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’
+ Cut the cute (London Times)


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.