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Odds: Thursday – Going to hell in a hotrod.

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"Call them punks, call them animals... but you better get out of their way!"
In the New York Observer, Gabriel Sherman has a depressing piece about the current state of the Village Voice under its new ownership:

The film-review budget has been cut by two-thirds, according to a source, and some film reviews are now being contributed by freelance writers from other New Times papers. According to Voice staffers, New Times has also dismissed The Voice‘s three-person fact-checking department and laid off two of the five copy editors. Last month, [Michael] Lacey killed interim editor Ward Harkavy’s blog, the Bush Beat. The end-page essay has been discontinued. Voice writers now have to use the New Times stylebook, and according to a source, there are words—including “meta” and “subversive”—that are now banned from the paper.

[Okay, we did laugh at that last part, but only because it reminded us of when we were officially banned from referring to things "so late 90s." Anyway, hasn’t "meta" entered the vernacular yet? Everyone we know overuses it to a distressing extent.] It’s a sad state for a paper that’s always upheld high standards, or, failing that, at least high opinions of film criticism, and a place where many major critics got their start.

In the Sydney Morning Herald, Garry Maddox lists his seven deadly sins of moviegoing etiquette, while at the Toronto Star Peter Howell‘s only semi-serious call for more drive-in theaters is a reminder of what’s great about the communal cinemagoing, particularly when the film could be considered a little…lacking.

The drive-in was the last place where anybody wanted to be distracted by a flickering screen. I’m thinking of movies like "Hot Rods to Hell" (how I wish it was available on DVD) and "The Pom Pom Girls," which I almost saw at drive-ins on hot summer nights a long time ago. The kind that has kept shlockmeister Roger Corman happily employed, adored by cults and revered by himself.

Speaking of, in the new issue of Firecracker, Erika Franklin interviews Filipino B-movie maestro Cirio H. Santiago, who directed and produced over 20 movies for Corman for international export:

Utilising the low-cost of movie-making in the Philippines, the diverse landscape (“We can fake many places here: Florida, Vietnam, South America…we have jungle, desert, beaches… it’s all here”) in addition to the pan-Asian appearance of Filipinos who could masquerade as anyone from Vietnam to Hawaii (“as long as we are wearing Hawaiian shirts, we look Hawaiian!” he jokes).

There’s also a new issue of Sight & Sound up; among the offerings online are Charles Gant‘s look at Julien Temple‘s "Glastonbury" and Robin Buss‘s rambler of a look at the love French directors have for Hitchcock that concludes with an interview between Dominik Moll (of "Lemming") and James Bell.

In the Korea Times, Bae Keun-min talks to actress Ko Hyun-jung, who, after a decade in television will make her film debut in Hong Sang-soo‘s latest, "Woman on the Beach," which began shooting last week. She doesn’t have much to say, but the article does mention this about the film:

The film features four 30-something people, who happen to meet each other at a beach and attempt to hook up. Ko will play the role of Mun-suk, a jobless female who studied film music in Germany. Actress Song Seon-mi and actors Kim Seung-woo and Kim Tae-woo have been cast in the other main roles.

In the Guardian, Mark Brown presents a list of the 50 best film adaptations (from books) of all time, according to "a panel of experts." The list is being offered up to the public, who’ll vote on which is the all-time best, and as with any of these type of things, it’s a highly debatable selection. But c’mon, no "Silence of the Lambs"? It should get points just for improving so much on the dismal, airport-paperback quality of its source material.

The latest Blog-a-Thon took place yesterday on the topic of Angie Dickinson. We direct you to Dennis Cozzalio at Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule for "Big Bad Mama" ruminations and pointers to the day’s participants.

At The Reeler, S.T. VanAirsdale revisits IFC’s own "This Film Is Not Yet Rated."

Finally, the "Four Eyed Monsters"‘s dynamic duo, Susan Buice and Arin Crumley, will be appearing at the Soho Apple store next Friday to discuss their film and their podcasting.

+ Can Village Voice Make It Without Its Lefty Zetz? (NY Observer)
+ ‘Yeah, I’m at the movies’ (Sydney Morning Herald)
+ A call for drive-in revival (Toronto Star)
+ May 2006 (Sight & Sound)
+ Ko Hyun-jung to Debut on Big Screen (Korea Times)
+ Film of the book: top 50 adaptations revealed (Guardian)
+ ANGIE DICKINSON: THE WOMAN NEXT DOOR (Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule)
+ Dick, IFC Bring ‘Not Yet Rated’ to NYC Audience (The Reeler)
+ Friday, April 28th (Apple Store – Soho)



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.


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.