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Scandinavian Interiors: “Corridor” and “Fatso,” Reviewed

Scandinavian Interiors: “Corridor” and “Fatso,” Reviewed (photo)

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Reviewed at Fantastic Fest 2010.

The lonely men of the Swedish “Corridor” and the Norwegian “Fatso” have a lot in common. They live by themselves, they’re uncomfortable with other people, they like to eat in front of their TVs, and their solitary lives are disrupted by flaky, outgoing girls who drive them nuts with their loud lovemaking and demands for interaction.

The woman in “Corridor” (written and directed by the Johans Lundborg and Storm) is Lotte (Ylva Gallon), a hairdresser who corrals her downstairs neighbor Frank (Emil Johnsen) into first helping her move desk, then in loaning her some laundry detergent, then in shifting her boyfriend Micke’s (Peter Stormare) motorcycle. Micke has some anger issues, and Frank, an anal-retentive med student who would rather spend all of his time studying, finds the addition of Lotte and her lover to the building begins to really get in the way of his work. “Corridor” doesn’t offer anything groundbreaking in the world of claustrophobic dark comedies, but it makes thorough use of its setting, a building with pairs of apartments set in cluttered hallways coming off a spiral staircase, and thin walls and creaking floors that telegraph every approach.

Frank’s not entirely together, it’s soon clear, though we see everything from his paranoid, sleep-deprived point of view. Even before he starts to obsess that Micke’s done something to Lotte and will soon come for him, Frank is unable to tolerate others — he hates that the neighbor’s kid leaves her scooter by his door, he doesn’t socialize with his classmates, he curt with the elderly woman who manages the building. It’s to “Corridor”‘s benefit that there’s no explanation given for what’s made him so uptight (beyond the hint of high family expectations), and that the film maintains its dry sense of humor throughout. A scene where Micke puts chewing gum over Frank’s peephole, leaving him unable to see whether the coast is clear, speaks more to urban isolation than a thousand scenes of forlorn dinners. Unwilling to move from where he’s holding the door shut, Frank calls everyone in his phone, attempting to get someone to agree to come over and help him. No one will. It’s late, the buses have stopped running.

09242010_fatso1.jpgArild Fröhlich’s “Fatso” could also be described as a dark comedy, though the route it ends up taking is softer than that of “Corridor.” Rino (Nils Jørgen Kaalstad), its hero, is an overweight compulsive masturbator who lives alone in a spacious apartment still decorated the way his grandmother kept it when she was alive. He has one friend, a dirty-talking, hard-drinking, chain-smoking asthmatic named Fillip (Kyrre Hellum), and he divides the rest of his time between his job of translating manuals for machinery from German to Norwegian, porn and drawing a comic book about his sexual frustration and self-loathing, in which he appears as a portly rhinoceros.

In walks Malin (Josefin Ljungman), a pretty, waifish 20-something waitress from Sweden who’s trying to get her life back in order, to not drink so much, or do drugs, or get involved with disastrous men. Rino’s parents rent her a room in his apartment, and awkward antics ensue. You’d imagine, in a Hollywood movie, this story would climax with Rino and Malin getting together and helping each other get over their problems. “Fatso” doesn’t. It climaxes with a scene of self-mutilation — huzzah! “Fatso” doges most of the usual lovable loser cliches by having its main character be, much of the time, genuinely repellent and self aware enough to know it, and by insisting on honestly in the changes he tries to make in his life. Rino’s problems are not going to be solved by a manic pixie deus ex machina girl — he can only begin to approach them by deciding he actually want to engage with humanity again, instead of giving up and shutting himself inside for good.

“Corridor” and “Fatso” do not currently have US distribution.

[Additional photo: “Fatso,” Paradox Spillefilm A/S, 2008]

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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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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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