Odds: Thursday – Verhoeven and von Trier.

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"Schindler's List" meets "Showgirls"?
Another quiet day.

Via Gregg Goldstein at the Hollywood Reporter, Sony Pictures Classics has picked up the North American rights to Paul Verhoeven‘s World War II drama "Black Book (Zwartboek)":

The film was roundly ridiculed among distributors at the Toronto International Film Festival as "‘Schindler’s List’ meets ‘Showgirls’" (the latter film, another type of camp drama, was notoriously directed by Verhoeven). Scenes often cited include the Jewish female lead character graphically dyeing her pubic hair blonde to infiltrate the Nazi party as a member of the resistance, captors dumping a vat of dung on her and several ribald sexual encounters. The bad word-of-mouth was turned around a bit by some positive reviews and the Netherlands selection of the film as its official foreign language entry for this year’s Academy Awards.

Actually, most of the reviews we saw were good, including those in the trades. S’truth, we’d much rather see "Schindler’s List" meets "Showgirls."

Via AFP, Lars von Trier‘s latest film "The Boss of it All" will have its world premiere at the Copenhagen international film festival. It is a Dogme film (how late 90s!).

Via Borys Kit at the Hollywood Reporter, Jesse Bradford will play the male lead in Yann Samuell‘s "My Sassy Girl" remake — Elisha Cuthbert has already been cast as the female lead.

Via the Guardian, Lee Jun-Ik‘s "The King and the Clown" will be the South Korean submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar:

The Korean Film Council said it picked Lee’s film over Time by Kim Ki-duk because it believed that the comedy would have a better chance of winning an Oscar nomination than Kim’s drama about a woman who resorts to plastic surgery to keep her relationship going.


For reasons unclear (but somehow charitable) Leonardo DiCaprio shares his list of "The ten best movies" in the Independent. Surprisingly stodgy, though nothing embarrassing except how clearly they broadcast the fact that he didn’t write the rest of the copy himself.

David M. Halbfinger at the New York Times puts the gold lipstick on and plants a big Oscary kiss on Clint Eastwood‘s "Flags of Our Fathers":

A big, booming spectacle that sprawls across oceans and generations, “Flags of Our Fathers,” which opens on Oct. 20, was anything but a simple undertaking. With much of film following the surviving flag raisers as they crisscross the country in the spring and summer of 1945 pitching war bonds for a government in desperate financial straits, it is neither a pure war movie nor, given its sweeping and harrowing combat sequences, merely a wartime drama. It examines the power of a single image to affect not only public opinion but also the outcome of a war, — whether in 1945, in Vietnam or more recently.

Neala Johnson interviews Cillian Murphy about "The Wind That Shakes The Barley" and his one-time career as a rhythm guitarist in the Herald Sun.

The New York PressEric Kohn gets the cover story on Michel Gondry:

“I basically grew up worshiping surrealism,” he says, citing the capricious style of directors Luis Buñuel and Jean Vigo as central aesthetic influences. He technically contributed to Vigo’s infectious 1934 romance L’Atalante, Gondry’s favorite film. The DVD features a colorful, simplistic, chalky sketch of the title cruise ship and the story’s fictional couple that Gondry drew for a freelance gig in 1991 (without a byline). “I was not working at the time,” Gondry says. “I’m not so proud of it, but it was a privilege.”

And, before we run off to see "Volver," a moment for James Christopher‘s zero-out-of-five star review of "Dirty Sanchez," the film spin-off of a series that seems to have aspirations towards being a more sadistic "Jackass," just because no one can do disgust quite like the British:

Dirty Sanchez: The Movie is the most tasteless, bankrupt, execrable and pointless piece of cinema yet made. Lord knows why Pathé is distributing this monstrous rubbish, in cahoots with MTV Europe and Vertigo.

It’s debatable whether it’s actually a film at all. Four male delinquents, most of whom hail from South Wales, perform a series of puerile sado-masochistic stunts which only a zombie would find hilarious. They stick fish-hooks through their penises, shoot pellets at each other at point-blank range, spit in each other’s mouths, eat frozen faeces, drink vomit, superglue their nostrils, and staple their tongues to restaurant tables. What larks.

We hear Sony Pictures Classics is dabbling with the edgy — this could be a prime acquisition.

+ SPC books rights to Verhoeven’s WWII drama ‘Black’ (Hollywood Reporter)
+ World premiere for Lars von Trier’s new film in Copenhagen (AFP)
+ Bradford has eyes for "Sassy" remake (Reuters)
+ South Korea rests Oscar hope on gay-themed film (Guardian)
+ Leonardo DiCaprio: The ten best movies (Independent)
+ The Power of an Image Drives Film by Eastwood (NY Times)
+ Wind talker (Herald Sun)
+ Dirty Sanchez: The Movie (London Times)


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…


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.


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 ’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?”


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).



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.


And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.


Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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GIFs via Giffy

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.


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.


Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!



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.


Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.


If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.