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“Being beaten over the head with an ’80s stick.”

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"Me, I ride for me."
It’s time, one again, for a cruise ’round the current interview circuit. The San Francisco Bay Guardian, never ones to give the high hat to a novelty film, has Duncan Scott Davidson and Cheryl Eddy looking up and interviewing Bill Allen (not that he’s hard to find), the actor who played Christopher "Cru" Jones in 1986 BMX extravaganza "Rad":

I’m sure a lot of people ask you about the bicycle boogie scene.

Oh god. [Pause] It’s [like] being beaten over the head with an ’80s stick. It’s just very indicative of that time period, and that’s not always a great thing, if it’s the ’80s we’re talking about.

What about the ass-sliding? Another classic Rad moment…

It was really cold, and they gave us these wetsuits which did zero good if you’re just gonna be in and out of the water. It was one of the less glamorous parts about the job.

At the Herald Sun, Claire Sutherland talks to a somewhat dour Rowan Atkinson, who’s prepping for another press go-round for his next film, "Mr. Bean’s Holiday" (not due out in the US until August). Atkinson claims it’s "reasonably unlikely" he’ll make another Bean movie.

Making movies is something Atkinson endures rather than enjoys.

"That’s absolutely true. So why do it? I sometimes think it’s like bashing your head against a brick wall. It’s just nice when you stop, and you can’t get that satisfaction of stopping unless you start."

Benjamin Secher talks to "Days of Glory"‘s Rachid Bouchareb at the Telegraph, and the director shares details about the subject of his next film:

"Oui, Bob Mar-lay," he chants, an enormous grin spreading across his face. The details of the biopic are still vague – Bouchareb denies industry gossip that Jamie Foxx has been cast in the lead role – but in securing the official stamp of approval from Marley’s widow Rita, Bouchareb has already succeeded where many others have failed.

"Marley is the only global superstar ever to emerge from the developing world," he says, when asked to explain his fascination with the singer. "Go to any poor neighborhood on the planet – to the suburbs of Paris or Kingston, Jamaica – and you’ll find a poster of Marley on the walls and hear his music on the stereo. He was a carrier of hope for so many people. He used singing as another way to change the world."

Joseph Gordon-Levitt on movie economics — double feature! Talking with Scott Tobias at the Onion AV Club:

I think that there is a market for good movies, for true—I hate to use the word, because people will think I’m pretentious or something, but—"art." I think you can make money. If you look at all the great movies that have made tons of money, almost all of them are great movies too. Even Titanic. I think Titanic is a great movie. I recently watched it, and I thought it was fucking great.

And with Andrew O’Hehir at Salon:

Given your recent performances, you’re going to get offered parts in films that are a little bit more black and white in terms of their structure and that maybe also pay really, really well. Are you really going to be able to say that you don’t want to do those kinds of movies?

I just want to do good movies, and by the way, "The Lookout" paid really well.

Well, good. I’m glad to hear it.

I’m so lucky to have a job like this. It’s funny to me when I hear actors talk about "littler" movies like "The Lookout." "The Lookout" is a huge movie! It cost like $20 million to make! Come on. The point is not how much it cost to make or what corporation backed it, the point is that it was a good script and that the people making it loved what they were doing.

At the Independent, Cathy Pryor speaks with Thelma Schoonmaker, the Oscar-winning editor (most recently lauded for her work in "The Departed") and widow of Michael Powell:

So there are unwritten scripts? "Oh yes! Scorsese tried to get Michael jobs as a director so some of the projects could get made but there were always problems with insurance, even though Scorsese offered to direct if anything happened to Michael, and so did Coppola. Unfortunately, sometimes Michael would get annoyed at a potential backer they had found and insult him if he said something insensitive. Marty, you see, has learned how to function in the studio world, he’s learned how to walk that tightrope between commerce and art and work with studio people. But Michael never learned that."

Robert Koehler interviews Paul Verhoeven at Cinema-Scope:

Joe Eszterhas has written that Spetters was the basis for Flashdance (1983).

Yes, I’ve seen that although funnily enough he never told me that. He’s very good at changing the reality, and altering the parameters. When he writes about me, either negatively or positively, Joe is very amusing. He makes things up sometimes, or adds to it. He’s done that all along. He did this when he was a journalist.

In all of Eszterhas’ references to you in his book, he would refer to you as “my friend Paul.” So are you friends?

We have very much a love-hate relationship, I would say. He’s written things that are completely untrue. I know because I was there. This may also be the case when he writes about others as well.

And Mark Wahlberg hilariously details his clashes with Scorsese on the set of "The Departed" for John Hiscock at the Telegraph:

"I was only supposed to do a couple of weeks on The Departed so I was able to grow my hair for Invincible. But then the schedule changed and four months later I’m still working on The Departed so I wouldn’t cut my hair and Marty was pissed off," he says, remembering their expletive-filled exchanges. "He was like, ‘You’ve got to cut your f***ing hair,’ and I was, ‘I don’t give a f***.’

"He was, ‘I’m Martin Scorsese… da-dee da.’

"I said, ‘Well, I’m not getting paid for this… da-dee-da. What the f***?’"

+ To Helltrack and back
(SF Bay Guardian)
+ The Atkinson diet (Herald Sun)
+ Forgotten war of Africa’s heroes (Telegraph)
+ Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Onion AV Club)
+ "Life’s not simple" (Salon)
+ Thelma Schoonmaker: Life on the cutting edge of film (Independent)
+ Vulgar Moralism: Paul Verhoeven’s Black Book (Cinema-Scope)
+ My battles with Scorsese (Telegraph)



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.