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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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…

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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. 

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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-Craft

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?”

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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).

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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.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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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.

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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.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

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.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.