DID YOU READ

The art of storming out.

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And below that - the Kevin Smith Vans of non-controversy.
So on top of that whole Joel Siegel storming out ignominy, we have Scott Foundas of the LA Weekly getting tossed from a "Clerks II" screening last week (he was allowed to see the film the next day and when going to to recount the incident in his review, responds with relative grace and, actually, quite likes the film) and David Poland announcing the fact that he was banned from advance screenings as well.

It’s not entirely surprising that Poland was banned by the thin-skinned Smith — the phrase that did it, from a review of the 2000 "Vulgar":

(P.S. I never noticed that Kevin Smith, who produced the film and cameos, has calves the size of a small Shetland Sheep Dog. I felt like I was watching an Incredible Hulk episode with David Banner’s calves caught mid-change.)

Okay, petty. But bouncing Foundas, one of the few truly smart and responsible critics out there today, because he didn’t like "Jersey Girl"? We can understand why studios have stopped screening certain titles for critics — advance reviews of "Snakes on a Plane" would do nothing for the film — but withholding a screening on the basis of past bad reviews is contrary to the whole idea of film criticism. And is just plain assholish (assholesque?). We still like Smith, but really — this is the time for you to suck it up and let people talks about your movie.

Of course, Smith posts his own response:

I can’t fault Mr. Siegel for feeling "revolted" (his producer’s description of Joel’s reaction) by our flick; in truth, there is a donkey show in it, and I recognize that brand of whimsy might not be for everybody. Film appreciation is very subjective, and maybe Joel just isn’t into ass-to-mouth conversations.

However, I CAN fault him for the manner in which he left the screening.

Apparently, rather than quietly exit, both Joel and his Cum-Catcher (my slang for the fancy kind of mustache he sports) made a big stink about walking out, calling as much attention to himself as possible, and being generally pretty disruptive.

Check this shit out: roughly forty minutes into the flick, when Randal orders up the third act donkey show, Siegel bellowed to his fellow critics "Time to go!" and "This is the first movie I’ve walked out of in 30 fucking years!"

Now, I don’t need Joel Siegel to suck my dick the way he apparently sucks M. Night’s, gushing over his flick before he’s even seen it; but shit, man – how about a little common fucking courtesy?

And Smith and Siegel talked it out (but failed to hug it out) on the radio the next day.

At the Guardian‘s blog, Xan Brooks writes:

This is an entertaining, likably ludicrous match-up: the irascible
critic versus the affronted film-maker. But who is in the right? On the
one hand you could argue that Siegel is guilty of boorish, showboating
behaviour, if not outright dereliction of duty. On the other you might
make a case that he is merely responding as a genuine film-going
enthusiast who isn’t afraid of voting with his feet. When critics hoot
and holler and storm out of those press screenings at Cannes, it is
generally regarded as a sign of how passionate, vibrant and healthy the
festival is. Why should Siegel’s reaction be any different? (Personally
I’m not convinced by this argument, but I raise it in the interest of
fairness.)

At Movie City Indie, Ray Pride points to Reid Rosefelt’s blog:

I have known Joel a long time and have always found him to be a courteous man who loves movies, but I think he crossed a line here. Not only don’t I think critics should raise a fuss at a screening, I think they have to watch the whole thing. Films often get better as they go along. One should never make a judgment until you see it all. At that point, critics can choose not to review the film (Siegel doesn’t review everything) or pan the film as harshly as they want. Watching bad movies is very taxing, but that’s the film critic’s job. If they don’t like it, they should take up something less stressful, like working 24/7 as a hospital surgeon.

Having attended press screenings of all sizes, we have to say that while we think Siegel’s exit was remarkably rude, we’d be thrilled to see such signs of life in what are typically brisk and dour affairs. Imagine — someone angrily walking out! You’re far more likely to see this one: An attendee checks in, grabs press notes, and then leans in, maybe going for the we’re-all-in-this-crazy-biz-together arm touch: "And…how long is this one? Only 87 minutes? Oh, bless you."

Meanwhile, the Chicago Sun-Times reports that Roger Ebert, who so effortlessly smacked down Vincent Gallo when the actor/filmmaker got all uppity following "The Brown Bunny"‘s premiere, is on the mend, despite a line-up of guest critics pinch-hitting for him on "Ebert & Roeper": "Ebert added, ‘Don’t get too used to these guest co-hosts because I’ll be back in the balcony before you know it.’"

+ Dear Kevin (LA Weekly)
+ Kevin Smith Will Be 36 Years Old In Twelve Days (The Hot Blog)
+ A Dick in a Mustache is Still Just a Dick (Updated with Sound Clip!!!) (Silent Bob Speaks)
+ Critic, shut your mouth (Guardian)
+ The cricket ticket: Joel Siegel evokes a Kael tale; ALSO: Foundas’ Clerks II ejection (wiith love to come) (Movie City Indie)
+ Ebert on the mend (RogerEbert.com)

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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.