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DID YOU READ

Opening This Week: October 20th, 2006

Opening This Week: October 20th, 2006 (photo)

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A round-up of the indie and indie-ish films opening in theaters this week.

“51 Birch Street”

Doug Block’s acclaimed documentary is about as personal as a film can get — it looks into his parents’ marriage when, after the death of his mother, his 83-year old father announces he’s moving to Florida to live with his secretary from 40 years before.

Opens in New York (official site).

“Conventioneers”

After premiering at Tribeca last year and winning the John Cassavetes prize at the Independent Spirit Awards this year, “Conventioneers” finally gets its moment in the theaters. The film blends doc and narrative, telling the story of a romance between a Republican and a Democrat that was filmed during the tempestuous 2004 Republican National Convention in New York.

Opens in New York (official site).

“Flags of Our Fathers”

We love the smell of Oscars in the morning! Clint Eastwood’s re-enactment of the Battle of Iwo Jima is written by no less than the man who wrote and directed last year’s Best Picture winner “Crash”: Paul Haggis. Plus, who doesn’t love World War II? So straightforward!

Opens wide (official site).

“Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple”

Stanley Nelson’s doc promises never-before-seen footage from the Guyana-based Peoples Temple led by preacher Jim Jones, who led his hundreds of followers to mass suicide in 1978. Kool-Aid was never the same.

Opens in New York (official site).

“Marie Antoinette” [pictured]

The joys of decadent Versailles life are set to an 80s New Wave soundtrack in Sofia Coppola’s unconventional biopic, which premiered at Cannes to mixed reviews and a few reported boos (some critics found it a little fluffy). Kirsten Dunst stars as the titular queen and “let them eat cake” line denier.

Opens wide (official site).

“Requiem”

This German film is based on the true story of Anneliese Michel, who in 1976 died following an exorcism. Michel’s life also inspired last year’s religiousy horror flick “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” — this promises to be in better taste.

Opens in New York (official site).

“Running With Scissors”

The dysfunctional family dramedy is pretty much its own genre these days — the latest title to add to the pile is this adaptation of Augusten Burroughs’ best-selling memoir, which has an amazing cast that includes Annette Bening, Brian Cox, Joseph Fiennes and Alec Baldwin.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“Sleeping Dogs Lie”

If you’ve even seen comedian Bobcat Goldthwait’s indescribable directorial debut “Shakes the Clown,” then you have some idea of what to expect (and we’ll see you at the theater!). Supposedly the sweetest movie centered on an act of bestiality ever, “Sleeping Dogs Lie” premiered with the title “Stay” at Sundance this year.

Opens in limited release (official site).

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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.