Got me so down / I got me a headache.

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Really, does anyone care?Maybe this is why we’re a little awarded-out. In today’s LA Times, Patrick Goldstein has a tiresome piece on how, while he likes bloggers, mind you, he thinks that constant blogging about awards, and the whole idea of Oscar prognosticating in general, is hurting America. Or something. He conflagrates a couple issues in what seem like an exercise in how to bait colleagues and infuriate people.

We’ll be the first to say he has a point — last year, awards were discussed for essentially all twelve months (and all for what was one of the most boring Oscars anyone can remember). But Goldstein goes on to hate on David Poland, Jeffrey Wells ("the Lewis Black of Oscar bloggers"), Sasha Stone and the LA Times‘ very own Tom O’Neil ("a master of the breathless overstatement"), all the while declaiming that he’s not one of those bitter print types angry about the erosion of his audience to the web:

Before I go any further I should make it clear that I’m not one of these MSM (mainstream media, for the uninitiated) guys who resent my Internet brethren. Bloggers are the best thing to happen to journalism in years. They have not only broken innumerable stories but served as much-needed critics of lumbering old-school journalism, bringing a new energy and irreverence to what’s become a very staid, conventional-wisdom-bound profession.

But nowhere are the limitations of blogging more evident than in the inane shoot-from-the-lip world of Oscar punditry. While Jeff Jarvis’ Buzz Machine is wrestling with media bias and objectivity, while Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish is criticizing Donald Rumsfeld’s ego and intransigence, while Daily Kos is debating an alleged Bush administration plan to bomb Al Jazeera, the Web’s Oscar dingbats are bickering over supporting actor nominations and movies they haven’t even seen yet.

We’re still feeling a little punch drunk from Richard Schickel‘s love tap aimed at the general blog world in the same paper last week, but we’d like to say that, yes, the Oscar obsession goes too far, and yes, print journalists are just as guilty as obsessing over the Oscars as web journalists. The bloggers that Goldstein mentioned write pretty much every day — if they’re often consumed with awards jockeying, well, it’s that time of year. O’Neil may be inflating everything he can think of into a "scoop," but hell, the LA Times hired him to blog about awards, and there’s only so much real news out there day to day — should he be coming up with dissertations on Camus? The real problem here may be the whole "must have constant content" idea, but that’s a problem for another day.

Anyway, David Poland certainly doesn’t need us to leap into our defense. Such is the power and immediacy of the internet that he’s already got a snarky, equally tiresome response up on his The Hot Blog. He hits some home, though:

You are one of those guys who doesn’t understand that the web is a niche business and that the sites that highlight Oscar are embracing a specific demographic… people who want to read about it all too much. Are they not allowed to discuss what they want? Or perhaps they should be discussing how great This Week’s Producer Who You Went To Lunch With is?

I guess if I want to compete with your paper, I better start online Summer Sneaks, Fall Sneaks, and Holiday Sneaks sections in order to suck more money out of studios that feel they need features and ads if everyone else is in. And I’ll call you when I give away $50,000 in ads and "infomercial" space to Harvey Weinstein.

S-N-A-P. Seriously, though, all of this makes us want to devote this blog exclusively to reviews of only obscure and wonderful out-of-print or undistributed films, or something similar that would, one, remove us from ever again encountering self-defensive, territorial media infighting, and two, remind us that many out there, including most of our fellow bloggers, read and write about film because they actually love film.

+ Making Oscars a mule race (LA Times)
+ Oy, Patrick (The Hot Blog)

Update: Anne Thomspon weighs in. And awesomeness from robbiefreeling at the Reverse Shot blog.


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…


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.

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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?”


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.

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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.