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In the works: “Wristcutters,” Shyamalan, Philip Roth.

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Hey, Tom Waits is in this movie.
Trailer: One for debt doc "Maxed Out," here.

Acquired: AfterDark Films has picked up the rights to Goran Dukic‘s "Wristcutters: A Love Story," a sort of romance set in an afterlife for people who committed suicide that stars Patrick Fugit and Shannyn Sossamon. The film premiered at Sundance last year and has been kicking around the festival circuit since then; it was nominated for Best First Feature and Best First Screenplay at the Spirit Awards. We’ve been looking forward to seeing it, and AfterDark is apparently planning for an August release: "A potentially controversial marketing campaign is planned, featuring cardboard cutouts of characters jumping off a bridge, electrocuting and hanging themselves in keeping with the film’s suicide theme." Tasteful. [Via Hollywood Reporter.]

Strand Releasing has acquired the US rights to "DarkBlueAlmostBlack," a character study of a young man trapped in a dead-end job that is the debut effort of Spanish writer-director Daniel Sánchez Arévalo. Here! Films has picked up the US rights to another Spanish film, "The 2 Sides of the Bed," which is, apparently, a musical comedy (woo!). [Via Variety.]

Picture This! has acquired Leste Chen‘s "Eternal Summer," a gay-themed drama from Taiwan that won the 2006 Golden Horse Award. [Via indieWIRE.]

In the works: Shrugging off scrunts, narfs and the mockery of the film community, M. Night Shyamalan has lined up his next film. "The Happening" will be Shyamalan’s first R-rated film, and is described as "a paranoid thriller about a family on the run from a natural crisis that presents a large-scale threat to humanity." What will it be? Monsters, we hope. Fox will likely release the film in the summer of 2008. [Via Variety.]

Related: At The Reeler, Aaron Hillis talks to Cahiers du Cinéma editor Jean-Michel Frodon about the publication’s 2006 top-tenning of "Lady in the Water":

I really believe Shyamalan is one of the most important directors working inside the Hollywood system. He has a very daring and unusual approach about what it is to tell stories, generate beliefs, what brings people together and what separates them. He tells fabulous, antique stories that do not pretend at all to be realistic, which I find really very beautiful; he has a wonderful sense of aesthetics.

Anyway, neo-horror indie king Larry Fessenden will produce and act in "I Sell the Dead," the feature debut of writer-director Glenn McQuaid. "Lost" hobbit Dominic Monaghan will star as an 18th century London gravedigger; Ron Perlman and Angus Scrimm (the Tall Man in "Phantasm") are in talks to play a mysterious priest and a mysterious doctor, respectively. [Via Hollywood Reporter.]

"The Illusionist"‘s Neil Burger will next be directing post-Iraq War road trip movie "The Return." Rachel McAdams, Michael Pena and Tim Robbins will star. [Via Hollywood Reporter.]

And Isabel Coixet, last of "The Secret Life of Words," will direct a yet-untitled adaptation of Philip Roth‘s novella "The Dying Animal." Penélope Cruz, Ben Kingsley and Patricia Clarkson are set to star; Roth’s not proved to be an easy one to adapt to film, though Phillip Noyce is also prepping to give it the ol’ college try with a planned adaptation of "American Pastoral." [Via Variety.]

Update: One more — James McAvoy is going mainstream; he’ll star in the new film from Timur Bekmambetov (of the "Night Watch" trilogy). In "Wanted," an adaptation of this graphic novel, he’ll play an orphan turned assassin. [Via the Guardian.]

+ Trailer: Maxed Out (
+ AfterDark loves ‘Wristcutters’ (Hollywood Reporter)
+ Strand snaps at rights to ‘Dark’ (Variety)
+ Picture This! Gets "Eternal Summer" (indieWIRE)
+ Fox lands Shyamalan movie (Variety)
+ The City’s Other Rendez-Vous (The Reeler)
+ ‘Sell’ mates: Monaghan, Perlman (Hollywood Reporter)
+ ‘Return’ trip for McAdams, Pena, Robbins (Hollywood Reporter)
+ Lakeshore licks ‘Animal’ (Variety)

+ McAvoy muscles into action hero territory



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.