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Odds: Wednesday – Fair use and run times.

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Tales From the Public Domain.
At Wired News, Fiona Morgan interviews law professors Keith Aoki, James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins, who co-wrote and produced "Bound By Law? Tales From the Public Domain," a must-read for any documentary filmmaker, as it lays out intellectual property laws, including the boundaries of fair use and public domain, in clear and charming comic book form (you can read it online here).

WN: Why did you decide to focus on documentary film in this book? What is it about that art form in particular that makes it an especially good topic?

Jennifer Jenkins:
First of all, documentaries are incredibly important records of our history and culture. They’re visual histories, and they’re increasingly based on copyrighted culture. Our book describes several instances in which the telling of that history has been thwarted by permissions issues. An example is Jon Else having to pay $10,000 for a four-and-a-half-second clip of "The Simpsons" playing in the background of his film ("Sing Faster: The Stagehands’ Ring Cycle"). The makers of "Mad Hot Ballroom" had to pay that same amount to EMI because a cell phone rings in the background of one of the scenes, and the ringtone is the theme from "Rocky." These examples really resonate with people. They understand that these are instances where copyright is not working the way it’s supposed to.

At the Guardian, Peter Bradshaw complains about bloated runtimes and how many blockbusters have acquired a three-hour span just to testify to their own grandeur and epic qualities. He runs through some of history’s great butt (or in England, "bum") numbing flicks, and we have to appreciate this bit about Erich Von Stroheim‘s 540 minutes 1925 silent film "Greed":

Anything we could have lived without? What a tactless question. When his masterpiece was hacked down to two hours by the studio, Von Stroheim first wept and then punched mogul Louis B Mayer. Most of the remaining seven hours of film was destroyed, but the bastardised two-hour version was still hailed as a masterpiece. A four-hour version was cobbled together later, but it wasn’t the same.

Film Threat‘s Phil Hall compiles the "Top 10 Unfinished Films of All Time" (and there’s that "The Day the Clown Cried" at number 9), while the Onion AV Club offers up their list of "Classic Movies It’s Okay To Hate": we vaguely feel that we’ve seen both of these lists in some form before, but the AV Club offers an interesting turn of allowing another staff member to rebut each choice.

We might be somewhat obsessed with "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" (though we haven’t actually managed to see it or anything) — at the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Kimberly Chun‘s nice catch:

[T]he absolutely weirdest quirk that Lin brings to "Tokyo Drift" is the fact that he has "Better Luck Tomorrow"‘s Sung Kang reprise his role as the honorable teen grifter, Han, in the film. "Tokyo is my Mexico," Han says mysteriously at one point, referring to the Wild West gunfighters who’d run for the border. Han’s character bleed, it’s implied, might be attributed to a flight from "Better Luck"’s black market of cheat sheets. It’s fitting then that Kang strides into his initial frames of "Tokyo Drift" like Sergio Leone‘s Man With No Name or Seijun Suzuki‘s Tokyo Drifter. As if we’re supposed to know who he is. I loved "Better Luck," but I still didn’t get it till I checked Internet Movie Database. If only Han had a classier vehicle, one that wasn’t built for a quick buck.

At LA Weekly, John Payne and Caroline Ryder talk "Wassup Rockers" with Larry Clark and Jonathan, Kico and Milton (a.k.a. Spermball), the South-Central Latino skaters Clark found to play South-Central Latino skaters in the movie.

"Wassup Rockers" is a "quintessential" L.A. story, as they say, and possibly of more interest now with the success of "Crash," which deals with some of these issues in much cornier and less true ways.

At the Japan Times, Mark Schilling interviews Ryuichi Hiroki, who got his start in softcore "pink" films before breaking into the mainstream (2003’s "Vibrator" made the international festival rounds, but never found a US distributor). Schilling also reviews (and likes) Hiroki’s new film, "It’s Only Talk," here — the film, about a depressive blogger (oy) screens at the New York Asian Film Festival on Saturday.

+ Battling the Copyright Monster (Wired News)
+ Are you sitting comfortably? (Guardian)
+ The Eject Button: Classic Movies It’s Okay To Hate (Onion AV Club)
+ TOKYO DRIFT-ER (SF Bay Guardian)
+ Pretty Punk (LA Weekly)
+ Having a laugh with Ryuichi Hiroki (Japan Times)
+ Desperately seeking solace (Japan Times)

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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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