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Venice, anyone?

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Once again, Truman Capote.
The Hollywood Reporter announced today that the 63rd Venice International Film Festival will open with the world premiere of writer-director Douglas McGrath‘s "Infamous" — i.e. that other Truman Capote biopic, the one with the shitty timing. Though at the Independent, David Thomson goes to bat for the film (before the Venice announcement was made, even):

In "Capote," the achievement of the film – and it delivers – is to show that Capote was a shit, a devious glory-seeker and a fine writer who got his own way all the time. That film says he was ruined by his success, but you don’t feel it, because Hoffman‘s Capote is too tough and too self-centred to be brought down by his own moral failure.

In Infamous you feel the tragedy. Yes, Truman goes to Kansas with Harper Lee (this time it’s Sandra Bullock, and she’s superb). He slowly wins the confidence of law and order there. He becomes a famous dinner guest in Holcomb. He meets the killers – Dick Hickock and Perry Smith. And as he starts to write the book, he falls in love with Perry Smith. That was hinted at as a possibility in Capote, though its Truman is hardly capable of love. The ultimate triumph of "Infamous" is that he is weak enough to need, and that’s what ruins him.

One of the common observations floating back from what was generally considered an unexceptional Cannes was that Venice would be strong this year. Catherine Deneuve, as reported earlier this month by AFP and others, will be the jury president, and titles are already being kicked around, most notably David Lynch‘s "Inland Empire," which didn’t make it to Cannes, but which will, according to Variety (also earlier in the month — er, we’ve been busy, or something), be screening out of competition at Venice, along with Kenneth Branagh‘s "The Magic Flute." Likely others include Woody Allen‘s "Scoop," Brian De Palma‘s "The Black Dahlia," Oliver Stone‘s "World Trade Center" and Alfonso Cuaron‘s "Children of Men."

Elsewhere, X at Twitch notes that Im Sang-Soo‘s "The Old Garden" and Hong Sang-Soo‘s "Woman on the Beach" are both being eyed by the festival (and possibly, possibly Park Chan-wook‘s "I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK"?), while Benjamin Morgan at AFP reports that Feng Xiaogang, who served as a judge at the Shanghai International Film Festival, is trying to position himself as the new Zhang Yimou or Chen Kaige (god forbid) with "The Banquet," a period piece that’s apparently based on "Hamlet" and that stars Zhang Ziyi. As is the new approach for these films, "The Banquet"’s backers are trotting the trailer around to the big festivals fishing for distributors — it screened at Cannes and will apparently also make a showing at Venice and Toronto. Wolf at Twitch uncovers two versions of that trailer online.

For all those who want their David Lynch now and can’t possibly wait until the end of August, Anthony Kaufman points out this enigmatic YouTube video labeled "David Lynch experimenting with Digital Video," and tagged "Inland Empire." Given Lynch’s recent and odd web experiments (ringtones?) we could just as easily believe it’s real as we could that it’s the product of someone making a jokey faux Lynchian video with all the standard elements. See, that’s auteur theory for you, right there.

No, we don’t know what we’re talking about. Hey, over at indieWIRE, Brian Brooks has the first slate of selections announced by the Toronto International Film Festival — no premieres yet, just big names from earlier festivals, particularly Cannes.

+ Venice fest plans "Infamous" curtain-raiser (HR)
+ Film Studies: You thought it was too soon for another Capote? Think again…  (Independent)

+ Catherine Deneuve to preside over Venice Film Festival jury (AFP)
+ Pix venturing to Venice (Variety)
+ Im Sang-Soo and Hong Sang-Soo Going to Venice? (Twitch)
+ ‘The Banquet’ aims to please, says emerging Chinese filmmaker (AFP)
+ The Banquet Overseas Trailer (Twitch)
+ David Lynch’s DV Experiment, Daily Weather Bulletins and "Inland Empire" (Anthony Kaufman’s Blog)
+ Toronto International Film Festival Reveals 26 Titles for 31st Edition (indieWIRE)

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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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