DID YOU READ

Bits and pieces and rumors.

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Is that you, George? It's me, Kanbei.
We don’t really see films in the theater anymore, or going near the theater…or, well, getting outside much. Still, the "Apocalypto" poster? Rather compelling, even on screen.

MonkeyPeaches comes across a rumor (just a rumor, please treat it as such!) that Donnie Yen, Zhang Ziyi and…George Clooney were approached at Cannes by the Weinsteins regarding possible roles in their planned  (though possibly blasphemous) remake of "The Seven Samurai."

At Variety, Ben Fritz writes that the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences is considering making day-and-date released films ineligible for Oscar consideration, something that seems unfair and backward and completely to be expected. We’re not particularly well-versed in Oscar qualifications, but we rather assumed films given a day-and-date release were already disqualified — doesn’t the Academy already require a window (at least between theatrical release and on-air premiere), or does that only apply to docs? We’d look it up, but…we can’t be bothered. Until someone makes an indisputably great, broadly appealing day-and-date film that demands the attention of the Academy, this isn’t going to be a pressing issue.

It’s not so much that we find the idea of dead animal actors innately funny (or so we prefer to tell ourselves), it’s that Low Culture‘s list keeps scrolling on and on.

Mark Russell interviews "The Host" (and "Memories of Murder") director Bong Joon-ho in the New York Times:

"In the mid 1990’s the Korean film industry was really open-minded," Mr. Bong said. "Hong Sang-soo and Kim Ki-duk made their debut then. Kang Je-gyu was editing his movie right next door to where I was working."

Since then Mr. Hong and Mr. Kim have grown into art-house favorites abroad, but their followings at home have all but dried up. Mr. Kang has revolutionized the film industry in Korea with his overt commercialism, smashing box office records twice now, but outside of Korea his films do not travel so well. Mr. Bong, however, continues to walk the line, balancing between the two sides without falling into either. "The multilevel, the conscious and the unconscious, is natural when I write scripts, when I come up with ideas and stories," he explained.

Amelie Gillette at the Onion AV Club interviews Paul Rudd. Cheryl Eddy at the San Francisco Bay Guardian talks with DIY filmmakers Rick Popko and Dan West as they’re finishing up "RetarDEAD," the sequel to their 2003 "Monsturd." Money quote: "In a nutshell, we kind of liken it to ‘Flowers for Algernon’ meets ‘Night of the Living Dead.’"

At Movie City Indie, Ray Pride writes of Stuart Cooper‘s 1975 "Overlord," which won the Silver Bear at Berlin that year and is only receiving a theatrical release now:

Cooper makes dozens of brilliant juxtapositions that do not jar but awaken the senses, but the movie is elusive, neither "Zelig" nor "Saving Private Ryan," but with worthy parallels to movies like Kevin Brownlow’s "It Happened Here" and Pontecorvo‘s "Battle of Algiers." Philosophically, it’s more like film essayist Patrick Keiller ("London") meeting Stanley Kubrick (and the fictional portions were shot by Kubrick’s favored cinematographer John Alcott).

And at Like Anna Karina’s Sweater, Filmbrain reviews "Takeshis’."

+ Apocalypto (onesheet) (ComingSoon)
+ Whom the Weinsteins Want for Their SEVEN SAMURAIS Remake? (MonkeyPeaches)
+ Braking Windows (Variety)
+ Animal Superstars: Where Are They Now? (Low Culture)
+ Unlike His Peers, the Director Bong Joon-Ho Likes Ideas and Metaphors (NY Times)
+ Paul Rudd (Onion AV Club)
+ Blood brothers (SF Bay Guardian)

+ Overlord (1975, ****) (Movie City Indie)
+ Being Takeshi Kitano (Like Anna Karina’s Sweater)

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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.