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Odds: Wednesday – Monsters out there.

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"It's about to get very dangerous."
Amidst the newly translated selection of articles from Cahiers du Cinéma up online is one in which Herve Aubron, in a piece that also considers "The Queen," "Capote," "Private Fears in Public Places" and "The Host," argues for "Lady in the Water":

Lady in the Water was not loved, because she was often envisaged via the old framework of belief. It is true that until Lady in the Water, Shyamalan seized again this question on the mode of anti-ironic political activism. To caricature it: we must continue to believe in the supernatural, even if we know it is not true. Conceived thus, Lady in the Water might have seemed to have ODed on angelism, at the risk of silliness. Except that here, Shyamalan’s question is not “Do we still believe?” but: “Do we still feel?”

We’re pleased that an outlet has staked out this cause — any actual consideration of arguments of merit aside, Shyamalan’s film is really as choicely perverse a pick as one could come up with to hail as great.

The San Francisco Bay Guardian has a section on "The Host" that includes a nice piece from Johnny Ray Huston in which he writes that "With his latest film, Bong [Joon-ho] announces himself as the heir apparent to Steven Spielberg — an heir who replaces Spielberg’s reactionary tendencies with an acutely observant antiestablishment viewpoint."

David Denby at the New Yorker muses on "the new disorder" in cinema, prompted by the ArriagaIñárritu trilogy of converging narratives: 

The cinema, in which actors appear to be moving in consecutive time through patches of genuine space, has always created a strong expectation of realistic narrative. But here’s the paradox: thanks to the mechanical nature of the recording medium (still photos, or digits, strung together in rapid succession), playing with sequence and representation is almost irresistible. As soon as film was invented, experimental film was invented. Some of the fooling around was just exuberant exploration of a fabulous new toy, but some of it arose from political or philosophical convictions, and was intended to turn us upside down.

Meanwhile, Arriaga and Iñárritu continued their very public spat over credit for their films. Natalie Finn at E! Online reports that a letter published Monday in Mexican magazine Chilango reads, in part: "You weren’t—and you never let yourself feel like—part of the team, and your comments are [a] lamented and belittling end to this marvelous and collective process that we have all experienced and are now celebrating." The letter was signed by, among others, Iñárritu and costars Gael García Bernal and Adriana Barraza.

Oliver Stone tries to explain to MTV‘s Larry Carroll the reasons the world needs a third cut of "Alexander":

MTV: What sort of things have you brought back?

Stone: Well, there was sexual material in there that was pretty controversial. There’s a eunuch in the new version — a eunuch is like a third species. They had enough problems with [Jared Leto‘s character] Hephaistion hanging around.

Finally, motion graphics house Foreign Office offers up a reel of their work for "Children of Men": see all of the despair-filled ads running in the background throughout the film here.

+ Breaking the Ice (Cahiers du Cinéma)
+ Bong hits the mainstream (SF Bay Guardian)
+ Towers of Babel Crumble (E! Online)
+ Oliver Stone Promises Third ‘Alexander’ Cut Is The Last (MTV)
+ Children of Men: The Ads (



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.


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.