Odds: Thursday – Cannes, the rest o’ the world.

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"This movie is a love letter to Paris and romance." Of course.
Roger Ebert (whose meandering festival reports we find ourselves enjoying much more than his reviews, which we of course scoff at: "What the hell do you know, you damn Pulitzer Prize winner?! Scoffscoffscoffscoff.") reflects not once, but twice, on Cannes booing:

One, re: the infamous "Marie Antoinette" press screening:

Variety, the showbiz bible, reported the booing was "Gallic-accented.”" As a test I have been trying to boo with a French accent. I think a Gallic boo sounds like BOOoo! starting strong and fading abruptly, while an American boo sounds like a prolonged booOOO!

In any event, I did not boo. But I sensed some discontent. "I wanted to see heads rolling," groused Baz Bamigboye, the famous Daily Mail columnist, and there seemed to be disappointment that the film ends well before the king and queen are beheaded.

And two, on the fervor caused by booing reports like the above:

But now let’s step back and be fair. Yes, there was booing. But I was present at the screening and would guess not more than five people, maybe 10, booed. Many others applauded. Booing is always shocking to North American critics; I am not sure I have heard booing more than once or twice in all my years at the Toronto, Sundance, Telluride, Chicago, Montreal or New York festivals. In Europe, they boo all the time, sometimes because they think a film is bad, sometimes because it is (according to them) politically incorrect.

Regarding darling "Marie," the New York Timesterrible twosome is split: Mme. Dargis says "meh"; M. Scott takes it as a Hollywood parable and likes it.

These images are everywhere, and who are we to part from the crowd? Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat hits the beach in a truly European bathing…apparatus. Via JustJared.com.

At indieWIRE, Eugene Hernandez, Brian Brooks and Tamara Schweitzer report that Sony Pictures Classics has picked up the North American rights to Luc Besson‘s "magical fantasy" "Angel-A," Roadside Attractions and Samuel Goldwyn Films will release the new feature film of "Lassie" and Picturehouse has acquired the U.S. rights to Edith Piaf biopic "La Vie En Rose."

In other biz news, Cate Blanchett has joined the cast of Todd Haynes‘ semi-experimental Bob Dylan biopic "I’m Not There" as one of seven actors to play Dylan at various stages of his career. Via AP.

At the Guardian, Xan Brooks talks to Jane Campion about why she and other big names (including Gus Van Sant and the Coen brothers) chose to come to Cannes with a short (hers is "The Water Diary").

Elsewhere: The new issue of Wired turns to "Superman Returns": Neil Gaiman & Adam Rogers have an interesting piece deconstructing the myth of Superman and its appeal. Interesting if you’re a nerd! Which, of course, we are. In the same issue, Thomas Goetz interviews director Bryan Singer.

Scott Kirsner at CinemaTech notes that "Paramount Pictures and Technorati announced a multi-picture deal today to add blogger comments to movie Web sites," beginning with "An Inconvenient Truth." The big question, of course, is how (and if) comments will be filtered.

Grady Hendrix at Kaiju Shakedown has some goood stuff on beef between Chris Doyle and Martin Scorsese regarding Scorsese’s impending "Infernal Affairs" remake "The Departed" (Doyle was the cinematographer and visual consultant for "Infernal Affairs).

At Slate, Mac Rogers reflects on the art of mauling films to fit the stage.

And at the Guardian, Mark Lawson writes about "The Da Vinci Code" and wonders "Has our culture now created a sort of genetically modified turkey – the critic-proof product?"

+ Cannes #6: Palme d’Odds (RogerEbert.com)
+ Cannes #7: A real movie (RogerEbert)
+ ‘Marie Antoinette’: Best or Worst of Times? (NY Times)
+ Thongs On Hairy Men Are Sexy (Just Jared)
+ Fortissimo Coming to America; Sony Classics Grabs Besson’s "Angel-A"; Picturehouse Goes For "La Vie En Rose"; and More (indieWIRE)
+ Cate Blanchett to play Bob Dylan in biopic (AP)
+ Get shorty (Guardian)
+ The Myth of Superman (Wired)
+ Bryan Singer & the Man of Steel (Wired)
+ Paramount + Technorati: Adding blogger comments to movie Web sites (CinemaTech)
+ From Screen to Stage (Slate)
+ Who cares what the reviews say? (Guardian)


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.


Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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GIFs via Giffy

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.


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.


Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!



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.


Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.


If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.