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DID YOU READ

Odds: Wednesday – The UK on “United,” scary children.

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"I love you. I love you."
Quiet today. We feel like we should post an image of the Brangelina baby just so we have something to talk about, even if it’s threatening correspondence with Time Inc.’s lawyers.

We’d missed this the first go-round: In the London Times, novelist Martin Amis finds "United 93" "unremitting, stark and utterly moving":

…106 minutes in and with only seconds to go, you will find yourself, I am confident, in a state of near-perfect distress — a distress that knows no blindspots. The New York Times called "United 93" "the feel-bad movie of the year." But this hardly covers it. The distress is something you can taste, like a cud, returned from the stomach for further mastication: the ancient flavour of death and defeat. Your mind will cast about for a molecule, an atom of consolation. And what you will reach for is what they reached for. Like the victims on the other three planes, but unlike them, because they knew, the passengers called their families and said that they loved them. It is an extraordinary validation, or fulfilment, of Larkin’s lines at the end of "An Arundel Tomb":

…To prove
Our almost-instinct almost true:
What will survive of us is love.

At the BBC, Ian Youngs speaks to actor Erich Redman, who plays German passenger Christian Adams, the only character who tries to persuade the other passengers not to attack the hijackers, and who led some critics to cry that it was a terrible portrayal of, as the Guardian‘s John Harris puts it, "old European surrender monkeys." Redman defends the choice: "I think he would have said ‘let’s not do this, let’s be quiet, let’s not interfere with him, because once we have landed the authorities will take care of it.’ "

In the New York Times today, David Leonhardt has a meandering piece on what the future holds for Netflix. This is interesting:

Its return from oblivion is a nice illustration of a brainteaser I have been giving my friends since I visited Netflix in Silicon Valley last month. Out of the 60,000 titles in Netflix’s inventory, I ask, how many do you think are rented at least once on a typical day?

The most common answers have been around 1,000, which sounds reasonable enough. Americans tend to flock to the same small group of movies, just as they flock to the same candy bars and cars, right?

Well, the actual answer is 35,000 to 40,000. That’s right: every day, almost two of every three movies ever put onto DVD are rented by a Netflix customer. "Americans’ tastes are really broad," says Reed Hastings, Netflix’s chief executive. So, while the studios spend their energy promoting bland blockbusters aimed at everyone, Netflix has been catering to what people really want — and helping to keep Hollywood profitable in the process.

Yes! America, let us never slag off your general taste in movies again.

Garry Maddox in the Sydney Morning Herald reports that Hugh Jackman has signed on to that Baz Luhrmann movie: "He will play ‘a rough-hewn cattle drover’ in a romance opposite Nicole Kidman, who will be an English aristocrat who takes over a cattle station the size of Belgium before World War II."

In the Telegraph, "Wah-Wah" director Richard E. Grant discusses "A Clockwork Orange."

Gary Susman‘s latest list in Entertainment Weekly: scary-good (or just scary) child actors.

In this week’s Village Voice, Michael Atkinson eulogizes. Ryan Wu does too — and as you’d expect of someone whose blog is named "Pigs and Battleships," it’s well-informed (and a great read).

Filmmaker‘s Scott Macaulay spots an interesting story on, of all places, the Drudge Report about a Christian-themed indie: "a report from the Scripps Howard News Service…describes a complaint by a group of Christian moviemakers behind a movie called ‘Facing the Giants’ who say that the MPAA has given them a PG rating (instead of a G) because their film is ‘too evangelistic.’ "

And at the New York Observer, Simon Doonan recounts how, despite deciding "that having sex with a dead relative" was preferable than plowing all the way through the book version of "The Devil Wear Prada," he replied "Yes, emphatically, yes!" when asked to come in to read for the character of Nigel, only to discover that they’d also called in Philip Bloch and Robert Verdi ("Had no fashion fag in Manhattan been left unturned?").

Then the realization dropped on me like a ton of remaindered copies of Ms. Weisberger’s new book, "Everyone Worth Knowing": I was not going to get the part… and neither were any of my fellow nellies. This whole charade, I theorized, was nothing more than a carefully orchestrated piece of unpaid research. We gays had been dragged in to swish it up—on film, no less—for the delectation of some pre-cast, overpaid straight actor. This thespian would then fashion his characterization from our mincings.

These dark suspicions were confirmed when the movie began lensing, days later, with Stanley Tucci in the role of Nigel.

+ All that survives is love (London Times)
+ United 93 actor defends portrayal (BBC)
+ What Netflix Could Teach Hollywood (NY Times)
+ Jackman rustles up a role in outback epic (Sydney Morning Herald)
+ Film-makers on film: Richard E Grant (Telegraph)
+ Child’s Play (Entertainment Weekly)
+ Shohei Imamura, 1926–2006 (Village Voice)
+ RIP Shohei Imamura (Pigs and Battleships)
+ TOO MUCH FAITH (Filmmaker Blog)
+ Almost a Player in Prada: My Super-Close Casting Call (NY Observer)

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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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