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DID YOU READ

Nothing new under the cineplex.

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Caveh Zahedi and co.
The word back from industry convention ShoWest seems to be fairly distressed: via Sharon Waxman at the New York Times:

"There is a general recognition that the world of entertainment is
opening up in ways that we can’t imagine today, we are launching into a
whole new era," [Frank J. Rimkus, the chief executive of Galaxy Theaters] said. He added, with a note of self-confession: "We
are trying to understand what the public wants. And Galaxy does not yet
have a handle on it."

But we seem to remember everyone being at the same place six months ago at ShowEast, though perhaps with less a sense of glum urgency. Where’s our revolution, by golly?

Scott Bowles at USA Today sees less grimness than what may be delirious denial:

"We see all of this hand-wringing, people saying that it’s the end of theaters," says Peter Brown, president of AMC Theatres, the nation’s second-largest movie chain. "And, to be honest, we’re laughing a little. Business is actually pretty good."

And another money quote:

"The movie business is a little like the drug business," says Greg Laemmle, president of Laemmle Theaters, which operates 16 theaters in Southern California.

"We are the pushers, and our customers are the users. Even if business is good, you have to keep giving people what they want."

Mark Caro at the Chicago Tribune is tickled by MPAA chief Dan Glickman’s plans for a "Pork: The Other White Meat"-type campaign touting the movie industry as a whole:

We all love movies, right? So let’s help Hollywood out and come up with a really nifty slogan that will get the theater turnstiles spinning by the time "Dallas: The Motion Picture" hits the multiplexes.

I’ll go first:

"Movies: They Can Be Excellent!"

And Wired NewsScott Kirsner, checking in on the digital projection front, sees reluctant cinema owners more excited about the new dark-chocolate Raisinets ("two thumbs up").

At the Hollywood Reporter, Anne Thompson devotes a column to the state of day-and-date (not a popular topic at the conference), turning up some interesting tidbits, including the fact that Ben Rekhi‘s widely reported high numbers distributing his film "Waterborne" on Google Video success were actually the result of a programming glitch, and that "Bubble" "was a sleeper hit in hotels, where it was the third-biggest seller last month."

And at his blog, filmmaker Caveh Zahedi, who published a manifesto on the pleasures of self-distribution in Filmmaker before going on to set up a distribution deal for "I Am A Sex Addict" with, yes, IFC Films and their fledgling day and date program First Take, mildly recants.

Well, I still agree with what I said, but it’s also true that having an established distribution company on your side is also fun, and is also arguably less alienating, more organic, and more human than doing it all yourself. Because while self-empowerment may be an asymptotic ideal (however eloquently Ralph Waldo Emerson may argue for it), we are all ultimately parts of a larger human community and the do-it-yourself ethos is ultimately a myth. No one makes a film alone, and no one distributes a film alone.

+ When Moviegoers Vote With Their Feet (NY Times)
+ What, movies worry? (USA Today)
+ Hollywood needs a catchy slogan (Chicago Tribune)
+ Digital Cinema Show ‘n’ Tell (Wired News)
+ Distributors hold firm against day-and-date (Hollywood Reporter)

+ Apologia Pro Vita Sua (Caveh Zahedi Blog)

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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…

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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.

via GIPHY

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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SistersWeekend_103_MPX-1920×1080

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…

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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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