DID YOU READ

Your Adequacy.

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The man who would have been president.
Tired and under the weather last week, we skipped a screening of Davis Guggenheim‘s "An Inconvenient Truth," grumbling something about the doc being presented to the public as the equivalent of "cinematic spinach" (and the counter of how many people have "pledged to see the truth" at the top of the official site ain’t helping that impression). Andrea Meyer, one of IFC News writers, tossed that back in our face with a piece that is entirely a direct appeal to the public to see the film. Now, in light of that and other recent press, we stand thoroughly chastised…yes, "An Inconvenient Truth" is Very Important, and we didn’t go, and we Feel Bad. Honestly. Those are not capitalizations of irony.

And see the company we’ve unknowingly kept? James Gerstenzang in the LA Times:

President Bush had a two-word response when he was asked Monday whether he would see Al Gore‘s documentary on global warming.

"Doubt it," the president said during an appearance before the National Restaurant Assn. in Chicago.

And there’s already controversy: via Ray Pride at Movie City Indie, this item from ThinkProgress.org:

Sterling Burnett is a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, an organization that has received over $390,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998… On Fox, Burnett compared [Gore’s] movie… to watching a movie by Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels to learn about Nazi Germany… "That’s the problem. If I thought Al Gore’s movie was as you like to say, fair and balanced, I’d say, everyone should go see it. But why go see propaganda? You don’t go see Joseph Goebbels’ films to see the truth about Nazi Germany. You don’t go see Al Gore’s films to see the truth about global warming," Mr. Burnett asserts. "Burnett recently wrote an editorial defending former Exxon CEO Lee Raymond’s lavish compensation (which amounted to $190,000 a day in 2005). He failed to mention his financial connection to the company."

Oof for just the Goebbels reference alone! Elsewhere, as Linda Feldmann at the Christian Science Monitor writes that the doc, in which Gore apparently comes across as both funny and personable (if only! 2000!) "has set political tongues to wagging: Will he run for president again?" On the wires today, Gore’s said no. Well, no-ish.

"I have no plans to be a candidate, and no intention of being a candidate," Gore said in the interview broadcast on NBC’s "Today" show. But he added: "I’ve said I’m not at the stage of my life where I’m going to say never in the rest of my life will I ever think about such a thing."

David Poland‘s of the spinach argument: "Castor Oil is good for you (I hope), but that doesn’t make it taste any better. McDonald’s is bad for you, but that doesn’t make a large order of fries hot out of the animal fat any less delicious." At Slate, Gregg Easterbrook is inclined to agree he also writes that "The picture the movie paints is always worst-case scenario. Considering the multiple times Gore has given his greenhouse slide show (he says "thousands"), it’s jarring that the movie was not scrubbed for factual precision." He goes on to point out places where the film diverges from the scientific consensus, and wonders at the need for "disaster-movie speculation" when "the science-consensus forecast about sea-level rise is plenty bad enough." And Amanda Griscom Little at Salon looks in at the bipartisan Alliance for Climate Protection.

In an great post, AJ Schnack at All These Wonderful Things wonders if "what is essentially a multimedia lecture writ large can draw the audiences that Morgan Spurlock and Michael Moore have with their serio-comic muckraking or whether the public will view this as little more than a politico’s ego trip." He sums up much of the advance buzz on the film, and muses on how it will translate into ticket sales.

But enough of all this — to the reviews!

A.O. Scott in the New York Times: "[Gore] speaks of the need to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions as a ‘moral imperative,’ and most people who see this movie will do so out of a sense of duty, which seems to me entirely appropriate. Luckily, it happens to be a well-made documentary, edited crisply enough to keep it from feeling like 90 minutes of C-Span and shaped to give Mr. Gore’s argument a real sense of drama. As unsettling as it can be, it is also intellectually exhilarating, and, like any good piece of pedagogy, whets the appetite for further study. This is not everything you need to know about global warming: that’s the point. But it is a good place to start, and to continue, a process of education that could hardly be more urgent. ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ is a necessary film."

Rob Nelson at the Village Voice: "[W]henever Guggenheim departs from the show-and-tell to sketch the speaker’s motives, the film makes for compelling psychobiography despite the fact that Gore, stiff as an air-conditioned breeze at the Four Seasons, isn’t the least bit compelling himself."

David Edelstein at New York: " ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ is one of the most realistic documentaries I’ve ever seen—and, dry as it is, one of the most devastating in its implications. See it with your kids—and watch closely to see who attacks it and on what grounds. I differ with Gore only on his optimism. ‘Political will is a renewable resource,’ he says. There’s no accounting for people’s nutty faith."

Andrew O’Hehir at Salon: "I’d like to believe that a public figure can speak truth at this level — including the discourse-rotting fact that politicians of both parties are so stuffed with corporate money that they’ve preferred to ignore this issue — while remaining politically viable. But I’m not sure that’s possible now, if it ever was. Gore speaks hopefully of a time when America, by far the most wasteful nation in the world and the biggest contributor to global warming, will face this potentially devastating crisis with a little forthright Yankee techno-ingenuity. But that day, he admits, has not come yet and may not come soon."

+ COMMENTARY: See This Movie, Dammit! "An Inconvenient Truth" (IFC News)
+ President Doubts He’ll See Gore Film (LA Times)
+ An Inconvenient Truth: ExxonMobil has paid crickets comparing Al Gore to Nazis (Movie City Indie)
+ Gore back in the limelight, and setting off a buzz (Christian Science Monitor)
+ Gore limits campaigning to climate change (AP)
+ May 24, 2006 (The Hot Blog)
+ The moral flaws of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. (Slate)
+ "Global warming kills" (Salon)
+ Is Gore’s "Truth" the Next Doc Hit?
(All These Wonderful Things)
+ Warning of Calamities and Hoping for a Change in ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ (NY Times)
+ Fahrenheit 2050 (Village Voice)
+ Devastating in Its Implications (New York)
+ Hurricane Al (Salon)

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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.