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DID YOU READ

“It’s the only disease, Mr. Thompson, that you don’t look forward to being cured of.”

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"Blowup"-style.So the rumors are that 71-year-old Sophia Loren posed either nude, or semi-nude, or nothing of the sort for the 2007 edition of the exclusive Pirelli Calendar. Via Reuters:

A picture of Loren’s shoot that ran in Milan’s Corriere della Sera newspaper showed her in lingerie under a bed sheet with two photographers standing over her.

Despite Pirelli’s denials that Loren posed nude, Italian personalities have felt compelled to comment on the idea.

"Sophia Loren is an icon, she is an eternal woman. She can do anything," actress Valeria Marini told Corriere della Sera on Wednesday.

At the Guardian, Zoe Williams and Katharine Whitehorn weigh in. Williams grumbles about the compulsive feminist/political intentions attached to such a move:

People Magazine called her, in 1999, "one of the world’s most stunning and age-resistant women". Really, from a feminist or indeed any point of view, this stuff is irrelevant, but I liked that last, it makes her sound like a tin of Ronseal (does she also resist rain? How is she in other weather conditions?) Female nudity (which my prudish spellcheck just tried to change to "untidy", how weird) tends to generate conclusions that spin way beyond its significance.

Whitehorn notes that while Loren still looks stunning, the world tends not to be well-disposed towards others above a certain age looking to flaunt their goods:

[I]n Italy, a few years ago, some eccentric man suggested that older women should be banned from going topless on the beach, on the grounds that they looked awful – what he got, as I recall, was the appropriate response from women that men with pot bellies should not appear, on the beach or anywhere else, ever, in swimming trunks.

In the Independent, David Thomson writes an ode to another aging iconic beauty, Charlotte Rampling:

In what has always been an unpredictable career, nothing has been as surprising or as welcome as her recent emergence in modest French films as a woman of her own age, with a sex life and romantic longings as steady as those of, say, Kate Bosworth. Just more interesting.

And at the New York Times, Stephen Farber discusses how the 50+ age bracket has traditionally been totally ignored by Hollywood, but that niche films, including "Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont,"  "Boynton Beach Club," and "Ladies in Lavender," have had great success targeting older viewers.

But of course, we’re all about youth, youth, youth these days. Many are reading this year’s list of 120 invitees to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as an attempt at bringing the average AMPAS age down from geriatric levels — it includes Dakota Fanning (!), the "Brokeback" boys, Amy Adams, Keira Knightley and Joaquin Phoenix, along with relative fogies Werner Herzog and Hayao Miyazaki. A neat list, though we doubt it’s going to bring young’uns rushing back to watch the Oscar broadcast.

+ Sophia Loren poses for Pirelli Calendar (Reuters)
+ Body politics (Guardian)
+ Old age exposed (Guardian)
+ It took her 60 years to get there, but Charlotte has reached her prime (Independent)
+ Hollywood Awakens to the Geriatric Demographic (NY Times)
+ Out with the ‘old guys’ as Academy woos Ledger and Gyllenhaal (Guardian)

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.