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DID YOU READ

“Time to Leave.”

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"It's good to tell the truth, isn't it?"
Romain, the center of François Ozon‘s "Time to Leave," is given the best gift a fictional character could wish for: the opportunity to die, elegantly, in CinemaScope. We’re scarcely into the film when we learn alongside him that he’s got a terminal brain tumor. He refuses chemotherapy, seeing it as futile, and instead heads off to take a wrecking ball to his life — lashing out at his sister, breaking up with his boyfriend, quitting his job as a rising fashion photographer — before finally coming to terms with himself. The film is a kind of backward portrait, in which at first we’re left to deduce who Romain is, or was, by the damage he does, by the people who are left bewildered by his inexplicable behavior. The only one he confides in is his grandmother, played by Jeanne Moreau (pushing 80 and still a redoubtable presence), because, as he tells her with cruel honesty, "You’re like me. You’ll be dying soon."

"Time to Leave" is also the most arty of guilty pleasures, a decadent and moving melodrama in which someone folds up the loose ends of his life like a blanket to be tucked away — the feel-good death film of the summer. Played by Melvil Poupaud, Romain is an unearthly beauty for whom dying only seems to highlight his bone structure and bring out an inner luminescence. Ozon’s has never been one for gritty realism, and he claims Douglas Sirk as his inspiration for "Time to Leave," which may explain some of the film’s overtly cinematic loveliness. At times it’s in line with what’s happening on screen — as if life becomes sharper and brighter once you learn you’ll soon part ways with it — and other times it’s a distancing distraction, as are watery-eyed scenes of Romain envisioning his moppet-like childhood self. A dying man entitled to a little self-contemplation, but must it be so literal?

Two scenes stand out: in the first, Romain feels freed, as his father (Daniel Duval) drives him home, to ask difficult questions about family issues they’d always skirted around before, and his father replies with weary and heartbreaking candor. In the second, a waitress (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, from "5×2") approaches Romain in a rest stop restaurant. She will, later in the film, give him the opportunity to father a child, an offer that’s preposterous while also being necessary — the final signpost on Romain’s journey from self-loathing. But for now she simply drawn to him, and sits down with him at the table, a question hovering at her lips, even as he confesses to her that "I’m not a nice person." It’s an odd and exquisite little moment in the slanting afternoon sun in which the film almost stills — but Romain has places to go, and so it ends.

Opens in New York on July 14.

+ "Time to Leave" (Strand Releasing)

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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.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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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:

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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SO EXCITED!!!

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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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.”

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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. 

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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.