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DID YOU READ

Tribeca: Fin.

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Treatment 11?
The complete list of festival winner is here. Selections:

Best Narrative Feature: "Blessed By Fire," Dir: Tristán Bauer (Spain)

Best Doc: "The War Tapes," Dir: Deborah Scranton (USA)

Best NY Narrative Feature: "The Treatment," Dir: Oren Rudavsky

Best NY Doc Feature: "When I Came Home," Dir: Dan Lohaus

Jury Prize: "Voices of Bam," Dirs: Aliona van der Horst and Maasja Ooms (The Netherlands)

Audience Award: "The Cats of Mirikitani," Dir: Linda Hattendorf

The general grumblings about the festival seem to be that it’s looking a little porky around the midsection, and that sure as hell isn’t muscle under there in the narrative programs. indieWIRE‘s Eugene Hernandez kicks off an article on "Toots" and "Rock the Bells," two docs he liked, with:

There has been considerable griping among buyers again at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, with industry-types maintaining that there simply are not enough quality films to warrant the size of the festival’s program. In the case of the event’s doc programming, though, insiders and audiences alike seemed to connect with a number of films this year.

At his blog, he writes that:

Having spoken with a number of film biz insiders and journalists, its clear to me that the festival has to really grapple with the fact that much of the industry seems to look upon their event with a major sense of dread. This year’s biggest complaints remain the size of program, and now insiders are unhappy with the fact that the event takes place all over town. I completely agree with the former concern and disagree entirely with the latter.

At Like Anna Karina’s Sweater, Filmbrain wonders "[D]oes NYC truly need a festival of this size?", and points out that:

During the two weeks of the TFF, there was also the opportunity to see a dozen Naruse films, Melville’s "Army of Shadows," an impressive African Film Festival, an Altman retrospective, and not to mention the releases of "The Death of Mr. Lazarescu," "Three Times," and "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance." Were two hundred additional films really necessary?

At half the size, the festival would still be large enough to be classified a "big" event, and would have forced the selection committee to pare down the selections — some of which, quite frankly, didn’t belong in an international film festival.

We surrendered to allergies and illness this weekend and gave up on trying to catch a few final films. Spirit: broken. We have to agree with the oversized argument — we understand that program size is an easy way to establish dominance, particularly since the festival is so young: Tribeca! It’s huge! But we saw plenty of things that weren’t worth seeing, and with the size of the program it’s hard to word of mouth to spread about a title that is worthy. We can live with the expansion into midtown. We can live with the incongruous, glossy big-budget premieres. But it does the smaller films a disservice to be tucked away in a massive selection of mid-level films mostly distinguished by having one or two recognizable names attached.

If you’d like to glance over coverage, we suggest Aaron Hillis at Premiere, Andrew O’Hehir at Salon, who in a fit of weariness launches into a very funny rant about how the "mockumentary must be stopped," while also suggesting that the problems plaguing American indie narrative cinema stem from the fact that "[m]ost younger filmmakers these days have no background in the old-fashioned narrative traditions, like literature or drama, let alone in the Freudian and/or Marxist theories of personality and society that underpinned them for most of the 20th century." And there’s also Bilge Ebiri and Logan Hill at New York, who’ve fearlessly plowed through an impressive selection of films (Hill writes of "Fat Girls": "A lot of the Tribeca selections feel as if they’ve been filmed by 20-year-olds, but this promising debut actually was." Heh.).

We did manage to see one last film which we liked quite a bit: Jan Svankmajer‘s "Lunacy," which purports to be a horror film (inspired by two Poe stories and the Marquis de Sade), but is really just another example of Svankmajer’s deadpan (and often very funny) surrealism. Jean, a gaunt, naive young man (Pavel Liska), is on his way back from his mother’s funeral when he’s waylaid by the Marquis (Jan Triska), who offers him a ride and is soon making him the butt of a series of cruel jokes. Eventually, the Marquis convinces Jean to overcome his fears of madness (his mother went insane) by voluntarily checking himself into a chaotic asylum run by one of the Marquis’ friends.

Scenes are punctuated by interludes in which Svankmajer puts his distinctive stop-motion technique to use on meat products. Pieces of steak inch across the floor; cow tongues crawl across the table and attempt to lap up beer. At once whimsical and disturbing, they’re the unforgettable takeaway image from the film, though as lingering is the underlying sense of urgency. In the asylum-as-political-allegory, things are either run by a terrifyingly strict Dr. Coulmiere or the ridiculously lax Dr. Murlloppe, but it’s clear that both are as insane as any of their patients.

+ 2006 Award Winners (TribecaFilmFestival.com)
+ TRIBECA ’06: The Doc Is In: "Toots" and "Rock The Bells" (indieWIRE)
+ tff (eugonline)
+ Tribeca Report 2 – The Misses (Like Anna Karina’s Sweater)
+ Tribeca Updates (Premiere)
+ Tribeca roundup: Further hints of apocalypse, one American indie worth seeing (at last) and Just Say No to the mockumentary (Salon)
+ Tribeca Scorecard (New York)

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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.

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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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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