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DID YOU READ

Incoming: Promising Sundance stragglers, spelling bees.

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Max Minghella, Juliette Binoche, Flora Cross and Richard GereTrailers: One for "Bee Season," unabashed Oscar-bait (not always a bad thing), with Juliette Binoche, Richard Gere, Max "son of Anthony" Minghella, and precocious, adorable newcomer Flora Cross as members of a troubled family (and somethingerother about spelling bees), here. Young Mr. Minghella’s one to watch for — he’s also just wrapped Terry Zwigoff’s "Art School Confidential," sure to be a, well, awesome, and snarky hit with the arthouse kids. One for "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang," a noir/Hollywood satire with Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer that’s been tossed around as one of the major potential award season contenders, and which looks pretty damn good from the trailer, here. One for "Keane," Lodge Kerrigan‘s reportedly difficult but worthwhile look into the life of a schizophrenic (with a raved-about performance by Damian Lewis), here. And two remnants from Sundance, both with good buzz: "Forty Shades of Blue," Ira Sachs‘ story of an aging Memphis record producer (Rip Torn) and his much-younger Russian girlfriend (Dina Korzun) that walked away with the Grand Jury Prize for drama (trailer’s here); and "Nine Lives," Rodrigo García‘s (who’s ever fond of the vignettes about women) set of stories about nine women, each getting an uncut scene of their own (trailer’s here).

Elsewhere: via indieWIRE, Strand Releasing’s picked up the rights to Dominik Moll’s "Lemming," this year’s Cannes opener (oh, we kill ourselves). Via Reuters, Jeffrey Blitz, who directed hit doc "Spellbound," is about to start shooting an indie feature ("Rocket Science") about a similar topic, high school debating. Via Empire, French actor Gaspard Ulliel, who recently nuzzled with Emmanuelle Béart‘s neck in "Strayed" as well as Audrey Tautou‘s in "A Very Long Engagement," is rumored to be in talks to play the young Hannibal Lector in Peter Webber‘s "Silence of the Lambs" prequel (in which Gong Li‘s already been cast).

And, via Roger Vincent in the LA Times, Marvel Enterprises Inc. is all set to tear off its shirt and mildly rip it’s purple pants in its transformation to its new, improved, media-conglomerate self: Marvel Entertainment Inc.! Why, you ask? Because Marvel’s finally raised to the money to produce films itself, rather than farming out its characters to be made into franchises. One might argue that it’s a little late for Marvel to move into the field, as, besides Captain America (who Marvel chief exec Avi Arad calls the "Holy Grail" of comic book characters ready for their film adaptation), the pickings seems a little slim:

Marvel characters set to join Captain America in the movies are the
Avengers, Nick Fury, Black Panther, Ant-Man, Cloak & Dagger, Dr.
Strange
, Hawkeye, Power Pack and Shang-Chi.

Ant-Man?

+ Trailer: Bee Season (Apple)
+ Trailer: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (Apple)
+ Trailer: Keane (Magnolia)
+ Trailer: Forty Shades of Blue (Official Site)
+ Trailer: Nine Lives (Magnolia)
+ Strand Releasing Takes U.S. Rights to Cannes ’05 Opener "Lemming" (indieWIRE)
+ Spellbound’ director enrolls in ‘Science’ class (Reuters)
+ A Very Odd Obtainment (Empire)
+ Marvel to make movies based on comic books (LA Times)

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

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

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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…

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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.

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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-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

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

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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?”

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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).

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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.

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