This browser is supported only in Windows 10 and above.


“The Square” and “Everyone Else”

“The Square” and “Everyone Else” (photo)

Posted by on

Originality can be overrated. Nash Edgerton‘s Aussie thriller “The Square” doesn’t really have an original bone in its body, and I’m not sure it needs to. It belongs to that well-worn noir subgenre of adulterous lovers attempting to make a break for it — “Blood Simple” is an obvious influence — but Edgerton eschews the stylized aggressiveness of earlier films for something more lived-in, if not exactly realistic.

By the end of the opening scene, in which we see Ray (David Roberts) and Carla (Claire van der Boom), both married (though not to each other) making love inside one car while their dogs watch from another, you can probably guess much of the rest of the plot. Ray is stuck in a bland suburban marriage, while Carla is stuck in a decidedly bleaker working-class arrangement: She suspects that her roughneck husband Smithy (Anthony Hayes) might actually be up to no good, as evidenced by the duffel bag full of cash stashed in the attic. Carla suggests to Ray that they take the money, burn her house down, and live happily ever after. And away we go — as we’ve done so many times before.

And yet…”The Square” works. For starters, Edgerton, a former stuntman, has genuine filmmaking chops. He can build tension up to almost comical levels, but he also has an eye for more offbeat moments. A scene where the arsonist, perched atop a hill, looks out over the small community of buildings laid out before him and sees his handiwork burning in the distance has a truly haunting quality.

But there’s also a pointed everydayness to the film that resists the mythic overtures of genre (witness those dogs in the opening scene), resulting in something a lot more riveting than the umpteenth iteration of this familiar set-up would suggest. It makes sense that our lovers’ scheme has little to do with killing Smithy (no postmen need ring here, thanks) and more with just taking his dough. Even so, Ray is in way over his head and knows it — indeed, he initially resists Carla’s conspiring by correctly suggesting that he’s not the kind of guy who does things like ransack people’s houses.

To his eternal credit, Edgerton (who collaborated here with his brother Joel, who co-wrote and co-stars in the film) doesn’t seem interested in watching a well-executed plan go gradually off the rails. Rather, the whole thing starts off a mess and quickly gets worse.

04072010_SquareEdgerton3.jpgThis is less a thriller of adultery than a kind of surreal nightmare, where the central attraction isn’t the slow tightening of the noose but the snowballing clusterfuckery of our outmatched hero’s predicament — more “After Hours” than “Double Indemnity.”

True, the pleasures of this subgenre have often come from watching good men go bad, and Ray goes bad with the best of them. But even towards the end, as the bodies and the plot turns predictably pile up, we’re still basically with him. His soul may be corrupted, but we can still see the bewildered suburban schlub who stumbled into this mess lurking just beneath the surface. His total inadequacy gives the film a strange energy all its own.

Watch More

Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

Posted by on
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…

Watch More

A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

Posted by on
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.

Watch More

WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

Posted by on

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

Watch More