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DID YOU READ

Speaking out.

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"Different brains, that's all."
The biggest fight being picked today is a "whose threequel is bigger" one between Sony and Disney over the super, ultra impressive box offices numbers being claimed for "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End." According to Andrew Clark at the Guardian:

In a rare public spat between the two Hollywood studios, Sony has accused Disney of including a seventh day of takings in figures purporting to show unprecedented six-day takings of $401m (£202m) for the third part of the series, At World’s End.

Previews in several countries were rolled in to the total, though Disney said this did not amount to many filmgoers. Sony said that including a seventh day, its recent hit Spiderman 3 grossed $418m.

Now, if that doesn’t make you want to go out and buy pirated DVDs of both those bloated efforts just out of spite, what will? In older business surliness, Anne Thompson at Variety cornered Harvey Weinstein to discuss those rumors of financial trouble at the Weinstein Company ("This is done out of jealousy. Execs and people I know who look cool and have a big office just say nasty shit."). She also outlines Weinstein’s recent tiff with Luc Besson:

Besson claimed at Suicidegirls.com last week that the Weinsteins butchered the release of the animated family film "Arthur and the Invisibles": "Its American distributor was the worst I have worked with in my entire life, in any country, because they changed so much of the film and tried to pretend the film was American."

Harvey responded in the New York Daily News by calling Besson a "has-been" and offering him $1 million if he could prove that he made the film for the $85 million he originally claimed.

That’s one way to win friends and influence people.

Kaleem Aftab at the Independent catches Harvey trying to fend off negative comments from Kurt Russell regarding the de-"Grindhouse"ing of "Death Proof" at a press conference at Cannes: "What we did in cutting those films down for Grindhouse was a mistake. It removed the very essence of the movies. See these movies, they will dwarf Grindhouse."

Over at London Times, Stephen Dalton chides George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh  for having grand plans of subverting Hollywood pressures with their Section Eight production company and ultimately succumbing to the bloat of the season’s next threequel, "Ocean’s Thirteen": "They fought the mainstream, but increasingly it looks as though the mainstream has won."

In less moneyed news, Stephen Totilo at MTV talks to former "Donkey Kong" world-record holder Billy Mitchell about his unflattering portrayal in the upcoming doc "The King of Kong": "It’s funny — if ‘funny’ is the right word, which it isn’t. They paint Steve [Wiebe] as the family man and I guess they paint me as a son of a gun." At Variety, the film’s editor Michael Levine speaks up in defense of another doc on the festival circuit, "Billy The Kid," after John Anderson, in a scathing review, accused it of staging scenes and being exploitative.

The often upset country of Iran is also upset about something: According to Variety‘s Ali Jaafar, country officials are protesting the Cannes jury prize given to Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud‘s "Persepolis," calling it an example of Islamophobia and "another example of U.S. attempts to "encourage forces opposed to the authorities in any way possible."

+ Sony accuses Disney of inflating Pirates takings (Guardian)
+ Harvey Weinstein answers critics (Variety)
+ Weinstein and Tarantino fall out over major edit (Independent)
+ One last drop in the Ocean? (London Times)
+ Ex-‘Donkey Kong’ Champ Finally Speaks After Getting Bruised By New Doc (MTV)
+ In defense of ‘Billy The Kid’ (Variety)
+ Iran decries ‘Persepolis’ jury prize (Variety)

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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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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.