DID YOU READ

Odds: Tuesday – Festivals, films, what else?

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Attack of lamb.
Yesterday it announced that Brian De Palma‘s "The Black Dahlia" will premiere at Venice (via the AP). The full program will be announced later in the week. And Toronto continues to trickle out pieces of their program; they just announced the line-up for their Midnight Madness program. And it’s…a hell of a midnight program: The world premieres of "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" and Weta Workshopped New Zealand black comedy "Black Sheep," and the North American premieres of dark Danish animated film "Princess" and Bong Joon-ho‘s hotly anticipated Korean monster movie "The Host" are among the selections.

Speaking of the latter, star Song Kang-ho settles for a short Q&A at Chosun Ilbo before the film’s Korean theatrical premiere on the 27th:

Apparently you had qualms accepting the part even though Bong Joon-ho had directed you in "Memories of Murder" before?

I wouldn’t have appeared in the film if Bong hadn’t been the director, because I don’t like monster movies. When I first read the script at the planning stage, I wanted to refuse for the same reason I wanted to accept. The work felt unfamiliar and strange. That was the appeal of the movie for me.

At the Australian, Sandy George writes that "Jindabyne," the latest film from director Ray Lawrence of "Lantana," has "sold more cinema tickets on its opening weekend than any other Australian film this year…Per screen, the film earned $13,436, more than any Australian film since Lawrence’s previous film ‘Lantana’ in 2001."

The Guardian announces that Guy Ritchie‘s doing another gangster movie, which is almost retro-chic at this point. "The British film-maker is to direct ‘Static,’ the story of a wrongly imprisoned gangster who must testify against the bent cops who put him behind bars. Standing in the way to the courthouse, however, is an assortment of crooked policemen and rival criminals who’d rather he shut up." Ritchie’s last film, "Revolver," opened to brutal reviews in the UK and has no current prospects for US distribution.

The AP reports that Bruce Lee‘s family is planning to produce a film on the late martial arts star: "The Chinese news Web site Sina.com reported Sunday that Hong Kong comedian Stephen Chow of "Shaolin Soccer" fame is a likely lead actor and that the film is budgeted at $12.5 million, with filming possibly to start early next year."

Empire notes that Elisha Cuthbert has been cast to star in the "My Sassy Girl" remake, now being directed by Yann Samuell of the actually quite appropriately sadistic "Love Me If You Dare," which we find ourselves mysteriously mentioning twice in a row after not having thought about it since we first saw it ages ago.

In the New York Times Magazine, John Hodgman pays a long visit to the set of the Pang brothers first US film, "The Messengers," then muses about the changing nature of horror films:

Much hay has been made about the connection between the headiness of the horror market these days and the national mood after 9/11. And it is true that, between unrelenting natural disasters and the war on terror, we are feeling pretty jumpy. The last time we were this existentially freaked out as a nation was directly after Vietnam, when [Sam] Raimi and his colleagues were rewriting the rules of horror. Curiously, though, Hollywood’s remakes of those very films often turn them upside down: where the cannibal clan in "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" was a subversive distortion of the classic American family, its remake is not grueling but comforting, drenched in the sheen of big budgets and nostalgia. With few exceptions, we have given over the real scary questions to those who were not born here: Do you need to be threatened with certain death in order to at last appreciate life ("Saw")? Why go on living once your entire family has been killed ("The Hills Have Eyes")?

Perhaps because it is so difficult to face, we seem to be off-shoring our deepest fear, the creeping terror of the day: despite our rare and unusual power, what if we cannot stop the evil? What if we can’t win?

And at the Boston Globe, Don Aucoin wonders about the "terribly postmodern, and all terribly confusing" trend of remaking fairy tales with the villains as the good guys.


+ ‘Black Dahlia’ to open Venice film festival
(AP)
+ Prepare For Insomnia With The Return Of Midnight Madness (TIFF Official Site)
+ Song Kang-ho Conquers Fear of Monsters (Chosun Ilbo)
+ Local drama opens with strong showing (The Australian)
+ Ritchie continues criminal career (Guardian)
+ Kin plan to produce Bruce Lee bio-pic (AP)
+ Elisha Cuthbert Is My Sassy Girl (Empire)
+ The Haunting (NY Times Magazine)
+ Wicked makeovers (Boston Globe)

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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.