Highlights from Another Hot Fest: Sarasota

Posted by on

By Lily Oei/IFC News

Seven years in, the Sarasota Film Festival, which ran from January 28 through February 6, proves that even a regional festival will have something to help you scratch any cinematic itch.

The fest is still establishing itself among industryites (although
several made the trip directly from Park City), but already has the
complete devotion of local townfolk, particularly at the many gala
functions (really, these kids like to dress up). Here are some highlights from the week:


“Sandman” and fantasy geeks rejoice. Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean continue their 20-year partnership with their first feature effort. In it, a rebellious teen makes a wish and gets exactly what she asks for—to
her dismay. Think “Alice in Wonderland” meets “Time Bandits” on an
upside down street in a parallel universe, with special f/x courtesy of
the wizards at Henson.


Winner of the audience documentary prize at Sundance, this film is a look at the competitive world of quadriplegic rugby, aka the eponymous murderball. While “Murderball” is pegged around the international rivalry between Canadian coach Joe Soares and U.S. captain Mark Zupan, the documentary also delves into the individual lives of players, laying out their stories without being
even a touch treacly. Based on co-director Dana Adam Shapiro’s magazine
story back in 2002, it’s proof that something good can come from a Maxim

“Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story”

A mockumentary by Brant Sersen featuring the Daily Show’s Rob Corddry
and a number of other familiar comic faces. It’s a classic story of redemption—caught cheating and banned from the sport, former paintball great Bobby Dukes returns to the sport to reclaim his reputation. About
90 percent of the script was improvised, but it never feels like it. As they say in
the movie, you’ll come out feeling “bobbicized” and “dukealated.”


A good old-fashioned chop-socky from Thailand, complete with a “high
speed” race in tuk tuks and a chase scene that not only includes the
perquisite sheets of glass to slow down the titular hero, but also
boiling oil and a wreath of barbed wire. The film stars the unflappable
Tony Jaa, who does all his own stunts without the help of wires. But don’t just take my word for it, Wu Tang Clan member Rza has also thrown his weight behind the film.

New Music

The local Florida West Coast Symphony always gets involved with the
festival, but for the more progressive, this year’s schedule included
the Independent Visions concert series. On the slate, Boulder’s
Devotchka with its Eastern bloc-mariachi rock, a solo-ing Bob Mould, and
the always rousing Ted Leo + the Pharmacists. Whether it was faulty
promotion or shyness on the part of the natives, the Mould and Ted Leo
shows were undersold—probably the only time you’ll experience such
intimacy at any of their performances.


New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

Posted by on

Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…


IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 


IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.


The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

Posted by on
Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”


Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).



Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.


And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.


Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

Posted by on
GIFs via Giffy

In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.


Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.


Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!



Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.


Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.


If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.