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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 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
+ 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)


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.


Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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GIFs via Giphy

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:


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.


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!


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.


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.



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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GIFs via Giphy

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.”


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. 


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.