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DID YOU READ

“It’s the most corrupt system in the world.”

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Gogol Ganguli.
It’s been a while, hasn’t it? A look around at who’s saying what out on the interview circuit:

Gael García Bernal discusses nothing in particular with Time‘s Carolina A. Miranda:

You just directed your first film, Deficit. Can we get a plot preview?

We’re still editing, so I can only say blurry things. It’s a story about loss of privileges and the end of impunity. It revolves around a family.

Bong Joon-ho talks about "The Host" with Kevin B. Lee in the new issue of Cineaste:

When this film gets distributed in the U.S., do you think any of these "America bashing" issues will come into play? Has there been any talk of recutting the film for U.S. release?

There’s been no talk of recutting. Actually I’m very curious to see whether the average American audience will accept this. But if you compare The Host to a Michael Moore film, its social commentary is very soft. In any case, Hollywood always has some kind of political subtext. Even in the summer blockbuster movies that are supposedly nonpolitical, there is social significance to the fact that the villains come from the Middle East or North Korea, though many Americans don’t think of it that way. Audiences can find social criticism in The Host or just flip it around and think that this time it just happens to be the Americans who are the bad guys.

Jean-Claude Brisseau, director of the… provocative "The Exterminating Angels," does the indieWIRE interview:

I wanted to make a tragedy that included sex and emotion to see how it would affect the audience, and to deal with the production problems that that entails. But this film, like the preceding film, was hard to finance and to shoot, because I was speaking openly about sex and pleasure. This kind of subject makes everyone afraid: the financiers, the actors, the distributors. Contrary to what one might think, there was latent censorship in France, both for the financing as well as for the theatrical distribution.

Monsieur Larry Clark discusses life, the universe, everything and "Wassup Rockers" with David Whitehouse at the Guardian:

"I’ve been working my whole life to get an R rating… It’s all to do with the MPAA, those cock suckin’ mother fuckers. Let me tell you about the fuckin’ MPAA. They are a censorship board run by the studios to protect their films. So they shit all over the smaller independent films like mine. This means we’re allowed to watch Sharon Stone fuckin’ the shit out of Michael Douglas before she stabs him, but I can’t show what I wanna show. It’s the most corrupt system in the world."

Kal Penn is profiled by Jada Yuan at New York:

He’s shooting a Kumar sequel right now, and as for his recent stint as a terrorist on 24, he admits, “I have a huge political problem with the role. It was essentially accepting a form of racial profiling. I think it’s repulsive. But it was the first time I had a chance to blow stuff up and take a family hostage. As an actor, why shouldn’t I have that opportunity? Because I’m brown and I should be scared about the connection between media images and people’s thought processes?”

"Maxed Out"‘s director James Scurlock talks to Joe Garofoli at the San Francisco Chronicle:

Scurlock started filming with the intention of making a lighthearted film about Americans’ lust for riches and the route they take to get there. So early in filming, he interviewed Robin Leach, host of the mid-1980s series "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous."

At a swank Las Vegas restaurant, Leach spits out the defining reason for American lucre-lust: "People always want the larger-than-life. Nobody would watch ‘Lifestyles of the Poor and Unknown.’ "

And Chloë Sevigny is refreshingly blunt in describing her role in "Zodiac" to Ellen McCarthy at the Washington Post:

"Um . . . I wasn’t really excited by the role," she says of the chance to play the dour wife to Gyllenhaal‘s cartoonist-cum-amateur investigator. "It’s a little one-note."


+ Q&A with Gael Garcia Bernal
(Time)

+ The Han River Horror Show: An Interview with Bong Joon-ho (Cineaste)
+ Jean-Claude Brisseau, Director of "Exterminating Angels" (indieWIRE)
+ Kid rocker (Guardian)
+ The White-Castle Ceiling (New York)
+ In debt up to our eyeballs (San Francisco Chronicle)
+ Sevigny, Taking Fate Into Her Own Hands (Washington Post)

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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.