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If you only knew the power of the Dress Code.
Anything exciting happen while we were gone?

So everyone’s talking about John Anderson‘s piece in yesterday’s New York Times about the tough time winners of film’s most prestigious festival award have had in the US, more specifically last year’s Palme d’Or recipient, "L’Enfant." In fact, solely "L’Enfant," which prompts David Poland at The Hot Blog to dig up numbers for past, more successful Palme d’Or winners and Anthony Kaufman to write:

"L’enfant," the Dardenne brothers’ marvelous morality fable and winner of last year’s Palme, may have not made $2 million at the box office, but that’s because it’s in French and focuses on the dour conditions of the under-class. And as has been written about extensively before, there are several changing factors in the U.S. market that make it harder and harder for foreign-language art-films to perform here. (And with box office receipts nearing $500,000, "L’enfant" is a hit — for what it is. What’s the point of comparing it to MI:3? Just silly.)

Arguing over the Palme d’Or’s relative bankability seems silly, but there’s that undercurrent that any year now it’ll become fashionable to write Cannes off as a wizened old gal who wears too much bronzer and not enough clothing for her age. Feh! Cannes means as much as it ever did, to the relatively small group of people who care about such things. If anything has put pressure on "L’Enfant" (which, seriously, no one is expecting to rake in $20 million on a holiday weekend anyway), it’s the fact that there are so many films competing for limited arthouse theater space that even a fairly big arthouse title like the Dardenne’s will get pushed out without constant, solid crowds.

Elsewhere: Hollywood Elsewhere‘s Jeffrey Wells reports that "Clerks II" will premiere out of competition at the fest this year, and has an interview with Alejandro González Iñárritu, whose "Babel" will be premiere in competition. The Guardian has a report on how "Donnie Darko"‘s Richard Kelly, whose "Southland Tales" is in competition, has had his passport held up "under review" by the US government, because "According to the Department of Homeland Security he is a suspected terrorist who may now be prevented from traveling to Cannes next week." Also in the Guardian, Whit Stillman ‘fesses up to what he’s been doing all this time, shares that he’ll be at Cannes with a new project (a screenplay), and offers the following advice:

Silence is one of the greatest and least used weapons in the film
business arsenal. The best rule seems to be: when a project is
completed or nearly so, don’t shut up about it. But when it’s still in
its early stages, don’t say a word. That rule will be massively
violated next week when the annual Cannes non-existent-film festival
gets under way. This event, running parallel to the actual film
festival – or the festival of actual films – features the trumpeting of
entire slates of films that will never be made, at least not by the
people announcing them.

Via CRI, Feng Xiaogang is apparently arriving at Cannes with plans to burn through 4 million yuan promoting fantasy-martial arts epic (and "Hamlet" adaptation?!) "The Banquet." Lavish, though last year Chen Kaige‘s  backers reportedly spent over twice that promoting "The Promise" at the festival, and clearly that was was totally worth it. And we’d read that "Summer Palace," partially set during the troubled Tienanmen protests, had yet, as of a week ago, to clear Chinese censors.


At The Age, Stephanie Bunbury writes that "This year, as the Australian Film Commission is shouting from the housetops, is Australia’s biggest at the Cannes Film Festival in the last two decades." Jason Solomons at the Observer predicts that the winner will be "Babel": "the combination of Iñárritu, [writer Guillermo] Arriaga and [star Brad] Pitt, a mix of thrills, philosophy and glamour, three key ingredients to a great Cannes."

At the Toronto Star, Geoff Pevere tries to explicate Cannes’ inexplicable aura "of, well — and apologies for indulging in such an obvious but unavoidable cliché — of je ne sais quois."

And of course there’s The Da Vinci Premiere, which is tied up in the general fervor over the film (which we must confess to be completely uninterested in — who needs a tepid "Indiana Jones" ripoff mixed with bludgeoning religious provocation? Give us sex ‘n’ violence any day), which in his Cannes preview the Chicago Tribune‘s Michael Phillips refers to as "an obscure experimental Icelandic short subject still looking for a distributor" (hee!). And Alan Riding at the New York Times chats with screenwriter Akiva Goldsman about adapting such a beloved book for the screen.

We’re not going to Cannes this year (and, we hate to say it, but thank God), but IFC News will be offering a live, 24-hour-a-day webcam of the red carpet for the duration of the festival here, starting, knock on wood, tomorrow, barring however many 3am tech support phone calls we’ll doubtless be making to the south of France.

+ Cannes Gold Tarnishes in U.S. (NY Times)
+ Cannes Winners At The Box Office (The Hot Blog)
+ What Cannes Really Means — And How the Times Gets It Wrong (Anthony Kaufman’s Blog)
+ Clerks II at Cannes (Hollywood Elsewhere)
+ Bullet Time (Hollywood Elsewhere)
+ Donnie Darko director investigated for terrorist links (Guardian)
+ Confessions of a serial drifter (Guardian)
+ "The Banquet" to Spend 4 Million at Cannes (CRI)
+ Hope Remains for Lou Ye’s SUMMER PALACE (MonkeyPeaches)
+ Are we back in the swim at Cannes? (The Age)
+ The stars who will shine over Cannes (Observer)
+ Code red carpet: Mixture of promise, prestige, premieres (Chicago Tribune)
+ Mystery of the ‘Da Vinci Code’ Film: Will We Love It? (NY Times)

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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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