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Opening This Week

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By Christopher Bonet

IFC News

[Photo: “Nomad (The Warrior),” Weinstein Co, 2007]

A round-up of the best (or worst) $10 you’ll spend this week.

“Adam’s Apples”

This feature from Danish filmmaker Anders Thomas Jensen (who won an Oscar in 1998 for his short film “Election Night”) has been lingering around film festivals since August of 2005, and finally finds its stateside release this week. What happens when a neo-Nazi is forced to serve a community sentence at a church? Hijinks ensure. This black comedy was Denmark’s submission for the 2006 Foreign Language Film Oscar.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“American Cannibal: The Road to Reality”

Filmmakers Perry Grebin and Michael Nigro follow up their 2002 short “Creative Process 473” with this not-so-subtle indictment of the reality television industry in which a film crew documents the train-wreckish production of a controversial reality show. The filmmakers advertise the film as a “true” documentary, though we were left rather unimpressed at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon”

First-time director Scott Glosserman presents the week’s other faux documentary, an interesting twist on the horror genre. The film follows a psychopathic killer who grants a documentary film crew exclusive access to his reign of terror over a fictional small American town. Popular character actor and horror icon Robert Englund reprises his role as Freddy Krueger.

Opens in limited release (official site).


Hormones are set ablaze in this indie comedy about the sex lives of the clients and employees of a small coffee shop in London. The feature directorial debut of television producer John Cosgrove features a winning cast that includes Mena Suvari, Katharine Heigl, Marsha Thomason and… Breckin Meyer (why?).

Opens in limited release (official site).

“Dead Silence”

Those spunky young Aussies who created the “Saw” trilogy try their hand at…more horror. James Wan directs this flick about a young widower who returns to his hometown to investigate his wife’s murder and stumbles across a Dreadful Secret that’s haunted Raven’s Fair for years.

Opens wide (official site).

“I Think I Love My Wife”

Chris Rock’s directorial debut film, 2003’s “Head of State,” had an interesting premise and a strong cast, but underperformed both at the box office and with critics. We’re hoping Rock bring his A game for this one, as his writing efforts tend to be a mix of hits (TV’s “Everybody Hates Chris”) and misses (2001 clunker “Down to Earth”). Rock plays a married man drawn to a younger woman as his wife, preoccupied by her own career and raising their two children, has little time for him.

Opens wide (official site).

“Nomad (The Warrior)”

The nation of Kazakhstan regains some of its dignity following the political debacle of Borat with this historical epic set during the 18th century. “Nomad: The Warrior” tells the story of a young boy who is destined to unite the three warring tribes of Kazakhstan against invaders and national enemies. It’s the most expensive film ever to be shot in Kazakhstan at $40 million and was the nation’s official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

Opens in limited release (official site).


Former rom-com queen Sandra Bullock has of late been choosing a series of gutsier roles, from her critically-praised supporting turn as Harper Lee in the Truman Capote biopic “Infamous,” her role in Oscar-winner “Crash,” and that convoluted time-traveling house movie. In “Premonition,” Bullock stars as a married woman whose life is thrown into chaos when she learns of her husband’s death in a car accident, but wakes up the next day with him alive and well next to her.

Opens wide (official site).

“Tortilla Heaven”

First-time director Judy Hecht Dumontet presents this indie about a restaurant owner in small town New Mexico who discovers one of his famous hand-made tortillas bears the face of a certain Messiah. Jose Zuniga stars as the restaurant owner and television veterans George Lopez and Lupe Ontiveros deliver supporting roles.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“The Wind That Shakes the Barley”

Ken Loach finally struck gold at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, winning the Palme d’Or and besting eventual Oscar pictures “Babel” and “Pan’s Labyrinth.” Loach’s story about Republicans in early 20th century Ireland recently came under fire for being “anti-British,” though both Loach and star Cillian Murphy deny any ill sentiments towards England.

Opens in limited release (official site).



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.