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DID YOU READ

See This Movie, Dammit! “An Inconvenient Truth”

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By Andrea Meyer

IFC News

I’m not really comfortable on a soapbox. But the other night I saw “An Inconvenient Truth,” and here I am — shrieking from the top of a wobbly crate, suds sloshing around my ankles. That’s how important this movie is. As you may have gathered from the current Al Gore mania in the press, Davis Guggenheim’s film documents the former vice president’s fascinating multimedia presentation about global warming. A filmed lecture about an Important Environmental Issue might sound like a bore — or, as my colleague Alison Willmore more eloquently put it, “cinematic spinach” — and it’s true that high school science teachers nationwide will probably force students to see it. But just like veggies (even those forced down the gullet with the threat of no TV) provide essential vitamins, this movie is good for you. And to push the metaphor further, just as we learn to love the taste of spinach (especially sautéed in garlic), this movie is also enjoyable going down.

Or maybe enjoyable isn’t the best word to describe the sensation. It is entertaining — riveting even — but viewer emotions are likely to range from astonished, to alarmed, to downright terrified. What Gore calls his “slideshow” is an impressive, impeccably researched presentation that he’s compiled over the last 30 years and improved with impressive charts, diagrams and film clips to explain in a compelling, often amusing way the connection between carbon emissions and the global climate change responsible for such phenomena as melting glaciers, disappearing lakes, widespread heat waves and the increased frequency of unstoppable storms like Katrina.

The film is essential viewing, because even true believers can use a brush-up course in global warming — and most could use a kick in the pants as far as taking action is concerned. No one who sees this film can remain skeptical or indifferent, and Gore is very clear that we already have the tools necessary to reverse the alarming changes in the weather. We just need to use them. He says it’s not a political question at this point, but a moral one, although political steps are a necessary part of the solution. Time is running out and everyone, politicians and civilians alike, needs to start taking this seriously if we want to save the planet.

Interspersed throughout the film are interviews with Gore, in which he talks about his life and life lessons. These segments reveal an Al Gore who is passionate, thoughtful, funny — it’s hard to believe from Election 2000, but he’s actually a funny guy — and as handsome as a movie star. It is strange to see him so assured, entertaining and comfortable in his skin. You might wonder what joker was in charge of image control during the 2000 election — and you might want to beat him up. Almost as depressing as the impending doom facing our planet is the fact that this confident, intelligent, impassioned man did not become president. You can’t help but wonder how our country — and world — might have been different had the winner of the popular vote been allowed to take his rightful seat.

I’m about to stop preaching and simpering, but one last thing. “An Inconvenient Truth” has given me a much clearer picture of the threat of global warming. Its devastating effects are rushing toward us like a missile. If we don’t reverse their course, the glaciers will continue to melt and the results will make Katrina look like light drizzle. The Bushes and Cheneys of the world are going to have to change their tune soon enough. They have no choice. And what can you do? Swap out your light bulbs. Trash your SUV. Take shorter showers. Walk, ride a bike, buy rollerblades. Recycle. Plant a tree. Write an editorial. Bug a congressperson. And for God’s sake, go see the movie. If my soapbox were high enough and my voice loud enough, I’d demand that everyone in the world go see it. Our lives may depend on it.

“An Inconvenient Truth” opens in limited release on May 24. For more on the film, see www.climatecrisis.net.

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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.