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DID YOU READ

Odds: Friday – Too, too much.

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"Could you go to HELL for a while? "
This time last year, we’d seen a decent chunk of the films we felt we should see. This year? Nowhere near. There are just too many, as Rachel Abramowitz reports in the LA Times, and it’s hurting the Serious Cinema biz.

"I never thought this would happen. There’s such a glut of films that the audience can’t go to them all," says Picturehouse President Bob Berney, pointing to a ream of recently released art films that haven’t gotten any traction in the marketplace. "At any other times these films would be lasting longer and doing better. It is very scary. I just keep hoping it’s temporary. I have these nightmares that this is the way it’s going to be forever."

Gregg Kilday at the Hollywood Reporter notes that everything out there right now is being hawked as a thriller: "Is it any wonder that, faced with such a bewildering onslaught of promised thrills, the two movies that have stood out from the crowd in recent weeks have been Disney’s family-oriented comedy ‘The Game Plan’ and Tyler Perry’s romantic dramedy ‘Why Did I Get Married?’ — the season’s two anti-thrillers?"

Elsewhere, Owen Wilson‘s first post-suicide attempt interview, with Wes Anderson, will go up on MySpace tonight at midnight. According to a spokesperson for the company, "Anderson and Wilson set the agenda themselves, and Anderson directed, edited and produced the whole piece." It’s a pretty convenient convergence of News Corp properties, which leads Sheila Marikar at ABC News to speculate harshly on this as a big PR stunt. (Though would any classify it as journalism, really?) And at the Guardian Film Blog, David Thomson follows up on the "Watch this space. What does that mean? That he might be something one day." entry he gave Anderson in the 2002 edition of the Biographical Dictionary of Film. He no longer recommends we watch that space.

Joel Brown at the Boston Globe checks in on the American Repertory Theatre’s stage adaptation of "Donnie Darko."

Grady Hendrix at Slate finds the "Saw" movies give new meaning to the term "torture porn":

For many, the most unbearable movie moment of 2005 was a woman’s eye being plucked out in Eli Roth’s Hostel. For me it was watching one of the New Kids on the Block and the star of Decoys 2: Alien Seduction debate the meaning of life in Saw II. The idea that, in an act of brand loyalty, millions of people are going to line up this weekend and pay money to get a lecture on personal commitment and productivity from a puppet is so horrible, so degrading to the human spirit, that I have to close my eyes and look away. It’s absolute torture.

And the London Times unveils a viewer voted-on list of the "50 Scariest Movie Moments," complete with YouTube links. Ah, "The Ring." Between your two incarnations, you launched a terrible trend of too many soggy ghost girls, and yet nothing can make us bury our face in the couch cushions with our hands over our ears like that television scene.

+ Indie films could use a little ‘Sunshine’ (LA Times)
+ Audiences pummeled with cheapened thrills (Hollywood Reporter)
+ Owen Wilson’s Tell-All or PR Ploy? (ABC)
+ Biographical Dictionary of Film No 25: Wes Anderson (Guardian Film Blog)
+ Demon rabbits, sacrifice, and the end of the world (Boston Globe)
+ The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Torturers (Slate)
+ Top 50 Scariest Movie Moments (London Times)

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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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.