DID YOU READ

Awesome; I can’t fuckin’ watch that!

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Strictly handheld is the way to go.
In the Observer, Simon Garfield talks to director Julien Temple (of Sex Pistols docs "The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle" and "The Filth and the Fury") and talks up his new film, "Glastonbury," a doc that attempts to encompass all 30 years of and the general spirit behind the massive music festival.

Temple pulled through and the result is one of the most absorbing and
inspiring music films ever made. Even that claim underplays it: it is a
music film, one stretching from Melanie singing of peace to Jarvis
Cocker singing of common people, but, like Glastonbury itself, it is
also something else. It is a film about people out of their heads,
about insurance brokers finding themselves, about old folk describing
how festival-goers smell, about the erection of ‘car-Henge’. And even
that doesn’t quite explain what makes Temple’s film so compelling, so
we may have to content ourselves with the only dread phrase that fits:
the Vibe.

Temple also solicited tapes from festival-goers, and incorporated a decent amount of privately shot archival footage into the film in an attempt to capture the communal sense of the festival, a motivation not unlike the Beastie Boys’ with "Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That!," which opens this Friday, and which is made up of footage from 50 DV cameras handed out to fans at the groups’ 2004 concert at Madison Square Garden.

[A side note: we haven’t seen "Awesome…"; we were afraid. This is not even some princessy thing about our not really caring of concert flicks — we were genuinely curious, but also knew with dead certainty that if we attempted to watch a frenetically edited film shot entirely on handheld cameras by amateurs in a crowded arena, we would end up expelling the contents of our stomach on some poor film critic’s unsuspecting head halfway through. We are not as young as we used to be.]

In the Washington Post, J. Freedom du Lac chats with the ‘Boys:

"When it played at Sundance, some people walked out of there — maybe more film-type people," [Mike] Diamond says. "And they were going, ‘This is really loud, and there are a lot of edits, and aaaaaargh! It’s too intense!’ They couldn’t take it."

Says [editor Neal] Usatin: "It’s really subversive, this kaleidoscopic and violent presentation that at the same time is seductive. It reaches out and smacks you across the face."

And at the AP, Jake Coyle surveys the new crop of concert docs ("Awesome…," "Block Party" and "Heart of Gold") and their differing approaches — in "Heart of Gold," he points out, Jonathan Demme not once pans out to the audience, while for "Awesome…" Adam Yauch talks about wanted to recreate the feel of a bootleg recording.

Our beef with concert films is that they often neglect to actually be, well, films — save for a handful of landmark titles, the genre is composed of cultural artifacts and selections that would only ever appeal to dedicated fans of the band in question. But "Awesome…" goes beyond this to not even actually be about the music — Yauch is more concerned with capturing the experience of being at a concert than the performance on stage. To which we’d like to say, why bother with this communal POV crap not time? Why not just give the camera to one person, for true intimacy’s sake? Our suggestions for future films:

"Rock ‘n’ Roll Star: Oasis in Los Angeles"
A thirteen-hour documentary on Oasis’ legendarily testy Los Angeles show on their first US tour (leading to the band’s temporary break-up). Subject piles into a Honda Civic with three other concert-goers and takes a five-hour ride to LA. Arriving at the club, subject is denied entrance despite presenting as evidence of her having reached legal drinking age an expired passport belonging to her friend’s boyfriend’s Korean cousin. Subject waits outside the venue until the concert is over, at which point the four embark on the drive back home.

Highlight: At a rest stop Denny’s, one concert-goer places french fries in his nostrils and proceeds to do a passable walrus imitation.

"Warrant: We’ll Find a Way"
Subject starts taping the long-lived glam metal band’s memorable stop at Maestro’s Italian Restaurant, part of a nationwide tour supporting their under-appreciated fifth album, from a perch behind table 7, but, after being informed by the restaurant’s manager that he cannot stand on a chair, even for the sake of a feature film, switches to a perhaps less successful vantage point behind a couple making out against a decorative column.

Highlight: Busboy Jeremy snickers when guitarist Rick Steier bumps his head against a hanging light fixture. Later, as the credits roll, Jeremy is chased around the parking lot by irate aging metalheads.

"Brazilian Girls: Escape to New York"
Subject arrives at the eclectic dance quartet’s crowded surprise gig in the small Alphabet City venue where they got their start, and immediately pushes through the crowd to the back room, where he and his companions spend approximately thirty minutes attempting to purchase cocaine. After giving "Jimbo" $100 for a baggie containing baby power and ground-up laxatives, subject and companions retire to the bathroom, where, for the remainder of the film, the camera is left atop the toilet facing a tiled wall while the subject and companions consume the contents of the aforementioned baggie.

Highlight: Midway through the band’s impassioned rendition of their popular single "Don’t Stop" (muted but audible through the door), subject observes that "This is way better than the stuff I get from Mike’s guy."

+ This blissful film lasts for 35 years… (Observer)
+ Giving Fans an ‘Awesome’ Task
(Washington Post)
+ New Crop of Concert Films Rock Theaters (AP)

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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.