In the works: Anime, killer sheep, “‘Alice in Wonderland’ with machine guns.”

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"All terrorists are desperate."
Trailers: One for Satoshi Kon‘s "Paprika," which we rather loved when we caught it at the New York Film Festival, here.

One for the awesome-looking New Zealand horror-comedy "Black Sheep," about, yes, killer sheep, here.

One for "Year of the Dog," Mike White‘s directorial debut starring Molly Shannon, here.

And one for "Everything’s Gone Green," the screenwriting debut of Douglas Coupland, here.

Acquired: Roadside Attractions has picked up the based-on-a-true-story thriller "Lonely Hearts," which stars Jared Leto and a dreadfully miscast Salma Hayek as Raymond Fernandez and Martha Beck, the "Lonely Hearts Killers." John Travolta and James Gandolfini play the cops who chase them down; the film will be released on April 13th. [Via the Hollywood Reporter.] Our thoughts on the film from Tribeca last year are here.

In the works: "300" director Zack Snyder may next be directing "Sucker Punch," a project he’ll be producing and co-writing:

Set in the 1950’s, "Punch" follows a girl who is confined to a mental institution by her evil stepfather, who intends to have her lobotomized in five days. While there, she imagines an alternative reality to hide her from the pain, and in that world, she begins planning her escape, needing to steal five objects to help get her out before she is deflowered by a vile man.

Snyder describes the film as "an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ with machine guns"; we’re getting a bit of "Pan’s Labyrinth," at least from that summary. [Via the Hollywood Reporter.]

Abel Ferrara will be shooting a noir adaptation of the Giuseppe Farrandino’s Naples-set  novel "Pericle il nero (Pericles the Black Man)" — the language in which the film will be shot has yet to be decided, but it will include both Italian and U.S. actors. Ferrara just wrapped "Go Go Tales," the cast of which supposedly includes both Sylvia Miles and Pras (sweet). [Via Variety.]

Also in Italy: Director Marco Bellocchio, best known here for "Fists in the Pocket" and, more recently, "Good Morning, Night," will helm a film about Mussolini’s illegitimate son. The child was born before Mussolini came into power, and was hidden away with his mother in asylums where they both eventually died. [Via Variety.]

Amy Berg, director of the Oscar-nominated doc "Deliver Us From Evil,"  will make her narrative debut with "This Is Not America," a biopic about Yupi’k Native American girl who’s taken from her family in the 1960s as part of a government-run "Americanization" campaign. [Via the Hollywood Reporter.]

Todd Graff, the writer-director of theater-kid comedy-drama "Camp," will be directing "Will," a film about "a high school outcast and a popular girl who form an unlikely bond through their shared love of music." [Via the Hollywood Reporter.] Is that teen spirit we smell? Or just Sundance?

Michel Gondry, Leos Carax (of "Lovers on the Bridge") and Bong Joon-ho (of "The Host") are in talks to take part in one of those multi-director triptychs suddenly coming back into vogue. "Tokyo" will consists of three separate stories set in three separate parts of the city. [Via the Hollywood Reporter.]

And, in a piece we missed last week, the Weinstein Company has first-look rights to a proposed English language "The Lives of Others." [Via Variety.] We presume this would still be set in Germany, and would just feature actors speaking with Teutonic accents to indicate they would be speaking German if they could?

+ Trailer: Paprika (Apple)
+ Trailer: Black Sheep (Apple)
+ Trailer: Year of the Dog (Yahoo!)
+ Trailer: Everything’s Gone Green (EverythingsGoneGreen.com)
+ Roadside, Goldwyn will play ‘Hearts’ (Hollywood Reporter)
+ Snyder, WB in clinch for ‘Punch’ (Hollywood Reporter)
+ Ferrara takes on Italian noir (Variety)
+ Bellocchio readies Mussolini movie (Variety)
+ Berg, Levy come to ‘America’ (Hollywood Reporter)
+ Graff finds way to ‘Will’ for Walden (Hollywood Reporter)
+ 3 lined up for ‘Tokyo’ tales (Hollywood Reporter)
+ Weinsteins keep sight of Mirage (Variety)



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.