studded with the occasional toothless political reference meant to remind us of how edgy a choice he was. The tastefully appointed crowd (the sartorial theme of the night seemed to be the blonde in beige dress, a style choice that made Reese Witherspoon look lovely, Nicole Kidman like a vanilla popsicle, and Uma Thurman like she had a terminal disease) seemed bored; the winners, ever dry-eyed, sped through restrained speeches, thanking their moms and their agents, with not a flicker of spontaneity (or personality) to be found.

The only ones who genuinely excited to win an award were “Hustle & Flow” songwriters Jordan Houston, Cedric Coleman and Paul Beauregard, aka Three 6 Mafia, who accepted the Original Song Oscar with such glee that Jon Stewart kept coming back to them as the night went on &#151 possibly because he seemed stunned by their unquestionably energetic performance, only somewhat obscured by the dancers dressed as hookers prancing in the foreground (say what you will — it was still infinitely better than the burning car and interpretative racism dancers of doom peopling the set of Kathleen York’s performance of “In the Deep” from “Crash”). Or perhaps he just couldn’t get over the fact that they were the only ones who hadn’t gotten the memo about Serious and Relevant this iteration of the Academy Awards were, a point hammered in by the many self-celebratory montages: the biopic montage, the film noir montage (introduced by a very shaky Lauren Bacall), the films of social import montage (which kicked off with a tragic editing leap from “All the President’s Men” to “The Day After Tomorrow”), the “movies should be seen on the big screen” montage — all reeked of desperation, of trying to reinforce old dominance to an audience who wandered off to watch TiVoed episodes of “Grey’s Anatomy”

Best speech: Three 6 Mafia, along with George Clooney’s funny, leisurely acceptance for supporting actor — is it any wonder the camera kept cutting back to him for reaction shots later? Beyond being the only actor with a sheen of the old-school glamour this year’s awards so anxiously tried to recall, he was also one of the few who seemed comfortable expressing emotions without a publicist’s approval.

Flicker of life: The Stephen Colbert-narrated fake campaign ads were by far the funniest moments of the entire ceremony, not counting the “Crash” dancers. And all was forgiven for Jon Stewart when, after the “social import” montage, he intoned: “And none of those issues was ever a problem again.”

Ideas that fell flat: The “gay cowboy” montage and the Lily Tomlin-Meryl Streep Altmanesque intro both dragged on past their prime.

Self-congratulatory quotes of death: Reese Witherspoon’s June Carter Cash “I’m just trying to matter” and Paul Haggis’ “Art is not a mirror. Art is a hammer.” Shut up, Reese Witherspoon. Shut up, Paul Haggis.

Signs of the times: “Paradise Now” is announced as a film from the “Palestinian Territories” — not that it was going to win or anything anyway. And “Crash”‘s win for Best Picture wasn’t surprising as much as disappointing — but the cameras actually cut away before producer Cathy Schulman was done having her say. Not even the Best Picture winners merit a few more seconds of TV time in this extra-brisk era — harsh.

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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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