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What’s Up In November

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By Christopher Bonet

IFC News

[Photo: Chia-Liang Liu’s “Dirty Ho,” part of BAM’s series Heroic Grace II: Shaw Brothers Return]

AFI Fest

Nov. 1-12

Returning for its twentieth year, L.A.’s biggest and brightest film fest continues promoting domestic and international, mainstream and independent, feature-length and short, narrative and documentary and, well, pretty much all things cinema. This year’s highlights include the US premiere of Emilio Estevez’s directorial Oscar-run “Bobby,” the world premiere of Zhang Yimou’s glitzy “Curse of the Golden Flower” and a 24-hour movie marathon to support charity.

A Centennial Tribute to Otto Preminger

Nov. 2

Director Peter Bogdonovich hosts this one-night celebration of influential filmmaker Otto Preminger’s 100th birthday at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills. A selection of film clips from Preminger’s films will be screened alongside a discussion with colleagues, family and friends, and the event kicks off a month-long retrospective that includes screenings of the great “Laura,” “The Man with the Golden Arm” and “Anatomy of a Murder.”

Chicago Filipino Film Festival

This film festival promotes, clearly) the work of Filipino filmmakers. The highlight of the festival will be Auraeus Solito’s Sundance favorite “The Blossoming of Maximos Oliveros,” which is this year’s Filipino candidate for Best Foreign Language Film.

New Czech Films

Nov. 3-5

The Brooklyn Academy of Music presents its yearly display of new films out of the Czech Republic. Safe bets include Jan Svankmajer’s “Lunacy” (love that stop-motion meat) and Ivan Trojan’s “Wrong Side Up.”

Machinima Festival

Nov. 4-5

What, you may ask, is Machinima? Where the hell have you been? Machinima is an art form that combines video game production, animation, and filmmaking to present a new style of storytelling — think “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within” without the crushing disappointment. The Machinima Festival returns for its fourth year to the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens.

Polish Film Festival in America

Nov. 4-19

One of the premiere film festivals to highlight Polish filmmakers hits the city of Chicago for two weeks. We’re intrigued by the Jan Jakub Kolski film “Jasminum” and the retrospective on silent film star Pola Negri.

Isabella Rossellini: Illuminated

Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center presents this retrospective on the acting career of international star Isabella Rossellini to coincide with the release of her directorial debut, “My Dad is 100 Years Old,” about her father, the underrated Italian neo-realist director. Phew. Other highlights include “Wild at Heart,” “The Saddest Music in the World,” and, of course, “Blue Velvet.” Pabst Blue Ribbon!

Wilder’s Picks!

Nov. 6-20

Mr. Wonka himself, Gene Wilder, will be available to discuss his favorite films at the Avon Theatre in Connecticut throughout the month. His films of choice are Ernst Lubitsch’s “The Merry Widow,” 1938’s “Topper Takes a Trip,” and his very own “Young Frankenstein.”

Heroic Grace II: Shaw Brothers Return

Nov. 6-28

Last year’s Shaw Brothers retrospective was one of the best series to run at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Now BAM takes another look at the legacy of the influential Hong Kong production company, showcasing further kung fu and wuxia highlights.

Jacques Rivette

Nov. 10-Dec. 24

The Museum of Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, presents this retrospective on the little-known French director who emerged during the New Wave of the 1960s. This series includes a rarest-of-the-rare screening of his 743-minute 1971 film “Out 1,” presented over two days, with breaks for dinner.

Stockholm International Film Festival

Nov. 16-26

This Swedish film festival introduces Europe to many of the hottest films of the fall. This year, director Lasse Hallstrom will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from his native country. We wish we could tell you more, but alas the website is in Swedish.

Modern Urban Mythology — The Superhero

Nov. 17-22

Superheroes seem to be all the rage these days. Recent hits like Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” series and the “X-Men” trilogy pleased critics and reignited superhero interest, while the new series “Heroes” is one of the few successes of this year’s TV season. All things caped and masked hit the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica for this five-day retrospective of the superhero films of yesteryear. Hollywood’s original “Superman” (directed by Richard Donner) and “Batman” (directed by Tim Burton) will be screened, along with their initial sequels. Also screening will be the artsy 1960s caper “Danger: Diabolik” and the unappreciated comedy “The Specials,” about a group of loser superheroes headed by Thomas Haden Church.

Gotham Awards

Nov. 29

This year’s Best Feature nominees include such indie classics as, er, “The Departed,” “Little Children” and “Marie Antoinette.” Oh well, at least the red carpet will be good.


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.


Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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GIFs via Giphy

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:


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.


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!


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.


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.



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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GIFs via Giphy

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.”


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. 


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.