Odds: Monday – The inescapable Borat, Bollywood, Bowie.

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In the biz: Borys Kit at the Hollywood Reporter writes that "Universal Pictures has won the intense bidding war for ‘Bruno,’ Sacha Baron Cohen‘s follow-up movie to ‘Borat.’" Universal’s shelling out a lot of cash on the basis of a film that’s by no means a safe bet — Baron Cohen’s Bruno character is also a lot less endearing than Borat, but ah, well. We wish him only the best. Also at the Hollywood Reporter, Gregg Goldstein notes that ThinkFilm has picked up doc "The Hip Hop Project," which premiered at Tribeca earlier this year. Via Coming Soon, "the sequel to 2004’s ‘Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle’ is planned for a late January start date in Shreveport, Louisiana. John Cho and Kal Penn are set to reprise their roles as Harold and Kumar, respectively." And via WENN, Jesse James Hollywood, the inspiration for Emile Hirsch‘s character in Nick Cassavetes"Alpha Dog," is suing Universal Pictures and "claims the movie will ‘irreparably harm’ his ability to receive a fair trial." The movie, if it ever comes out, will be Justin Timberlake‘s theatrical debut ("Edison" having gone straight to video).

More "Borat": In an odd piece in the Guardian, Johnny Dee reminds the world about Mahir Cagri, the Turkish man who becomes internet famous for his unintentionally hilarious personal website (you remember, "I Kiss You!!!"), and who he sees as a clear inspiration for Baron Cohen’s character. Christopher Howse in the Telegraph writes that

When he was in America for advance publicity for the film, in character, [Baron Cohen] remarked, "I would like to meet the fearless anti-Jew warrior, Melvin Gibson." That’s a joke against poor Mel, of course. But how much postmodernist irony can we consume before we begin to swallow straight the lines that say the opposite of what is meant?

Peter Howell at the Toronto Star wonders the same thing.

In other news, Grady Hendrix at Kaiju Shakedown writes that "After 20 years, Carina Lau and Tony Leung have finally said they’re a married couple."

Anupama Chopra at the New York Times reports on the changing face of Bollywood film:

The universal Bollywood hit is becoming increasingly difficult to pull off. A decade ago, the Hindi film market was largely considered a homogenous monolith. What worked in one town was likely to work in another. But over the years the business has splintered dramatically, forcing industry pundits to create new labels for films.

We’re loving the phrase "Supergentry."

At the Independent, David Thomson sings the praises of Isabelle Huppert, but qualifies it in his intro with "At the risk of getting too excited about a blonde actress with a touch of red in her hair…" Hyuck! At the Observer, Liz Hoggard (briefly) sings the praises of David Bowie, bad actor:

But you have to love David for trying. He’s played Pontius Pilate, Andy Warhol, a marooned alien and a goblin king in a fright wig in Labyrinth. Just when you think he might have got the hang of it (he won rave reviews for Nic Roeg‘s The Man Who Fell to Earth and Oshima‘s Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence) along comes a turkey like Absolute Beginners.

And at Slate, Doree Shafrir asks the eternal question "Why can’t a screenwriter be an auteur, too?" The answer, we all know, is that the director can ultimately just grab the script with a "Yoink!" and run off howling with laughter and waving a Sharpie over his or her head, but Shafrir is more specifically focused on the Guillermo Arriaga/Alejandro González Iñárritu feud laid out by Terrence Rafferty in the New York Times a week ago.

+ Universal raises eyebrows with "Bruno" deal (HR)
+ ThinkFilm hip to ‘Hip Hop’ docu project (HR)
+ Second Harold & Kumar Starts in January (Coming Soon)
+ Lawyers Try To Block Movie on Murder Case (WENN)
+ The real Borat (Guardian)
+ We know he’s joking… don’t we? (Telegraph)
+ Why it’s okay to laugh at Borat (Toronto Star)
+ FRIDAY IS FUN-DAY (Kaiju Shakedown)
+ Can Bollywood Please All the People, All the Time? (NY Times)
+ Film Studies: The French directors’ woman (Independent)
+ Why I love David Bowie’s acting (Observer)
+ Bored of Directors (Slate)


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.