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DID YOU READ

The MTV generation.

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Blam.An overview of recent quotables:

Talking to Phillip McCarthy at the Sydney Morning Herald, Joe Carnahan, evidently smarting from the critical reception with which "Smokin’ Aces" was met, snarls the following about his film’s being labeled Tarantinoesque:

"There seems to be this school of know-nothing critics who, when someone so much as touches a gun or utters some variation of the F-word, insist that it was all cribbed from Tarantino," Carnahan says. "I find that absurd. It’s as though sliced white bread, the internal combustion engine and the neo-noir pulp thriller were all invented in 1992 by this genius. So what were people like Don Siegel, Sam Peckinpah or the Coen brothers doing before that?…It’s my big beef at the moment. Since when did everything with an overlay of violence or a hit man become the intellectual property of Tarantino? We bitch about things being derivative but then we act like there’s no film history pre-1992. It’s really disturbing."

Well, we’ll give him this — we’d never have labeled "Smokin’ Aces" a Tarantino rip-off. Guy Ritchie, sure, but Tarantino? Meh…too easy. Over at Pullquote, the cinetrix points to Carnahan’s blog, where he mocks A.O. Scott’s failure to be Tony Scott, and offers a spot that makes use of Scott’s scorcher of a negative review to hype the film.

At the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Kimberly Chun talks with Werner Herzog about "The Wild Blue Yonder":

SFBG You talk about long shots being unheard of on TV. But in a lot of ways you’ve created a music video, though MTV might be considered the polar opposite of what you do. Or do you have an affinity for MTV?

WH
I think MTV would love the film. Truly, they would love it. [Pauses] Er, I may be wrong. But I could imagine that the people who watch MTV would love the film.

Kuriko Sato has a lengthy interview with Rinko Kikuchi (now with Oscar nomination!) at Midnight Eye:

What kind of films do you like to watch?

I like John Cassavetes‘ films a lot. They influenced me strongly. I also like Ken Loach and the Dardenne brothers, films that describe the fragility of human beings.

That is serious cinema. Do you consider yourself a cinephile?

Yes, cinema is a kind of bible to me. I studied a lot from films – history, music, relationships between man and woman (laughs). I never did much studying in school. I was saved by cinema. So I figured that if I could enter the world of cinema, my life would be saved.

At The Age, Jim Schembri has a punchy Q&A with Chris Noonan of "Babe" and "Miss Potter":

Is it true you actually cried when you read [the screenplay for "Miss Potter"], you big wuss?

I know. I was a very big wuss. But I am a very big wuss. If you make a cute, moving nappy commercial, I will probably cry. I am a sucker. I surrender to the manipulations of anyone with a camera and a soundtrack. When it comes down to a feature film, however, I don’t surrender so easily. It has to be pretty good before it gets me.

And over at the Japan Times, Mark Schilling talks with John Williams, a British expat living in Japan who’s just directed his second film, "Starfish Hotel."

When you live here, you realize how diverse Japanese society is and how diverse the Japanese film industry is. Other people are working here who are not Japanese, who are Chinese or whatever. But still — sometimes I think I want to make a film under a Japanese name and see if I get a different reaction (laughs).

Schilling also reviews the film, here.

+ Pulp friction (Sydney Morning Herald)
+ Grizzly spawn (SF Bay Guardian)
+ Rinko Kikuchi (Midnight Eye)
+ One for the wusses (The Age)
+ Tokyo’s dark side
(Japan 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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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.