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DID YOU READ

In the works: A black and white doc about shades of grey.

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"This film is guaranteed to give you pause whether you're pro-choice or right-to-life."
Trailers: There’s a teaser for "Run, Fatboy, Run," a film composed of a strange confluence of comedians — "Shaun of the Dead"‘s Simon Pegg (he’s everywhere!) and Dylan Moran star along with Hank Azaria, off a script from Michael Ian Black directed by David Schwimmer — here. No release date yet.

A teaser for "Talk to Me," the new film from "Eve’s Bayou" director Kasi Lemmons about D.C. ex-con turned talk show host and civil-rights activist Ralph "Petey" Greene (Don Cheadle) is here. Slated for a July release.

And a trailer for Oscar-nominee and possible Best Documentary Feature dark horse  "Iraq in Fragments"  is here. The film’s currently in a few theaters and is oozing out around the rest of the country in the next month.

Update: One more! For Hou Hsiao Hsien‘s (♥!) "The Red Balloon," which will almost certainly be at Cannes, here (courtesy of Twitch).

Acquired: ThinkFilm’s picked up the right to abortion doc "Lake of Fire," from director Tony Kaye of "American History X." The film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival back in September and prompted plenty of raves from the critics, but of course, two-and-a-half-hour black and white  documentaries that contain surgical footage are never the easiest of sells. ThinkFilm plans to take "Lake of Fire" around to festivals before opening it at the Film Forum in New York and platforming out from there. [Via Hollywood Reporter.]

Sony Pictures Classics has picked up the "The Children of Huang Shi," a Chinese-Australian co-production about Japan’s invasion of China in 1937 that stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Radha Mitchell, Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh. Roger Spottiswoode, of the upcoming "Shake Hands With the Devil" and, less illustriously, 1989’s "Turner & Hooch," directed, and a late 2007 release is planned. [Via Hollywood Reporter.]

Elsewhere: Picturehouse will release a series of films based on the American Girl dolls, which, we seem to recall, were notable for offering a range of matching child-doll outfits, the basis of any good franchise.

"We want to show that Picturehouse can incorporate any genre, any demographic in a really high-quality way," said [Picturehouse president Bob] Berney, who added that the company’s New York offices are located next to an American Girl flagship store. "As an indie, to reach a younger girl audience is a really exciting prospect." [Via Hollywood Reporter.]

Javier Bardem has joined Penélope Cruz in the cast of Woody Allen‘s new film, yet untitled, to be set in Barcelona. [Via Variety.]

Kal Penn shares some details about "Harold & Kumar 2" (hush now, we love it):

"A lot of the same characters from the first one end up coming back. Neil Patrick Harris makes another cameo, Eddie Kaye Thomas and Chris Meloni and Dave Krumholtz are all back in some capacity. Eddie and Dave are playing the same characters, Rosenberg and Goldstein, but Chris Meloni for example, is playing the grand wizard of the KKK." [Via MTV.]

And Sylvain Chomet, the French animator and director of the great "The Triplets of Belleville," discusses his upcoming film "The Illusionist," an animated feature based on an unmade 1956 script from Jacques Tati. The film isn’t due out until 2009. Chomet also discusses bailing on Hollywood:

Chomet gave up adapting a children’s book for Universal under such pressure. “As the budget got bigger, the studio wanted a less dark, more commercial story and it wasn’t what I wanted to make,” he says. Adds [his producer and wife] Sally: “We had barely finished a character sketch and its potential as a plastic toy was being assessed.” [Via Ian Johns at the London Times.]

+ Teaser: Run, Fatboy, Run (YouTube)
+ Teaser: Talk to Me (Coming Soon)
+ Trailer: Iraq In Fragments (Apple)
+ A Trailer for Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s Ballon Rouge (Twitch)
+ ThinkFilm gets Kaye’s ‘Fire’ docu (Hollywood Reporter)
+ Sony Classics picks up ‘Huang Shi’ (Hollywood Reporter)
+ HBO dolls up ‘Girl’ deal (Hollywood Reporter)
+ Bardem joins Woody Allen project (Variety)
+ Penn Promises Blunt Run-In With President Bush In ‘Harold & Kumar 2’
(MTV)
+ Cut the cute (London Times)

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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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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.”

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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.