DID YOU READ

Small talk stinks.

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"HIM? You fell in love with a boy? That's silly."
Quotables from the latest round of interviews and profiles:

Woody Allen, with Sam Allis at the Boston Globe:

So there really is then, such a thing as a Woody Allen movie?

"I myself don’t think there is, but people will talk about my kind of movie and being able to identify it, and if they’re criticizing it they’ll say it has a sameness and if they like it they’ll say it’s an auteur movie.

"The truth of the matter is to me they’re all very different, but it’s like Chinese food. You can eat differently every night of the year in a Chinese restaurant but in the end it’s all Chinese food. . . You’re in the mood for it tonight or you’re not."

Luc Besson, with Wendy Ide in the London Times, on returning to directing after six years (with "Angel-A"):

"I believe in signals. You meet someone once, then the week after you meet them a second time. I like to believe in that, I don’t know if it is true. It was also a question of timing. It was a good moment for Jamel [Debbouze], he is a comic. He is known for that. But he was wounded when he was 13. (Debbouze has lost an arm.) He has all this pain inside him. And he starts to feel the desire to express it. Just once in a while to do something different and serious. And here I come, with a script that he loved."

Steve Carell, with Logan Hill in New York (and we’ve heard the dreaded E-word being attached to his performance in "Little Miss Sunshine" — yes, yes, EndOfYearBestOfList):

"Oh, I’m so Hollywoody now," he tells me. On Conan, he announced that he’s selling out with a sequel called "The 41-Year-Old Whore . . . It’ll be a hard X." "I’m a jerk," he told Matt Lauer. "I’m huge; I’ve totally changed."

Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland  (the directors of "Quinceañera"), with Margy Rochlin at the New York Times:

Recently it was reported that two backers of "Quinceañera" — Nicholas T. Boyias and Avi Raccah, both listed as executive producers — work behind the scenes in pornographic films. At the mention of this nugget of unintended publicity, Mr. Westmoreland’s quick smile faded a little, and his thin shoulders drooped. Then, he rallied.

"I call it my ‘Blue Period,’ " he said, crediting the four years he spent filming direct-to-video sex movies as a sort of renegade cinema school. "It was really like working on Roger Corman movies or being a B-movie director in the 40’s, where you get to write and direct very fast and practice your skills."

Keith Fulton, (co-director of the fantastically strange "Brothers of the Head" and, before that, "Lost in La Mancha") at indieWIRE:

What is your definition of "independent film"?

I think that this notion has become very difficult to define. It used to describe films that were made outside the studio system and without the same kinds of pressures that movies made within that system face. I think of Spike Lee‘s early films and Robert Rodriguez paying for everything with a credit card. Now it seems to me that the same pressures apply to so-called independent films to stack the cast with as many celebrities as you can get and with an equal number of executive producers. It sounds really hateful, but now I actually use the word "indie" as a negative. It usually means to me a family drama with the same actors who were in the last family drama with a title that sounds unusual but which will be explained by the time the film is over.

Sam Neill, with Chrissy Iley in the Guardian:

At the moment Neill is filming Henry VIII in Ireland – he plays Cardinal Wolsey. "The good thing about the part is I can put on as much weight as I like for reasons of historical veracity. It’s not hard in Ireland. The Guinness is so good. I see paintings of Wolsey and he really was a fat bastard, and conflicted. Dealing with the whims of a prince – it’s a man’s job."

François Ozon, with Ruthe Stein in the San Francisco Chronicle:

Ozon found his calling at age 16 when he confiscated the family’s Super-8 after deciding that his father was botching their home movies. One of Ozon’s first efforts depicts his brother killing their parents.

"My mother and father said, ‘OK, we’ll do it because we prefer you kill us in a film and not in reality.’ My mother was killed with poison and my father with a coffin on his face." It took some grilling to establish that he meant pillow. A coffin might have really done his dad in.

John C. Reilly, with Jacques Steinberg in the New York Times:

"…[P]eople ask me a lot, ‘What’s it feel like to be a character actor?’ I say that when I work, I always see my character as the main character in his life story, even if it’s a small part or a cameo.’"

"Then people ask me, do you ever want to be center stage?’" he said. "I don’t feel that way. But people say it. Should I?’"

Uma Thurman, with Gill Pringle in the Independent:

"I’ve been trying to do it [comedy] for 20 years and nobody would give me a job. I’ve always known I would be good at it if anybody would let me do it. I read scripts and I wanted to do them but they wouldn’t consider me – only other people that you know who do those kinds of movies all the time. I couldn’t even get auditions for certain things. So this is very exciting for me and I’m hoping that I can do more like this. Because actually this is much more fun for me and much closer to me and I’ve more to draw from playing quirky crazy girls obsessed with relationships than I do women who carry samurai swords."

+ For Woody Allen, the big picture involves maintaining autonomy (Boston Globe)
+ Is cool-hand Luc a hostage to success? (London Times)
+ Steve Carell’s Smokin’! (New York)
+ Keith Fulton, Co-Director of "Brothers of the Head" (indieWIRE)
+ Not Fat, Not Greek, Not a Wedding, but What a Party (NY Times)
+ Put it away, Sam…  (Guardian)
+ French connection (San Francisco Chronicle)
+ One of These Days Audiences May Remember John C. Reilly’s Name (NY Times)
+ Uma Thurman: Wonder woman (Independent)

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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.