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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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.