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DID YOU READ

Look who’s talking.

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Not so red after all.
This is old, but we couldn’t let it slide without a mention: Annie Proulx‘s piece in the Guardian, oof! We realize she was hurting after the "Crash" Oscar win (and many of us with her), but Annie, if you can’t maintain the facade of graciousness in defeat expected of those passed over for the award, at least put up a similarly phony facade of indifference. Arias on the banality and self-congratulatory nature of the Academy Awards are nothing new — hearing them from a Pulitzer Prize-winner who should know better, and worse, one who clearly cares a lot regardless, is agonizing.

Also scripting himself: in the Independent, director Michael Caton-Jones, whose "Shooting Dogs," a drama starring John Hurt and set during the Rwandan genocide, writes about shooting on the site of such atrocities and sometimes inadvertently triggering flashbacks amongst locals.

And an interview sampling:

"AMERICANese" director Eric Byler chats with Jeff Yang and muses on Asian American masculinity at SF Gate:

"I was interested in portraying a man who doesn’t need to adopt Western culture’s brand of masculinity, that sense of bluster and self-promotion," [Byler] says. "It’s not that he’s trying to be tough — he just doesn’t feel the need to do a tap dance for you. This is a guy who’s just as interesting in a moment’s solitude as he would be if he were in the middle of a screaming confrontation or running down the street chased by aliens."

David Cronenberg discusses which of his many announced future films he’s actually making with Peter Howell at the Toronto Star:

Red Cars: "Have you gone to http://www.redcars.it? My script is now a book, a beautiful coffee table book for fans of Formula One or of my work or whatever. It’s expensive, but it’s really beautiful and the printing is exquisite. I would be happy if some producer said, ‘Yes, I want to make this movie,’ but so far, no one has. So unless that happens, it’s not going to be a movie. At least it’s a book."

Jon "Napoleon Dynamite Forever" Heder talks with Craig Modderno at the New York Times:

The good side of fame was having Tom Cruise tell me how much he loved my movie and how talented I was. It gave me the confidence to walk up to someone I admire like the guy who plays Ali G, who I approached at a premiere. Women did come up to me a lot, but I was then and am now married, so I only saw them as fans of the film. Lots of people looked at me as a one-hit wonder. It’s funny, but if you don’t have a television and haven’t seen me on a talk show or hosting "Saturday Night Live," I don’t see why you wouldn’t believe that I’m mentally disabled.

Liz Mermin, director of doc "The Beauty Academy of Kabul," emails with Daniel Nemet-Nejat at his blog, 40 Years In The Desert:

Yes, absolutely, I was wary of [Beauty Without Border‘s ideals] (though I’m not sure they thought they were spreading democracy—maybe "freedom?"). But I’ve also come to think that there’s a certain condescension implicit in that kind of fear of cultural imperialism. I just got back from a three month shoot in an outsourcing company in India, and a lot of the same concerns came up there. My feeling is that Afghanistan (like India) is home to many ancient cultures, with far deeper roots than American culture. The women I met in Kabul knew what they liked and what they didn’t, and they didn’t change their own sense of what was beautiful and what wasn’t because of the opinions of the Americans. They still prefer Bollywood to Hollywood, and all the teachers’ efforts to get them to use less eyeliner or glitter were lost the moment they left the school. I think the students took what they wanted to from the school and left the rest.

Vanessa Redgrave is given a pleasantly punchy profile in the Observer Magazine by Lynn Barber:

The trouble is that she takes interviews terribly seriously. She has a great (probably deserved) mistrust of journalists and scans each question for hidden bear-traps before answering at tediously cautious length. She seems drawn to put the heaviest possible spin on everything. When I ask whether she enjoyed doing Nip/Tuck with her daughter Joely, she gives me a lecture about how there are two sides to plastic surgery and how some plastic surgeons do really wonderful restorative work on terrible disfigurements. She says this as though it will come as complete news to me. Only after five minutes on the two sides of plastic surgery do I get the answer to my original question: Yes, she enjoyed doing Nip/Tuck and would do it again if asked.

Susan Sarandon discusses her affair with Louis Malle (among other things) with Suzie Mackenzie in the Guardian:

Malle was very smart, very charismatic, very different, she says. It didn’t feel like the cliché of the actress and the director, but more and more it didn’t feel right. "The problem is, if you start to sleep with the director while you’re making a film, it’s very difficult to break that dynamic – that you are there to make his world happen – after the film is over. Because you are not going in on your own grounds. And if, further down the line, your world starts to intrude, then you are viewed as, ‘You’re very ambitious, aren’t you?’ "

Director/screenwriter Robert Towne, with Stephen Hunter at the Washington Post on "Ask the Dust" (certainly the worst film we’ve seen this year, and one that made us (and Andrea Meyer) think back and wonder when Colin Farrell wasn’t terribly miscast) and his somewhat legendary career as a script doctor:

His most legendary fix was on "The Godfather." Coppola called in a panic because he was just about to lose Marlon Brando and he still didn’t have a scene where Brando and Al Pacino
face each other late in the picture, as lord and inheritor and as
friends and also as old Jedi to young Jedi. Towne flew in, looked at
rushes to get a sense of what was going on and also looked at the cover
of the book, which was a stylized version of a hand and marionette
strings. He also spoke to Brando because he wanted the actor’s ideas.

"Brando said, ‘Just once I want Vito not to be inarticulate. He’s
talking to his son; he’s telling the truth; he’d know what he has to
say.’"

Hugo Weaving, talks to Choire Sicha at the LA Times:

"You’re certainly pushed into selling yourself as a commodity in order to sell the product. I will engage in the selling of the film. But I will try not to engage in the selling of the image, because I find that it’s easier to go on and make another film — because the next character is actually obstructed if your image is bigger than it. So the longer you keep the mask on, metaphorically and physically, the better."

+ Blood on the red carpet (Guardian)
+ Bringing the horrors of the Rwandan genocide to the big screen (Independent)
+ The Man Show (SF Gate)
+ Cronenberg has no need for Painkillers (Toronto Star)
+ Working on His Movie Star Badge (NY Times)
+ An Interview with the Director of The Beauty Academy of Kabul (40 Years In The Desert)
+ She’s got issues (Observer Magazine)
+ A fine romancer (Guardian)
+ Towne and City (Washington Post)
+ Just who exactly is this guy? (LA Times)

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Final Countdown

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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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.

Uncle-Buck

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…