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DID YOU READ

Fellas, fellas.

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"Otaku no Kamisama - God of the Geeks."
At the LA Times, Patrick Goldstein interviews a de-Borated Sacha Baron Cohen:

[A] number of people in the movie have complained or filed suit, claiming they’d been hoodwinked. Cohen isn’t exactly sympathetic. "This wasn’t ‘Candid Camera,’ " he says. "There were two large cameras in the room. I don’t buy the argument that, ‘Oh, I wouldn’t have acted so racist or anti-Semitic if I’d known this film was being shown in America.’ That’s no excuse."

At Movie City Indie, Ray Pride points to John Koch‘s lengthy interview with Baron Cohen, Peter Baynham, Dan Mazer and Anthony Hines, who, together, scripted the film (as it were).

Over at the London Times, Sally Kinnes interviews Nick Broomfield about his narrative film "Ghosts," while at the Guardian‘s film blog, Broomfield speaks for himself:

I always envisaged Ghosts as a drama, not a documentary. Partly this was a practical decision (the employers who hire these workers would never agree to speak to us on camera, because what they do is illegal). But mainly it was a creative one. I wanted to straddle the line between drama and documentary – on the one hand using real people and improvised dialogue but on the other imposing more of a narrative structure. Drama always works best when it feels real, anyway.

At KoreanFilm.org, Paolo Bertolin interviews Kim Ji-woon, director of fanboy favorite "A Bittersweet Life" (which we reviewed last year here), and gets an explanation of that final scene.

Brian Ashcraft at Wired gets an update on the still-anonymous "Train Man," the 23-year-old otaku who, with the help of his always-in-touch internet friends, navigated his way into a successful relationship. The events were chronicled in a book and also became the basis of a rather adorable movie that Viz released briefly last year.

Kaleem Aftab interviews Paul (Yes!) Verhoeven about "Black Book" over at the Independent.

Black Book, with its femme fatale heroine and Second World War setting, is like his "best of" selection with ideas, scenes and characters coming from the whole of his oeuvre. He even returns to "that scene" from Basic Instinct when he shows his heroine dying her pubic hair blonde so that the Nazi officer will not guess that she is an impostor.

"But it is a different angle," argues Verhoeven. "And in fact it was a result not so much to copy but as a discussion as to what she would do having dyed her black hair blonde and realising she would have to sleep with the German officer that she would have to do something with her pubic hair. So it was not really, ‘let’s do a pubic hair situation again’."

At Ain’t It Cool, Elston Gunn interviews Leo Grillo, the producer and star of "Zyzzyx Rd," current record-holder, at $30, for lowest box office returns. It’s an all-business interview, sadly; Grillo has no grand aspirations, and the theatrical run was to fulfill a contract.

Finally, is there anything YouTube can’t do? It’s even bringing new life to Neil LaBute‘s epically bad "Wicker Man" — some of the sillier scenes of Nicolas Cage over-emoting and punching out Leelee Sobieski have been cobbled together, completely out of context, into a montage of hilarity. We challenge you not to want to see it after watching the clips.

+ Out of character (LA Times)
+ Lettting the scat out of the bag: Borat’s boys speak (Movie City Indie)
+ The cockles of his heart (London Times)
+ Modern slaves without a ghost of a chance (Guardian)
+ An Interview with Kim Jee-woon (KoreanFilm.org)
+ Love Train (Wired)
+ Paul Verhoeven: Scars of my youth (Independent)
+ Elston Gunn interviews producer/actor Leo Grillo of the lowest all-time B.O. film ZYZZYX ROAD!!! (AICN)
+ Best Scenes From "The Wicker Man" (YouTube)

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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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