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Odds: Wednesday – Slamdance, Narnia.

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Oh, nothin' much, really.The Slamdance lineup is has been announced — in addition to previously announced opening night film "Wassup Rockers" from "Kids"Larry Clark, plenty of other promising-looking stuff, including Heidi Van Lier‘s "unromantic comedy" "Monday."

Roger Ebert writes so well about Louis Malle‘s 1980 "Atlantic City" that we sort of wish he would give up the weekly reviews and just stick to his lyrical "Great Movies" essays.

At the Independent, both David Thomson tackles Woody Allen twice (but neither time literally, not matter how much good money we’d pay): the first, on occasion of Allen’s 70th birthday, is a general overview of the filmmaker’s cultural legacy and the shifting tones of his films; the second, and more interesting, deals with "Match Point," which Thomson is all giggly for (or at least, as giggly as one can get for "the most cool, astringent and disturbing film Woody Allen has ever made"):

Such delicate material as this needs precise control, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt the reins in an Allen film so taut. There is a narrative suspense here that he has rarely possessed, or risked. It is so great that "Match Point" is the first film I’ve seen this year that positively requires a sequel (it would not be too hard, the one lead person who dies here could come back as a questioning sibling).

The must-read of the week thus far is Polly Toynbee‘s invective against C.S. Lewis’ "Chronicles of Narnia" that also encompasses the forthcoming film, and, eventually, Christianity (or at least elements of it) and Republicanism:

[H]ere in Narnia is the perfect Republican, muscular Christianity
for America – that warped, distorted neo-fascist strain that thinks
might is proof of right. I once heard the famous preacher Norman
Vincent Peel in New York expound a sermon that reassured his wealthy
congregation that they were made rich by God because they deserved it.
The godly will reap earthly reward because God is on the side of the
strong. This appears to be CS Lewis’s view, too. In the battle at the
end of the film, visually a great epic treat, the child crusaders are
crowned kings and queens for no particular reason. Intellectually, the
poor do not inherit Lewis’s earth.

On the topic of politicized film, Patrick Goldstein over at the LA Times talks to Joe Dante about his unabashedly anti-Iraq war…horror film, "Homecoming."

And over at Radar, Derek de Koff, in honor of "Transamerica" and "Breakfast on Pluto," chats with a panel of drag queens and transvestite experts (we’re not sure where Joan Rivers fall there) about the many films featuring actors in drag.

+ 12th Annual Slamdance Film Festival Announces 2006 Line-Up (Official site)
+ Atlantic City (2005) (
+ Happy Birthday, Allen Stuart Konigsberg (Independent)
+ Film Studies: Woody Allen’s back – and he’s grown up at last (Independent)
+ ‘Narnia represents everything that is most hateful about religion’ (Guardian)
+ It takes a zombie to speak out (LA Times)
+ Transgender Benders (Radar Online)


Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.


Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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GIFs via Giphy

Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:


The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.


They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!


Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.


Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.



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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GIFs via Giphy

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.”


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. 


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.