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“Outrage,” Reviewed

“Outrage,” Reviewed (photo)

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Reviewed at Fantastic Fest 2010.

“Outrage” may be Takeshi Kitano’s return to the yakuza movie on which his international reputation as a filmmaker was built, but it’s not a return to the elegiac, melancholy tone those movies embraced. When the killing starts, and there is a lot of killing, it arrives with a shrug of inevitability — what, did anyone really expect these duplicitous, aggressive, violent men to get along? “Outrage” may come up empty in the end, but it’s an entertaining ride to nowhere that pokes fun at the ritual and rules that its characters pretend to abide by even as they ruthlessly stab each other in the back.

The first domino falls when Ikemoto (Kunimura Jun), the head of a gang that’s part of the Sanno-kai, a larger crime syndicate, is taken to task by the chairman (Kitamura Soichiro) because he’s been partnering up with another gang, headed up by Murase (Renji Ishibashi), that’s not part of their organization. Ikemoto and Murase formed a partnership when they were in prison together, but in order to demonstrate to his boss that they’re not that cozy, Ikemoto sends his own subordinate Otomo (Kitano) to subtly pick a fight.

That scene defines the bluster and double-dealing that will follow — one of Otomo’s men pretends to be a guileless salaryman and allows himself to get pulled into a nightclub scam run by some of Murase’s low-level thugs. A young yakuza bullies him all the way back to the Otomo gang’s office, where he realizes exactly who he’s netted and is immediately cowed by the trouble he’s gotten himself and his colleagues in. Trying to preserve the pact between the two gangs, Murase orders the lieutenant responsible for the scheme to make amends by cutting off his finger. It won’t be the last digit chopped before the credits roll.

“Outrage”‘s portrayal of underworld loyalty as a lie, a gloss obscuring a dog-eat-dog world of greed, arrogance and territoriality, isn’t exactly unheard of — it’s much rarer these days to find a film that actually buys into the mythology of honor among organized criminals, and “Outrage” at times seems like a less fleet-footed Japanese cousin to Johnnie To’s similar “Election” films. But “Outrage” is remarkable for the way its characters use yakuza organization and structure against each other. It’s got to be one of the most passive aggressive mobster movies of all time, with gangsters refusing apologies in order to escalate conflicts they actually started and sending their men out on nefarious errands they then claim to have no prior knowledge of to the aggrieved party.

Plot machinations take the place of developing any members of the large cast of characters — the only standouts are Ryo Kase (“Letters from Iwo Jima”) as the gang’s sardonic head of finances and Kitano himself, whose bluff presence fits the midlevel Otomo, a man baffled but not surprised to find himself maneuvered into increasingly undesirable situations.

“Outrage” currently has no US distribution.

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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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