DID YOU READ

“It’s not like I’m hanging out in a cave”: Binoche, Burton and other interviews.

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Ballon rouge.
Juliette Binoche talks to Esther Addley in the Guardian:

She has just finished a film called Orsay, with the Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien, which was fully improvised. "Before a shot you don’t know where the camera is going to shoot and you don’t know where you are supposed to be in the room. There’s no mark, and you don’t have the dialogue written." That kind of challenge is "now such a need for me as an actress. It becomes so much more [about] making movies out of trust and not out of fear. Because you have to trust that it’s going to happen, the impossible is going to happen." She leans out of her chair and reaches for a terribly French, skinny white cigarette. "Is it OK if I …"

Tim Burton, discussing the 3-D release of "The Nightmare Before Christmas" with Catherine Phelp in the London Times, dwells on his Burbank childhood:

“There are a lot of projects that explore the dark side of suburbia and there is a reason for it because there is a dark side,” Burton continues. “It’s got that mask of normalcy which is truly disturbing.” Not something of which Burton himself could be accused. If anything, it is his mask that is abnormal, the side he likes to project, with his black outfits and his wild mop of black hair. That, and the gothic preoccupations of his films, the skeleton imagery and obsessions with Frankenstein myths and the afterlife, have all conspired to give him the reputation of being “dark”. Has he grown tired of that oft-repeated epithet? “Yeah, because it’s obviously not true,” he sighs. “Really. I could come out in a light-blue leisure suit and it still wouldn’t change people’s take on you. We all have our moments of depression or darkness but it’s not like I’m hanging out in a cave.”

Penélope Cruz is profiled by the LA TimesJosh Kun:

"I’m really glad that people prefer it when I do characters like Raimunda," she says. "I just love that woman. I have seen those women, who could easily become victims but refuse to do that. She goes through things that could have destroyed anyone but she keeps fighting because her daughter needs her to survive. I know women like that. So you forget about yourself because you are playing a woman who is actually an hommage to all those women who have survived. They are very special people, and I wanted to give her that dignity."

Salon‘s Amy Benfer reinterviews Daniel "Lemony Snicket" Handler,  who just closed out his "Unfortunate Events" series.

In our last interview, you said you hoped the books would be made
into a "live action, mock Gothic, dismal musical." That doesn’t seem to
describe the Jim Carrey version.

One of my least favorite
moments in making that movie, actually, was toward the end. It was all
done. But there was an opportunity to put Stephin Merritt‘s songs in
the closing credits. I thought that would be cool. I sent the producers
these new copies of these songs. They would say, "Oh that’s a great
idea!" Then I would never hear back. The next time they would not
remember any of the conversation they’d had previously. But then they
were in the room with me; I had my iPod and I set it up to play the
songs. They were so impressed by my speakers — it was the dawn of iPod
speakers — that the conversation ended up being about them. It was at
that moment that I realized the songs would not be used.

Isabelle Huppert, talking with Geoffrey Macnab at the Independent, discusses the bellyflopping of "Heaven’s Gate":

The film, now acknowledged by many as a masterpiece, was panned, and Huppert’s chances of international stardom were nipped in the bud. "The rejection of the film was in a way political," she says. "It was a rejection of the film’s themes. It was too harsh a criticism of the States. It was an anti-Western."

Sorina Diaconescu chats with "Babel"‘s Rinko Kikuchi at the LA Times:

She attended a school for the hearing-impaired to bone up on sign language until her command became strong enough to allow for a natural rapport with her non-professional, deaf-mute costars — especially Yuko Murata, who plays her best friend in the film. "It’s very strange, but when I’m around deaf people, [signing] now comes naturally," Kikuchi said. Eventually, her determination and insistence on inhabiting the part completely won Iñárritu over. "I was always Chieko, even off the set," she said. "I dressed like a teenager and I tried to use sign language all the time. It was hard in a way — but I always found some pleasure in it."

Im Sang Soo talks to Philip Brasor in the Japan Times at Pusan about "The President’s Last Bang":

"To me, they’re all yakuza. All the people in the film, all the people in that government. Pure yakuza." The director, however, points out that he doesn’t like gangster movies and, in fact, insists he’s never even seen a yakuza film. "But I know the style."

And Richard Owen in the London Times interviews Shane Meadows about his latest film,  skinhead drama "This is England," drawn from his own childhood experiences:

The film distinguishes between the original reggae-loving skinhead gangs and the politically extreme groups that followed them — a “ready-made army, easy prey”. The first-generation skinheads, Meadows says, were white and black kids who sought work in factories and shipyards and were united in a love of Jamaican music.

“The message was not so much anti-immigrant as anti-Thatcher. It was incredibly arrogant, of course. We were basically saying, ‘Maggie Thatcher, you run the country how you like, but we’re going to run our town the way we like’. It wasn’t true, but it felt true at the time.”

+ The crying game (Guardian)
+ Sweet side of the dark one (London Times)
+ Woman on the verge (LA Times)
+ An unfortunate demise (Salon)
+ Isabelle Huppert: Mystery and imagination (Independent)
+ The universal language of ‘Babel’ (LA Times)
+ Im Sang Soo: Unloading both barrels at the president (Japan Times)
+ Oi! Who are you calling a luvvie? (London Times)

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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.