Look who’s talking.

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Not so red after all.
This is old, but we couldn’t let it slide without a mention: Annie Proulx‘s piece in the Guardian, oof! We realize she was hurting after the "Crash" Oscar win (and many of us with her), but Annie, if you can’t maintain the facade of graciousness in defeat expected of those passed over for the award, at least put up a similarly phony facade of indifference. Arias on the banality and self-congratulatory nature of the Academy Awards are nothing new — hearing them from a Pulitzer Prize-winner who should know better, and worse, one who clearly cares a lot regardless, is agonizing.

Also scripting himself: in the Independent, director Michael Caton-Jones, whose "Shooting Dogs," a drama starring John Hurt and set during the Rwandan genocide, writes about shooting on the site of such atrocities and sometimes inadvertently triggering flashbacks amongst locals.

And an interview sampling:

"AMERICANese" director Eric Byler chats with Jeff Yang and muses on Asian American masculinity at SF Gate:

"I was interested in portraying a man who doesn’t need to adopt Western culture’s brand of masculinity, that sense of bluster and self-promotion," [Byler] says. "It’s not that he’s trying to be tough — he just doesn’t feel the need to do a tap dance for you. This is a guy who’s just as interesting in a moment’s solitude as he would be if he were in the middle of a screaming confrontation or running down the street chased by aliens."

David Cronenberg discusses which of his many announced future films he’s actually making with Peter Howell at the Toronto Star:

Red Cars: "Have you gone to http://www.redcars.it? My script is now a book, a beautiful coffee table book for fans of Formula One or of my work or whatever. It’s expensive, but it’s really beautiful and the printing is exquisite. I would be happy if some producer said, ‘Yes, I want to make this movie,’ but so far, no one has. So unless that happens, it’s not going to be a movie. At least it’s a book."

Jon "Napoleon Dynamite Forever" Heder talks with Craig Modderno at the New York Times:

The good side of fame was having Tom Cruise tell me how much he loved my movie and how talented I was. It gave me the confidence to walk up to someone I admire like the guy who plays Ali G, who I approached at a premiere. Women did come up to me a lot, but I was then and am now married, so I only saw them as fans of the film. Lots of people looked at me as a one-hit wonder. It’s funny, but if you don’t have a television and haven’t seen me on a talk show or hosting "Saturday Night Live," I don’t see why you wouldn’t believe that I’m mentally disabled.

Liz Mermin, director of doc "The Beauty Academy of Kabul," emails with Daniel Nemet-Nejat at his blog, 40 Years In The Desert:

Yes, absolutely, I was wary of [Beauty Without Border‘s ideals] (though I’m not sure they thought they were spreading democracy—maybe "freedom?"). But I’ve also come to think that there’s a certain condescension implicit in that kind of fear of cultural imperialism. I just got back from a three month shoot in an outsourcing company in India, and a lot of the same concerns came up there. My feeling is that Afghanistan (like India) is home to many ancient cultures, with far deeper roots than American culture. The women I met in Kabul knew what they liked and what they didn’t, and they didn’t change their own sense of what was beautiful and what wasn’t because of the opinions of the Americans. They still prefer Bollywood to Hollywood, and all the teachers’ efforts to get them to use less eyeliner or glitter were lost the moment they left the school. I think the students took what they wanted to from the school and left the rest.

Vanessa Redgrave is given a pleasantly punchy profile in the Observer Magazine by Lynn Barber:

The trouble is that she takes interviews terribly seriously. She has a great (probably deserved) mistrust of journalists and scans each question for hidden bear-traps before answering at tediously cautious length. She seems drawn to put the heaviest possible spin on everything. When I ask whether she enjoyed doing Nip/Tuck with her daughter Joely, she gives me a lecture about how there are two sides to plastic surgery and how some plastic surgeons do really wonderful restorative work on terrible disfigurements. She says this as though it will come as complete news to me. Only after five minutes on the two sides of plastic surgery do I get the answer to my original question: Yes, she enjoyed doing Nip/Tuck and would do it again if asked.

Susan Sarandon discusses her affair with Louis Malle (among other things) with Suzie Mackenzie in the Guardian:

Malle was very smart, very charismatic, very different, she says. It didn’t feel like the cliché of the actress and the director, but more and more it didn’t feel right. "The problem is, if you start to sleep with the director while you’re making a film, it’s very difficult to break that dynamic – that you are there to make his world happen – after the film is over. Because you are not going in on your own grounds. And if, further down the line, your world starts to intrude, then you are viewed as, ‘You’re very ambitious, aren’t you?’ "

Director/screenwriter Robert Towne, with Stephen Hunter at the Washington Post on "Ask the Dust" (certainly the worst film we’ve seen this year, and one that made us (and Andrea Meyer) think back and wonder when Colin Farrell wasn’t terribly miscast) and his somewhat legendary career as a script doctor:

His most legendary fix was on "The Godfather." Coppola called in a panic because he was just about to lose Marlon Brando and he still didn’t have a scene where Brando and Al Pacino
face each other late in the picture, as lord and inheritor and as
friends and also as old Jedi to young Jedi. Towne flew in, looked at
rushes to get a sense of what was going on and also looked at the cover
of the book, which was a stylized version of a hand and marionette
strings. He also spoke to Brando because he wanted the actor’s ideas.

"Brando said, ‘Just once I want Vito not to be inarticulate. He’s
talking to his son; he’s telling the truth; he’d know what he has to

Hugo Weaving, talks to Choire Sicha at the LA Times:

"You’re certainly pushed into selling yourself as a commodity in order to sell the product. I will engage in the selling of the film. But I will try not to engage in the selling of the image, because I find that it’s easier to go on and make another film — because the next character is actually obstructed if your image is bigger than it. So the longer you keep the mask on, metaphorically and physically, the better."

+ Blood on the red carpet (Guardian)
+ Bringing the horrors of the Rwandan genocide to the big screen (Independent)
+ The Man Show (SF Gate)
+ Cronenberg has no need for Painkillers (Toronto Star)
+ Working on His Movie Star Badge (NY Times)
+ An Interview with the Director of The Beauty Academy of Kabul (40 Years In The Desert)
+ She’s got issues (Observer Magazine)
+ A fine romancer (Guardian)
+ Towne and City (Washington Post)
+ Just who exactly is this guy? (LA Times)


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.