DID YOU READ

Odds: Wednesday – Lhomme and “The Long Goodbye.”

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"It is a cult film known by the happy few, but not the happy many."
At our own IFC News, Dan Persons talks with "Army of Shadows" cinematographer Pierre Lhomme (who also supervised restoration of the new 35mm print currently playing at Film Forum) about returning to the film and about working with director Jean-Pierre Melville:

He said, "Mr. Lhomme, would you please come into the car?" So I went into the car, and he then he drove me to his home, just like in a thriller. And he immediately spoke to me of cinema. He was fond of cinema; he was speaking always of cinema, nothing else. And he spoke to me mostly of skin tone. I was so surprised. He told me, "I appreciated a lot the skin tone of your last film." No one had told me that before! But I understood afterwards that the skin tone was extremely important to him in this film, that he wanted pale, he would reject all those warm colors on the skin.

At RogerEbert.com, Ebert discusses Robert Altman‘s "The Long Goodbye," our favorite Chandler adaptation because it’s so brilliantly off (though we love the kitsch value of "Lady in the Lake" too — "M*G*M presents a Revolutionary motion picture; the most amazing since Talkies began! YOU and ROBERT MONTGOMERY solve a murder mystery together!").

Samantha Culp has a dispatch and images from the Hong Kong International Film Festival (including one of a tragically orange Louis Koo) at her blog.

At Kaiju Shakedown, Grady Hendrix offers up more of this year’s New York Asian Film Festival line-up — yes! "Ski Jumping Pairs: Road to Torino 2006"!

At the Guardian, Stewart Lee pens an ode to the truly terrible film:

The fact is that truly bad films, like undercover SAS men, hide in plain sight. In the 1950s and 60s we knew them by their bad plotting, bad dialogue, bad acting and low production values. Now those same faults are concealed by big budgets, professional production values, star names and skillful marketing campaigns. Peter Biskind, in his book "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls," cites "Jaws" as the moment where B-movie aesthetics went overground on major motion picture budgets.

Via Gina Keating at Reuters, the AMC theater chain has announced that it will be devoting 72 screens in 39 domestic markets to art-house fare:

AMC, the No. 2 U.S. movie theater chain, said at least one screen in dedicated theaters would show only art house and specialty films under a program dubbed "AMC Select" starting this weekend.

Among the first titles to be offered are the Al Gore documentary "An Inconvenient Truth"; "Little Miss Sunshine," starring Steve Carell and Greg Kinnear; and "A Prairie Home Companion" with Lindsay Lohan.

Well, what’d you expect, "Sátántangó"?

At Wired News, Jason Silverman chats with Daniel Clowes about "Art School Confidential."

And at The Age, Hassan Fattah reports on "Keif al-Hal ( How’s It Going?)," the first feature film from Saudi Arabia, a country where there are no legal movie theaters.

+ Q&A: Pierre Lhomme Returns to "Army of Shadows" (IFC News)
+ The Long Goodbye (1973) (RogerEbert.com)
+ Dihnyingjit
(New Territories)
+ NEW YORK ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL LINE-UP 2006 (Kaiju Shakedown)
+ Give me Godzilla any day (Guardian)
+ AMC to devote some screens to art-house films (Reuters)
+ Daniel Clowes Talks Confidential (Wired News)
+ First Saudi film shows real-life drama (The Age)

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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.