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DID YOU READ

In the works: Mirren in the mainstream, Niki Caro.

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Dance, dance, dance.
Trailers: There’s a trailer for Eli Roth‘s "Hostel: Part II" here — feel the gore! But make sure you wash your hands afterward.

And a trailer here for "The Hawk is Dying," which garnered some pretty dismal word of mouth coming out of Sundance last year despite universal fondness for Paul Giamatti. The film opens in New York tomorrow.

Acquired: Viz Pictures has picked up Japanese submission for Best Foreign Language Film "Hula Girls," which looks at how a group of young women in a small, crumbling Japanese town build a Hawaiian village tourist attraction. Director Lee Sang-il was in San Diego and New York this week for special screenings, and some sort of theatrical release for the film is set for summer. [Viz]

Shadow Distribution has picked up the rights to Shane King and Arne Johnson‘s doc "Girls Rock!" about a rock ‘n’ roll camp for young girls. The film will hit theaters in the fall. [indieWIRE]

In the works: Helen Mirren, never one to shy away from setting the crown down for the occasional mainstream project (or the occasional fabulously strange one), will star in "National Treasure: Book Of Secrets" as Nicolas Cage‘s mom. [Empire] And Ray Winstone has taken a major but undisclosed role in "Indiana Jones 4" — "sources said Winstone will play star Harrison Ford‘s sidekick." [Hollywood Reporter]

Mark Wahlberg is here, he’s there, he’s starring in M. Night Shyamalan‘s "The Happening," which has been given a June 13, 2008 release date. He’ll play "the father of a family on the run from an apocalyptic threat to humanity." [Hollywood Reporter]

Everyone has already predicted career doom for Jennifer Hudson, so watch her next move with your choice of hope, anticipatory schadenfreude or some exquisite mixture of the two — she’s in talks to act alongside Forest Whitaker in "Winged Creatures," the upcoming film from "Little Fish" director Rowan Woods. [Variety]

Niki Caro, the director of "Whale Rider" and "North Country," will next adapt and direct Ken Dornstein’s memoir "The Boy Who Fell Out of the Sky," which traces how, after the death of his older brother David, an aspiring writer, Dornstein attempts to deal with his grief by sorting through David’s journals and letters and paying a visit to Lockerbie, Scotland, the site of the plane crash in which he died. [Hollywood Reporter]

Mateo Gil, who’s served as co-writer on many of Alejandro Amenábar‘s films, will write and direct an adaptation of Juan Rulfo’s influential early magical realist novel "Pedro Paramo." The novel’s been adapted twice before for film; Gil’s directed one other feature-length film, 1999 thriller "Nobody Knows Anybody." [Variety]

Not in the works: New York Daily News gossip columnist Ben Widdicombe writes:

Anna Nicole Smith was so desperate to play her icon, Marilyn Monroe, on the big screen, she offered to finance a film about the life of Monroe’s one-time husband Joe DiMaggio. But "DiMaggio: Setting the Record Straight" author Marv Schneider says Smith was turned down. "She offered to at least partially finance it, about six months before she died," Schneider told me. "The screenplay was finished in the summer."

Retired AP sportswriter Schneider, who interviewed the Yankee Clipper several times and wrote the book with DiMaggio’s former attorney Morris Engelberg, says Smith was not thought right for the role. "It was rejected out of hand. She wasn’t considered ready," he said at Zocalo restaurant. "Also, if she got the role, we thought we’d have a tough time getting a top actor to play DiMaggio."

+ Trailer: "Hoster: Part II" (MTV)
+ Trailer: "The Hawk is Dying" (Apple)
+ VIZ PICTURES ANNOUNCES DOMESTIC THEATRICAL SCREENINGS OF AWARD-WINNING FILM HULA GIRLS
(Viz)
+ Shadow to Bring "Girls Rock!" to U.S. (indieWIRE)
+ Helen Mirren In National Treasure 2 (Empire)
+ Winstone digging in for ‘Indy 4’ (Hollywood Reporter)
+ Wahlberg in Shyamalan’s ‘Happening’ (Hollywood Reporter)
+ Hudson may star in ‘Winged’ (Variety)
+ ‘Sky’ is falling to Caro (Hollywood Reporter)
+ Gil votes for ‘Pedro’ (Variety)
+ Anna Nicole’s unlikely pitch (NY Daily News)

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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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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.”

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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.

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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.