DID YOU READ

What’s Up In February

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By Christopher Bonet

IFC News

[Photo: “Once Upon a Time In The West,” Paramount Pictures, 1969]

Ennio Morricone

Feb 1—10

In honor of his upcoming honorary award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and his recent concert at Radio City Music Hall (his first in the US), New York’s Museum of Modern Art pays tribute to famed film composer Ennio Morricone in this ten-day retrospective of some of his most prized films. Screenings will include his Sergio Leone epics “Once Upon a Time in the West” and “Once Upon a Time in America,” the late Gillo Pontecorvo pioneer film “The Battle of Algiers,” and the Roland Joffe period piece “The Mission,” which Morricone will be on hand to introduce.

The Cinema of Donald Cammell

Feb 2—11

Though he only produced a handful of works, the 25-year career of brilliant but troubled director Donald Cammell feels far too short. New York’s Film Society at Lincoln Center will feature several of Cammell’s films in this retrospective, including the sci-fi horror “Demon Seed,” the Nicolas Roeg co-production “Performance,” and the director’s cut of his final film, “Wild Side”.

Hong Kong!

Feb 2—28

The Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago hosts its annual month-long celebration of the Chinese New Year with a host of new films out of Hong Kong. This year’s festival includes a retrospective on influential action film director Johnnie To and will include a sneak preview screening of his latest feature, “Exiled,” on February 17th.

Werner Herzog: Visionary at Large

“Eclectic” might be the only word one could use to describe German auteur Werner Herzog, both through his own filmmaking (“Aguirre, the Wrath of God,” “Fitzcarraldo”) and his personality (Les Blank’s documentary “Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe”), as the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago hosts this ten-film tribute throughout the month of February to Herzog in honor of his upcoming Christian Bale-starring “Rescue Dawn.”

Crispin Helion Glover presents “What is It?”

Feb 9—11

Crispin Helion Glover will be on hand at the IFC Center to present his first feature “What Is It?”, an unclassifiable film that was both self-produced and self-financed by Glover himself. Each screening will also feature a live dramatic presentation and a supplementary slide show. Trust us, “What Is It?” is simply more than a film, it’s an event.

57th Berlin International Film Festival

Feb 8—18

This annual festival remains one of the premiere film events in the world.

Meet the Oscars

Feb 9—24

Get a chance to check out the 50 Oscar statuettes before they are handed out at the Academy Awards on February 25th. This exhibit, hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will be on display at locations in both Hollywood and New York.

A View from the Vaults: Warner Bros., RKO Pictures, and First National Pictures Inc.

Feb 9—24

The Museum of Modern Art in New York City pays homage to some of the greatest pictures produced by the Warner Bros., RKO and First National studios. Highlights include Bette Davis’ Oscar-winning performance in “Jezebel”, the Raoul Walsh directorial comedy “Gunga Din,” and 1950’s “Mighty Joe Young” (sans Charlize Theron).

Welcome to the Billy Wilder Theater

Feb 9—Mar 31

“8 Mile” director and archive chairman Curtis Hanson will be on hand to present the opening of UCLA Film & Television Archive’s Billy Wilder Theater in honor of the pioneering director of the classical Hollywood director. To inaugurate the opening of the theater, UCLA will screen two of his most important (and hilarious) films, with 1960’s “The Apartment” playing on opening night and 1959’s “Some Like It Hot” following the night after.

Danny Glover in Person

Feb 14—15

Executive producer and star Danny Glover will be on hand at the Film Forum in New York City to discuss “Bamako,” a film that premiered at last year’s Cannes Film Festival and originated from the nation of Mali.

Gangster & Crime in the Big City

Feb 15—22

The American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theater presents this short series on our favorite movie genre, the gangster film! Films to be screened include the expected Quentin Tarantino film “Reservoir Dogs,” a “Scarface” double feature (both the Hawks and De Palma versions), and a new print of the hard-to-see Burt Balaban pic “Mad Dog Coll.”

The 79th Academy Awards

Feb 25

They make get more and more boring each year, but you know you’ll watch them anyway. We’re bummed that Jon Stewart was not asked back to host the Oscars, but the addition of Ellen Degeneres promises to be a good time. With a beer in one hand and predictions in the other, be sure to catch the Academy Awards at 8 PM on ABC.

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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.