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Defeating Darth Weinstein.

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03252008_fanboys.jpgHillary Clinton may be the Harvey Weinstein of politics, but Harvey Weinstein remains the, well, Harvey Weinstein of Indiewood. That Oscar mojo seems to be gone, but the man still knows how to grandly mistreat a film — take “Fanboys,” that long-anticipated comedy about four “Star Wars” megafans who embark on a 1998 road trip to Skywalker Ranch, intending to break in, steal “The Phantom Menace” and become the first fans to have seen the film.

Written for fans, by fans, “Fanboys” was attracting buzz on the web and in the “Star Wars” community back in 2005, with early footage being shown to adoring crowds at Comic-Con. George Lucas gave it his blessing; Kevin Smith wanted a cameo. The Weinstein Company picked up “Fanboys” for an August 2007 release… which turned into a January 2008 release, which turned into no release date at all — a cancer storyline was considered problematic, and there were reshoots with a different director — “Drillbit Taylor”‘s Steven Brill. Word got out that two versions of the film, one de-illnessed and raunched up against the wishes of the original filmmakers, were being tested for audiences. According to the Hollywood Reporter: ” ‘Harvey feels it’s hard to market, especially with this cast,’ an insider said. ‘He wants to market to a more teen audience. The filmmakers wanted a dramedy along the vein of ‘Stand by Me.’ ‘”

It’s a familiar tale of woe for those who’ve tracked Weinstein’s tendencies to shelve and chop, but the “Star Wars” contingent has proven itself to be a force (hyuck!) to be reckoned with, and might even have Harvey on the run. Rallying behind the website Stop Darth Weinstein and threatening a boycott of all Weinstein Co. films — including a planned protest at this week’s opening of the studio’s latest, “Superhero Movie,” not a feature that looks like it could stand up to much ire — fans frightened the Weinstein Co. into responded yesterday. A press release assured that both versions of the film would be released on DVD, though nothing solid regarding a theatrical release was committed to.

Not enough for the people behind the site, who are planning on going through with protest, with two particular big locations in mind: The AMC Empire 25 in New York and the AMC Century City 15 in L.A. at 7pm on the 28th. Eric Kohn at Stream observes:

The case of Fanboys is ultimately a unique one, marking the evolution of the audience into something more powerful than it has ever been before. At SXSW, Four Eyed Monsters co-creator Susan Buice suggested, at a roundtable discussion hosted by Bside Entertainment, that “fans” no longer exist; they have been replaced by “peers.” Consumers now feel that they have the power to interact directly with their chosen mode of entertainment. In the case of Fanboys, these peers are creating their own personalized democracy. More power to ’em.

Wired has a feature on “Fanboys,” talking to screenwriter Ernie Cline about the power of fandom:

In 1993, a conversation at Gen Con, the convention for tabletop-game aficionados, devolved into a volley of quotes from the Arthurian spoof Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Cline had a revelation: “I said to myself, I bet every person at Gen Con knows the movie by heart. I bet I could ask people to get up onstage and reenact it on the spot.’ And I was right.”

Cline hastily assembled an amateur cast to act out the entire film from memory. The impromptu performance drew huge crowds. It was instructive for Cline. “I learned that I could tap into this,” he says. “I could enlist other fans to assist in my insane ideas.”

[Photo: “Fanboys,” Weinstein Company/MGM, 2008]

+ Fans press Weinstein on ‘Fanboys’ (Hollywood Reporter)
+ Stop Darth Weinstein
+ Helping Fans with ‘Fanboys’ (Stream)
+ It’s a Wrap! Ernie Cline Has Written the Ultimate Star Wars Fan Movie (Wired)

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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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