DID YOU READ

The day in quotes.

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"Sound a little excited, Gene." "Sound less excited, Roger."
Associated Press (via MSNBC):

Fans of No. 5 Gonzaga have been asked to stop yelling ‘Brokeback Mountain’ at opposing players. The reference to the recent movie about homosexual cowboys was chanted by some fans during the game Feb. 6 against Saint Mary’s, and is apparently intended to suggest an opposing player is gay.

BBC:

"Brokeback Mountain" has been passed in its entirety by the film censors in Singapore, in spite of the country’s stringent laws against homosexuality. The Oscar-nominated film will be restricted to cinema-goers over the age of 21 and will carry a ‘mature theme, sexual scenes’ warning. Singapore’s media content director said Ang Lee‘s film was passed as it did not ‘promote or glamorise the lifestyle.’ Gay sex is punishable by a maximum of two years imprisonment in the country.

Singapore banned Chen Yin-jung‘s gay-themed Taiwanese film  "Formula 17" for "glamorizing" — fortunately, "Brokeback" sticks to the internationally welcomed message that homosexuality leads to a lifetime of loneliness and despair (oh, sit down, you know we love the damn movie).

Arthur Spiegelman at Reuters:

An Israel diplomat on Sunday told Reuters in Jerusalem that Israel and U.S. Jewish groups were lobbying the Academy not to present "Paradise Now" as coming from "Palestine."

"Both the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles and several concerned Jewish groups pointed out that no one, not even the Palestinians themselves, have declared the formal creation of ‘Palestine’ yet, and thus the label would be inaccurate," the diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Hong Kong and Taiwan were also allowed to submit separate films — here’s hoping next year China will kick up a fuss about that. Because for hundreds of years, submitting a film for Oscar consideration has been the natural precursor to a declaration of sovereignty.

Dan Persons, speaking to director Timur Bekmambetov about "Night Watch" at our own IFC News:

How did Russian audiences react to this film?
Shocked. We never had a vampire film in this country, and we never had fantasy at all. We never had fantasy books, fantasy comics, no. A journalist [in L.A.] asked me about it, and I started to think, and then I understood why: During the seventy years of the Communist era, we had a super-fantasy world. We lived in this world, because the whole concept of Communism was a fantasy. Nothing could compare to this fantasy idea. [There were] a lot of rituals, a lot of symbols and heroes, super-heroes, super-powers, everything was included in the concept of Communism.

Elizabeth Guider in Variety:

What Michael Moore and his "Fahrenheit 9/11" did for the Cannes fest in 2004, Michael Winterbottom and his "The Road to Guantanamo" may have done for the Berlinale: Give it a jolt of adrenalin.

Michael Winterbottom, when asked about the comparison, via Mike Collett-White in Reuters:

I’m not as big as Michael Moore.

Greencine Daily‘s David Hudson at Berlin:

Pen-ek Ratanaruang professes to love film noir "and anything with Robert Mitchum," which he’ll watch again and again. The idea here is to do something along this line, only, as he told die taz, whenever he sees a Hollywood film, he always wonders what the scenes that are cut out look like. That’s one way of approaching "Invisible Waves"; another is to see it as an anti-thriller that isn’t nearly as pretty to look at as [Christopher] Doyle‘s other work and that has its moments. For me, those moments are a little too few and far between.

Sad.

Sign carried by a protesting Park Chan-wook in front of the Berlin Film Festival’s entrance (via Reuters):

No Screen Quota = No Old Boy

Finally, from this awesome video at Bedazzled of vintage Roger Ebert and the late Gene Siskel sniping at each other while trying to shoot a promo (via Matt Singer at Termite Art):

That’s this week on "Siskel…& Ebert….& the Movies." And the asshole. That’s Roger.

+ Gonzaga fans’ chant: ‘Brokeback Mountain’ (MSNBC)
+ Singapore censor passes Brokeback (BBC)
+ Oscar organizers deny pressure on Palestinian film (Reuters)
+ It’s Wildest Before the Dawn on a Russian "Night Watch" (IFC News)
+ Prison pic packs punch (Variety)
+ Guantanamo film is Berlin’s "Michael Moore moment" (Reuters)
+ Berlin Dispatch. 8. (Greencine Daily)
+ S.Korea film director in Berlin protests quota cut (Reuters)
+ Siskel & Ebert Part 1 (Bedazzled)

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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.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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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.

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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.

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Forget Public Wifi

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

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Inter-not

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.

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Self Defense

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

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