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Celebrating Labor Day with Michael Moore.

Celebrating Labor Day with Michael Moore. (photo)

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Happy Labor Day! Here, let Michael Moore make you feel better about working. Most of us, now more than ever, would prefer not to lose our jobs; Moore, on the other hand, views permanently severing himself from his financiers as something to be desired. As Arifa Akbar reports from the Venice Film Festival in The Independent, Moore mocked Paramount for funding his latest film, “Capitalism: A Love Story,” saying, “Why would these companies give money to me, a guy who is diametrically opposed to everything they stand for?” Furthermore, he’s had a grand plan ever since “Sicko” to save up his cash so that he can finance himself if need be. And now that day has come: “I think this is the last time they will give me that money.” Yay?

The reviews from the Venice premiere are predictably mixed and a bit wishy-washy. As The Playlist astutely notes, “We just wish for once, someone would tell us what they thought instead of wondering how everyone else will feel.” There’s absolutely zero conservatives reviewing the movie at this time, and it’s easy enough to figure out how they’ll respond to an anti-free market movie. All the liberal viewers concede the usual gross sentimentality, hackneyed attempts at pointless guerilla interviews and Moore’s unnecessary constant presence. They’re just not sure if it’ll do achieve what it intends to achieve. (Answer: Just like “Fahrenheit 9/11” failed to sway the ’04 election and “Sicko” failed to change the dialogue on health care one bit, so too will this fail.) Some — like indieWIRE’s Shane Danielson — think it’s blatantly “made for idiots,” and wishes Moore would treat his audience as equals rather than inferiors. Others get swept up in the sweeping indictment of it all; The Guardian‘s Xan Brooks, yet finds it “hard to resist” Moore’s “simple moral universe inhabited by good little guys and evil big ones.”

Brooks also notes that Moore concludes that “Capitalism is both un-Christian and un-American, an evil that deserves not regulation but elimination.” No review makes clear if Moore actively labels himself a socialist in the film, but it’s pretty clear — between the reviews and interview quotes — that he’s headed that way in perhaps everything but name. Which, whatever his (many) flaws, makes him America’s first bona fide socialist propaganda director in eons, and possibly ever. (The only previous American socialist movie popping to mind is 1954’s curiosity “Salt of the Earth.”) Technically, propaganda generally gets commissioned to serve a government, but Moore’s decided to potentially alienate the large part of his fan base, those blue-collar Americans who are against corporations screwing them but also against any form of “socialism.” Then again, his last movie — “Captain Mike Across America,” a.k.a. “Slacker Uprising” — was so unappetizing to distributors that no one would buy it and Moore ended up giving it out as a free download. So maybe now that he has enough money to never need to make money, he’s going all out and saying what he’s probably thought for years without worrying about the consequences, albeit in the same tiresome form as always… and hedging his bets as always.

[Photo: “Capitalism: A Love Story,” Paramount Vantage/Overture Films, 2009]

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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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