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DID YOU READ

The boys.

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"There's no more surprises."
At the Washington Post, Ellen McCarthy comes up with an amusingly hostile piece on "The Last Kiss" based around a phoner with Casey Affleck. Someone was not fond of the film, we take it?

"I think one of the issues is, how do you make a relationship work when you didn’t have any role models? A lot of people from our generation — their parents are divorced and their friends’ parents are divorced," he says. "And if you never saw a couple make it work, what guide do you have?"

Hmmmm. That’s interesting. Blame the folks who brought you into this world.

Meanwhile, Janice Page at the Boston Globe has an interview entitled "So how adorable is Zach Braff?" that’s studded with moments that lead us to assume "Not as much as he thinks he is."

"You can’t be fully in [a relationship] if there’s baggage," Braff says. "Even at the cost of losing the love of his life, [Michael] chooses his integrity, and I think that’s what buys the character back."

But isn’t there always baggage in a relationship?

"There’s always baggage. But there’s large baggage and then there’s carry-ons," the performer quips.

In the New York Observer, Sara Vilkomerson is the latest to add herself to the "Borat" media love-pile (a side effect of an otherwise apparently disappointing Toronto). She recounts the premiere that wasn’t:

So just to see a bunch of screaming fans who wouldn’t recognize—or care about—the influence of Truffaut if it fell from a burning, metaphor-laden sky is a happy novelty for a film festival. And all for a movie that will be equally dismissed as a cerebral retread of Jackass territory and celebrated as a vehicle for the first truly dangerous comedy since Andy Kaufman. Like South  Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone, [Sacha] Baron Cohen creates comedy that refuses to be co-opted by the political right, left or middle.

Well, perhaps — but that hasn’t stopped people from trying. We have our own reading of the Borat character, but we’ll save it for when we’ve seen the film.

Paige Ferrari has an ode to Gael Garcia Bernal at MSNBC:

Bernal specializes in grit and gravitas, not rescuing people from invading spaceships, sucking snakes out of planes, or hunting down bad guys as a cop with a temper.  His characters do not always get the girl.  Often, they make us squirm in our seats.  But no matter how taboo a film’s subject, Bernal’s characters are always fascinatingly human — flawed, seeking redemption.  Who cares if we relate? We find it nearly impossible to look away.

And some typical Gondryisms from the director in Lynn Hirschberg‘s New York Times Magazine profile:

"When I first moved to America, in 1997,” Gondry told me one morning this summer, “I understood one word out of 10. So I would recreate whatever was said based on those few words…It was even worse with music,” he continued, as he perched on a makeshift desk in a corner of the dimly lighted sound stage. “When I first started making videos, I didn’t understand the English lyrics. So I looked at the rhythms, and I replicated an abstraction, which made my videos closer to what the musicians usually meant in the beginning. I could never be exact in my work, and that was a good thing.”

Some typical Jet Li-isms from G. Allen Johnson interview with the actor for the San Francisco Chronicle:

"When they translate ‘wushu’ into English, they call it martial arts," Li explains. "But if you translate it from Chinese, it is from two words: ‘stop.’ ‘war.’ You can expand it to ‘stop fighting.’ So I took a (historical) martial artist’s life and put my beliefs, my story into the film to talk about not just physical, but also mental philosophy about how to be a martial artist.

"Who’s your enemy? Who’s the most dangerous enemy in your life? I believe it’s myself. I am fighting myself. The enemy is not from outside, but inside."

At the New York Times, Terrence Rafferty pens a fairly nice piece in praise of the action star that does contain this clunker: "Except for the violence, what Mr. Li does is ballet," a comparison that should have been laid to rest after that great exchange in "Irma Vep."

In an interview from last week with Mark Bell at Film Threat, Richard Kelly tried to clarify or at least control the "Southland Tales" talk:

People have taken a rumor about the editorial situation of the film and kind of blown it out of proportion, that you’re unhappy. What’s the real situation?
Well, the real situation is that everything’s great. Sony bought the film right after the Cannes Film Festival and there was some old quote that was taken out-of-context and made in passing about how there was something bad happening with the film, and quoted as being recent news. But actually everything is great. I’m almost done with my final cut of the film. It looks like they’re setting a release date and we’re going to have a great release for the film. I’m actually incredibly happy to have had the extra time, breathing room, to finish it. You know, it’s been a long haul with this movie and so the film is in the best possible shape I think it’s ever been in, and I think it’s been like a Rubix cube, and I just needed time to solve it, and I’ve definitely solved it. Just exciting to finally show a trailer to people, just get the concept of the film out there, have them advertise and market it. It couldn’t be better, I couldn’t be happier. I think I’ve been fortunate to finally land at a big studio and have them kind of take me in and say "we believe in this film, and we’re going to let you finish it" and so… keeping my fingers crossed. You never know until that weekend, but so far it’s been amazing so, yeah, that article was, unfortunately, not accurate. It was old information and old out-of-context information. It’s all good.

Hmmm.

+ ‘Last Kiss’: Love in the Time Of Cynicism and Divorce (Washington Post)
+ So how adorable is Zach Braff? (Boston Globe)
+ A Star Is Borat (NY Observer)
+ Is America ready for Gael Garcia Bernal? (MSNBC)
+ Le Romantique (NY Times Magazine)
+ ‘Fearless’ Li Moves On (San Francisco Chronicle)
+ Exit Kicking: Jet Li’s Martial Arts Swan Song (NY Times)
+ HOW THE WORLD ENDS: CONVERSATION WITH RICHARD KELLY (Film Threat)

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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.