DID YOU READ

Odds: Wednesday – On demand, pie.

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Easy as pie.
"If each film ‘generation’ has its own particular point of view, as surely, drastically, the next one will, then what is ours? And how does it aid/impede us?" wonder editors Michael Koresky and Jeff Reichert in the new issue of Reverse Shot:

One obvious answer, the depths of which haven’t been plumbed enough in our film culture, is that most of us came of age as cinephiles in the era of home video. In our early years, films for us weren’t hallowed objects writ large on movie palace screens, or even out-of-the-way art houses — €”they were cramped onto TV screens, played on VCRs, wrenched away from their "€œproper"€ place of worship. Yet this didn’t change the value they held for us. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, we were the first generation which had access to a wide array of movies all of the time.

And so they charge their writers to dwell on a film each has seen over and over, leading to an interesting array of essays ranging from Brendon Bouzard on "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" to Chris Wisniewski on "Cabaret." Interesting stuff, and a nice way of sidestepping the too-common question of the guilty pleasure.

We overuse the term "infuriating," as do many others, but there really is no more accurate way to describe Rick Caine and Debbie Melnyk‘s doc about Michael Moore, "Manufacturing Dissent" (our thoughts from SXSW are here). Melnyk has an article in the Telegraph’s Seven Magazine that essentially lays out the premise and contents of the doc, and echoes the dissonance that arises in the film — the Caine and Melnyk make use of the most irritating of Moore’s own tactics and tone to criticize him:

At a recent event in New York, Moore was asked about our film, which we’d decided to call Manufacturing Dissent.

‘The Noam Chomsky film?’ he replied, coyly referring to the Chomsky documentary Manufacturing Consent. The journalist who had asked the question persisted: ‘No. Manufacturing Dissent, the film about you and your film-making methods.’ But Moore claimed he knew nothing about it.

The Onion AV Club offers a list of "wildly mismatched romantic pairings," among them the classic John Travolta and Lily Tomlin in "Moment By Moment" and James Woods and Dolly Parton in "Straight Talk."

At the Guardian‘s Film Blog, Karina Mantavia has thoughts on the ill-advised Richard Gere/Shilpa Shetty kiss that had outraged Indians burning Gere in effigy:

Give or take a song, the scenario itself has played out like a Bollywood storyline – two lone innocents representing common sense and human values battling against an unjust and repressive society. The furious activists, including those burning effigies of both actors, mainly hail from Hindu fundamentalist groups: Shiv Sena, and the rather sinister youth wing of the rightwing BJP. Both have appointed themselves the guardians of Indian womanhood against corrupt western influences.

According to Min Lee at the AP, Chow Yun-Fat has ankled John Woo‘s $80 million "Red Cliff" just as the film started shooting. The film is the latest in an ancient tradition of films to be declared the most expensive ever made in the nation; a producer claims "the Chinese government views the film, based on an ancient battle, as a showcase of Chinese history and wants it released before the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing."

And at the New York Times, Julia Moskin writes of Adrienne Shelley‘s "Waitress" and it’s love of a particular kind of pastry:

Because Ms. Shelly’s life may have ended in a way that her protagonist both fears and escapes — at the hands of a violent young man — parts of “Waitress” are more painful to watch than Ms. Shelly could have intended. But the film always finds solace in the kitchen, where picturesque clouds of flour drift in warm light, where custards never boil over, where crusts never burn.

+ Issue 19: On Demand (Reverse Shot)
+ Taking on the big man (Telegraph)
+ Inventory: 13 Films With Wildly Mismatched Romantic Pairings (Onion AV Club)
+ The Richard Gere/Shilpa Shetty kiss: made in Bollywood (Guardian Film Blog)
+ Chow Yun-Fat drops out of `Red Cliff’ (AP)
+ Looking for Solace in a Slice of Pie (NY Times)

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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.