DID YOU READ

Talky thing, ain’t ya?

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No, you can't keep it.
Plowing through several days worth of interviews and profiles, the lazy way:

Byambasuren Davaa (director of "The Story of the Weeping Camel" and the more recent "The Cave of the Yellow Dog"), chatting with the London TimesWendy Ide:

Davaa took a crew of just six people to Mongolia, interviewing each in depth to avoid the problems she faced on her first film when she discovered that she had inadvertently employed a vegetarian, which is "suicide" in Mongolia. "I picked the team very carefully and tried to make them adapt and integrate into the culture of the Mongolian nomads. I intended from the beginning that the crew should be very small so that they could build a close relationship with the family."

The inescapable Johnny Depp, talking with the Telegraph‘s John Hiscock:

The notion of playing Hamlet has also been in the back of his mind ever since Marlon Brando suggested he should do it a decade or so ago. "Marlon wanted me to escape movies for a while," he says, slipping into a spot-on Brando impersonation: ‘Take a year off. Go on. Study Shakespeare.’

"So it’s one of the things that keep ricocheting around in my head. He told me that by the time he had got to the point where he felt he could do Hamlet, it was too late. So he said, ‘Do it now, do it while you can.’

"And I would like to do it – although it’s one of the more frightening ideas I’ve had. I think as an actor it is good to feel the fear of failing miserably. I think you should take that risk. Fear is a necessary ingredient in everything I do.

"But if I do Hamlet it will probably be in a small theatre on a small stage and it will have to be very, very soon because I’m getting a little long in the tooth for it."

Michel Gondry, on "The Science of Sleep" with James Mottram at the Independent:

There’s no doubt as to why [Charlotte] Gainsbourg feels the film is "close to" [Charlie] Kaufman‘s work, a comparison that sees Gondry screw up his pale face. "Why would she say that?" he sniffs, half-joking. "I’m going to call her and complain." With his curly brown hair, checked shirt and soft manner, Gondry rather resembles his erstwhile scribe. Slightly exasperated, he concedes they share some sensibilities. "Maybe, we have in common certain negative feelings," he says, "and some feelings about relationships and emotion."

A charmingly odd Naomie Harris, with Stuart Husband in the Observer:

‘On ‘Miami Vice,’ Michael [Mann] kept saying, whatever you need, you can have,’ she says. ‘Like, do you think it would help your research to fly to Ghana and meet some tribal leader? The budget was bottomless.’ Harris settled for heading off to the Bronx and training with the Drug Enforcement Agency. ‘I learnt to fire machine guns and went out on an actual drug baron arrest,’ she says incredulously.

Richard Linklater on "A Scanner Darkly," with Peter Howell at the Toronto Star:

He has no illusions about the box office potential of what he calls "this weird little indie film." "Scanner" is opening against "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest," the Johnny Depp-starring blockbuster sequel that could well have one of the biggest openings in history. Linklater sees "Scanner" as counter-programming for brainy film buffs, who may need to see it two or three times to get what it’s all about.

And if people leave the theatre feeling completely bummed about the future of humanity, that’s okay by him. "Sometimes it’s just what the doctor ordered," he says of the negativity.

D.A. Pennebaker, talking "Monterey Pop" with the San Francisco Chronicle‘s John Clark:

Q: Were you approached about shooting Woodstock?

A: Over and over. Not because I was such a fantastic filmmaker but because hardly anyone had made a film like that. One of the reasons I avoided Woodstock was because I didn’t want to get enmeshed in huge numbers of people. Hanging around it were all of these people who were out to make money. What I considered to be the good managers of the good groups were not going to be in it. Albert (Grossman) wasn’t going to let Dylan go there, or the Band. I thought the music wasn’t going to be good, so I didn’t want to get into it at all.

The great (and old) Seijun Suzuki, with the Guardian‘s Steve Rose:

Suzuki expresses surprise at the regard with which he is now held by the younger film-making generation. When Jim Jarmusch met him a few years after paying homage to him in "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai," he described him as "amazing" and likened him to a Japanese Sam Fuller, but the respect hardly seems to have been mutual. "I told him I liked his film, but I said it wasn’t really good for a character to die on the street," says Suzuki. "For us Japanese, the place of death is very important, but what could I do? This is American culture."

Wim Wenders, talking to Stephanie Bunbury at The Age about America:

"This hostile takeover by the religious right has created an unpleasant climate," he says. "It makes you feel like you want to scratch yourself all the time."

+ Steppes back in time (London Times)
+ Truly, madly, Depply (Telegraph)
+ Michel Gondry: No more the dreamer (Telegraph)
+ Miami Nice (Observer)
+ Linklater’s Dark Place (Toronto Star)
+ SPEAKING OF DVDS: D.A. PENNEBAKER (SF Chronicle)
+ Man on the Moon (Guardian)
+ Where whim wanders (The Age)

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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.