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DID YOU READ

“I’m still that kid who wants to be accepted.”

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"I hope this movie pisses people off."
Josh Rottenberg at Entertainment Weekly brings four directors together to "discuss the life of the modern auteur." It’s an odd angle for a feature, vaguely "none of these people are interesting enough for their own Q&A," but it does finally inform us of what a conversation between McG and Anthony Minghella would be like:

McG: I’m not that pure of an artist. I wish I were. I’m still that kid who wants to be accepted. I can’t just walk away and make my own little films in the closet.

MINGHELLA: Don’t apologize. It sounds like you’re apologizing.

McG: I suppose if I was a little more in touch with doing it for all the right reasons, I wouldn’t care. But I still sit in the back of the room and wring my hands and want so desperately for people to feel what I was trying to do.

McG is indeed on the cusp of his bid for Seriousness — his unfortunately named "We Are Marshall" opens on December 22nd. Christopher Guest and Catherine Hardwicke round out the rest of the auteur interview.

Other interviews: Over at Seed magazine, Anthony Kaufman talks with Darren Aronofsky:

How did you imagine the spaceship world of the film?

We had, at times, different controlling devices and holograms, but the more we played with it, the more we thought these are things that we can understand as a culture now, but actually might look ridiculous to us a generation down the line. So we decided to return the whole thing to an organic base. NASA has developed these biospheres, these spherical glass structures that have a balanced ecosystem that can live forever, in perpetuity. So we decided to create an environment where Tom and the Tree of Life lived in a balance. We developed the whole science of the ship, very deeply, probably too deeply because it doesn’t come across. But we thought if we had figured out how it all worked, it would sit in the background and be more truthful. So that’s how the bubble ship evolved and the organic nature of it.

Stephen Dalton interviews the ubiquitous Guillermo del Toro at the London Times:

As usual with Del Toro, the creature designs in Pan’s Labyrinth took shape in the sketchbook he always carries with him. He brings it to our interview, fingering its leather covers as we talk, bashfully awaiting an invitation to show off his work. Inside are page upon page of beautifully rendered beauties and beasts, part of a 300-page archive that spans his entire film career. “Four hundred pages if I had the Cronos one, which I gave away in a drunken stupor,” he sighs.

Delfin Vigil at the San Francisco Chronicle talks to Joshua Jackson about "Bobby":

"To tell you the truth, I hope this movie pisses people off," says Jackson, who, along with the rest of the cast, took the "Bobby" job for personal and political reasons. "This movie couldn’t be coming out at a better time for America because, unfortunately, there are too many parallels between 1968 and 2006. Pick your hot-button topic — war overseas, massive social inequality, deepening of racial and economic divides, social robber barons."

Oh, Pacey, you should be so lucky. At the Independent, Jonathan Romney interviews John Cameron Mitchell:

A particularly traumatic time was his spell in a Benedictine priory boys’ school in Scotland, where he was bullied a lot: "I did take comfort in the vespers and compline. I might have become a monk if I hadn’t come out." But his spiritual urgings didn’t chime with his awareness that he was gay: "You go to hell for that – we’re all going to hell, according to the Pope, because we’ve probably all masturbated and forgotten to confess it. Every time you masturbate, God kills a kitten," Mitchell says dryly, then after a perfectly timed pause, "There’s apparently a sex club called Killing Kittens."

Michael Giltz at the New York Daily News catches up with Kal Penn about…okay, about "National Lampoon’s Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj," but we love him. Also, he’ll be in that Jhumpa Lahiri adaptation next year — clahssay!

"Then it turns out that [director Mira Nair‘s] teenage son Zohran and his best friend, Sam, are huge ‘Harold & Kumar’ fans. They grabbed her, dragged her to a computer and said, ‘You need to watch Kal, he’s in our favorite movie, you have to audition him!’

"And every night Zohran would say, ‘Mom, did you get a hold of Kal yet?’ So if it were not for those two guys, I would not have gotten that movie."

And over at the Herald Sun, Jack Lewis chats up "Allan Smithee," the prefers-to-remain-anonymous author of "101 Movies to Avoid: The Most Overrated Films Ever!":

"I particularly hate long, slow films that you are supposed to unearth the ‘deeper meaning’ from. Cinema-going should be fun — it’s a shared experience and you should laugh, cry, tap your feet or cover your eyes.

"It’s not meant for tiresome and rather dull navel gazing or a road to being trendy (what the hell was Mulholland Drive about anyway?)

"It’s time for people to say that they don’t care about Sylvia Plath and that Gwyneth Paltrow is just plain annoying."

Those are approximately the sentiments we recall being expressed when "Sylvia" came out, so we have some doubts about the accuracy of Mr. Smithee’s sacred cowometer. Ah, but we suppose everyone need a schtick.

+ Lights, Camera, Inspiration (Entertainment Weekly)
+ TRANSCENDING DEATH (SEED)
+ When the biggest monsters are human (London Times)
+ ‘Dawson’s’ Actor Inspired by ‘Bobby’ (SF Chronicle)
+ John Cameron Mitchell: Let’s talk dirty (Independent)
+ Kal Penn goes to Hollywood (NY Daily News)
+ Classics? Don’t make me laugh (Herald Sun)

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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.