DID YOU READ

Odds: Monday – Playing catch-up.

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"Francois!"This did make us giggle. It’s awful, but we did giggle. From Caveh Zahedi‘s blog:

The film opened in Corvallis, Oregon, this week. It made 5 dollars on Friday, 5 dollars on Saturday, and 9 dollars on Sunday because of word of mouth.

At Slate, Armond White lavishes exorbitant praise on something we, for once, actually like: that Wes Anderson commercial. But really, the piece is a springboard for White to discuss the slowness with which certain hipster filmmaker churn out films: "For unaccountable reasons, it seems to take forever for this generation of bright young film artists—Wes Anderson, Spike Jonze, David O. Russell, Alexander Payne, Paul Thomas Anderson, Sofia Coppola—to make their next move on the Hollywood chessboard." We thought White himself coined the phrase "American Eccentrics" for this crew (here he  lightly writes that they’re "Captiously dubbed the American Eccentrics") — either way he finds space to backhand them a bit ("Meticulousness is no guarantee") while writing what’s far more interesting an essay than we’ve seen him come up with in his reviews at the New York Press of late.

At the Boston Globe, Bobby Hankinson questions a group of art students about the accuracy of "Art School Confidential," while at Salon, pilot Patrick Smith weighs in on the realism of "United 93."

At USA Today, Susan Wloszczyna tries to coin her own new term: "phenom films."

These aren’t cult faves. That term implies a late bloomer, and many of these out-of-nowhere hits made money the minute the projector clicked on. Porky’s, the bawdy template for all boys-gone-wild sex farces, oinked up a whopping $111.3 million back in 1982 — in today’s bucks, that’s a heaping $229 million of piggish behavior.

Declaring them sleepers doesn’t cut it, either, since they tend to be more like wake-up calls to an industry that often is clueless about what audiences really want.

At Wired News, Scott Carney reports on the community of expats working in Bollywood:

Filmmakers in India have always been wary of India’s powerful censor
boards, and until recently it was taboo to show kissing or drinking
alcohol in general-release films. Even when filmmakers thought they
could make it past the censors, they often had trouble casting local
actors for potentially career-destroying scenes. The answer to the
problem: Cast a foreigner.

While in the LA Times, Don Lee writes about how whole villages in China (grouped around Hengdian, the "Hollywood of the East") have found it more lucrative to serve as extra in the local film industry than to work as farmers.

Desson Thomson at the Washington Post really shouldn’t be encouraging the "personal memoir" in filmmaking  — for fuck’s sake, Thomson, the thinly disguised autobiography is already the plague of literature, don’t ruin films too!

Susan King at the LA Times talks to the stars and filmmakers behind "Goal! The Dream Begins," which we’re actually mildly intrigued by — it looks like it’s may be a post-Hollywood Hollywood formula flick, in which the US is finally reduced to the miserable, unappreciative location the hero must be rescued from.

Everyone’s linked to this already, but it’s worth it:

+ Word of Mouth (Caveh Zahedi)
+ Dear Wes Anderson (Slate)
+ But is it art school? (Boston Globe)
+ Ask the pilot (Salon)
+ What makes a film a phenom? (USA Today)
+ Try Out Bollywood’s Casting Couch (Wired News)
+ Chinese Villagers Trade Plowshares for Film Scripts (LA Times)
+ To Thine Own Tales Be True (Washington Post)
+ Timeliness: Will it help ‘Goal’ score? (LA Times)
+ Stranger Than Paradise – A Memoir (Zoom-in Online)
+ A Full Trailer For Tykwer’s Perfume (Twitch)

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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.