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DID YOU READ

It is bitter — bitter/But I like it/Because it is bitter.

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Art is a what, you say?Oscar reactions:

David Carr at the New York TimesCarpetbagger blog:

The Bagger sensed he might be onto something while working the red carpet at the Independent Spirit Awards. James Schamus, the head of Focus Films, which put out "Brokeback" and ran a vigorous campaign behind it, chided him on camera for crushing on "Crash." But after the camera dimmed, Mr. Schamus leaned in and said, "I think you’re right."

Roger Ebert (who may well be delirious from his "Crash" championing triumph, or possibly may have been watching an Oscar broadcast from an alternate universe) at RogerEbert.com:

It was an extraordinary Oscarcast for several reasons. Not just for the quality of the winners, not just for Jon Stewart‘s triumph as emcee, but for the legendary director Robert Altman‘s startling revelation that he had a heart transplant more than 10 years ago. In an industry where rumors of bad health can end careers, it was a statement of unusual courage, typical of Altman.

The overall tone of the Oscarcast was – well, the word is joyous. Perhaps keyed by Stewart’s own high spirits and the infectious grins inspired by George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Ben Stiller, Lily Tomlin, Three 6 Mafia and Dolly Parton, the evening was warm and upbeat, and more relaxed than many Oscarcasts.

Nikki Finke, newly a blogger at DeadlineHollywoodDaily.com:

This was the most incoherent, inchoate Oscar telecast in recent memory. Nothing flowed, everything jarred, cut ins and cut outs weren’t preceded by necessary segues. Added up to a butt-ugly broadcast that even the biggest film buff had to gag through.

Stop the misery. End this hell on earth. 365 days is too little time before the next torturous show. Monday’s certain-to-be-dismal ratings will tell the Academy exactly where to shove Oscar. Alas, tonight, they kept jamming it down our throats.

Dan Glaister at the Guardian:

Not the first Oscar host to discover that confronting the fixed faces of the Hollywood elite is not the same as the intimacy of late-night TV, [Jon Stewart] died several small deaths. His best – and worst – moment came when the Oscar broadcast returned from a commercial break to find Stewart mid-sentence: "And that’s why I think Scientology is right not just for this city but for the country," he said, to silence. Whether he will get invited back to the Oscars seems unlikely; whether he will ever work in this town again must also be in doubt.

Dave Kehr at DaveKehr.com:

The real highlight of the evening was the delicious moment during the adapted screenplay awards, when ABC captioned a shot of two handsome gentlemen in tuxedos as "Tony Kushner and Eric Roth," the writers nominated for "Munich." In fact, the image was of Tony Kushner and his husband, Mark Harris, a New York entertainment writer and editor. Meanwhile, Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana were taking the stage to accept their award for taking gay love into the American mainstream, at least as long as said love is depicted as guilty, miserable and unfulfillable.

Mark Lisanti at Defamer:

8:23pm: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! God help us all. The sky has opened, Beezlebub has dumped his infernal payload of obvious evil on an unsuspecting Earth. Life as we know it is over. Drive to the desert and start a new civilization, hoping that our horrible, horrible mistakes will not be repeated. This is the end, friends. See you in Hell.

WORST. OSCARS. EVER.

David Poland at The Hot Blog:

The set design looked like Mel’s Diner from the Universal backlot. But worse, the giant TV screen on the top operated in direct opposition to the endless – and unnecessary – message that seeing movies in a theater was the best way. It really said, "Go to the movies and watch your iPod while the movie is going on." And even worse, there were lights on the base of the set, down on the floor in front of the first row of seats, and the upward lighting made the actors look like vampires.

Matt Zoller Seitz at The House Next Door:

The only really embarrassing moment, besides Stewart making fun of Best Song Oscar winners Three 6 Mafia for being boisterous, was that "Crash" musical number that looked like "Night Of the Living Dead: The Musical." But an Oscar telecast would not be an Oscar telecast without an embarrassing musical number, and this one was the silliest since Rob Lowe sang "Proud Mary" with Snow White.

Hank Stuever at the Washington Post:

They’re all predictably thrilled, prepped, dressed, posed. They’re all tiny but somehow huge. They toss little standard vignettes about their moods, their day. They smile, and you smile. All you remember from those few seconds, all you really have, is some small and useless detail rendered huge in your mind: the blue vein barely noticeable on Meryl Streep’s cheek, or a glimpse at her dental work when she’s leans forward to speak into a TV microphone. The slight and brilliant crinkle of crow’s feet and dusting of gray around Eric Bana‘s temple. The warm embrace between Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman when they spot each other — and they seem to need the warmth. Bullock keeps putting her hands in the pockets of her vintage ’50s gown.

Kenneth Turan at the LA TimesThe Envelope:

"Crash’s" biggest asset is its ability to give people a carload of those standard Hollywood satisfactions but make them think they are seeing something groundbreaking and daring. It is, in some ways, a feel-good film about racism, a film you could see and feel like a better person, a film that could make you believe that you had done your moral duty and examined your soul when in fact you were just getting your buttons pushed and your preconceptions reconfirmed.

Stu VanAirsdale, chatting with David Edelstein at the New York Oscar party (swank!) at The Reeler:

We went on to discuss the mystifying momentum of "Crash"; Edelstein said he had watched the film with Armond White, who spent portions of the screening just laughing.

The great Cintra Wilson at Salon (we couldn’t bear to listen to her podcast with Camille Paglia though — some lines must be drawn):

Are there no capital-N Narcissists left in Hollywood? No wonder box-office receipts are so grim. No obnoxiously starlike stars are allowed on campus anymore. I guess the honchos now regard such egocentricity as too problematic to deal with. To be a Hollywood success these days, you have to be reasonable and polite. It really makes me pine for notorious tyrants like Vincent Gallo and Faye Dunaway — sure, they’re impossible, tantrum-throwing wack jobs … that’s the same mental illness that makes them preternaturally fun to watch.

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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.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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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:

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.