DID YOU READ

IFC News: Guy Ritchie, box sets, “Innocence.”

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"The greatest con, that he ever pulled... was making you believe... that he is you."
This week on IFC News:

We’ve put together a gifty list of ten 2007 box set releases we find worthy of coveting here.

Aaron Hillis chases down Guy Ritchie to talk "Revolver":

If you don’t mind, I’d like to cut to the chase. What took so long to get "Revolver" to the U.S.?

Well, I don’t think anyone understood it. I don’t think it’s
any more complex than that. I mean, one of the cons of the movie is
that your mind won’t accept a game this big, [nor] accept the
simplicity of the concept. But your mind’s sort of geared up, that’s
what the film’s about. It’s geared up not to understand the premise
that you are your own con man, or the con man is hiding in your own
head. The reason that we fall for adverts and so forth is that our mind
is conditioned to understand illusions. It doesn’t understand truth. In
fact, it’s repulsed by truth.

Awesome.

Michael Atkinson does "Innocence" and "Drunken Angel." On the former:

A debut filmmaker with electrifying confidence, Hadzihalilovic cat-plays with our instant sense of dread — unanswered narrative questions are supposed to have horrifying answers, right? — but "Innocence" has a more sophisticated program than you might suspect from her credits as Gaspar Noé’s producer and editor (and girlfriend?). The mysteries at the film’s pitiful heart aren’t sexual, but then again, they are: Wedekind always worked in lurid metaphoric colors, and "Innocence" is nothing if not a fable of puberty told not as awakening but as subjugation. Call it the feminist flipside to Jean Vigo’s "Zéro de Conduite," where revolt is not a condoned option (a single escapee is far from heroic, dropping into the unknown woods over the wall, never to be seen again), and Wedekind’s anti-bourgeois take on the "tragedy of sex" prevails. In its view of childhood as totalitarian citizenship, Hadzihalilovic’s film stands, quietly, in a gender-furious class by itself.

(He also has some bones to pick with A.O. Scott and Leah Rozen regarding their reads of the film.)

On the podcast, we discuss what seems to be a recent sag in the costume drama genre.

Matt Singer reviews "Billy the Kid" (finding it "like a sucker punch to the stomach," in a good way) here and "Revolver" (a "laughably crummy conman thriller and ‘Kabbalist’s Guide to Chess’ instructional video") here.

Christopher Bonet has what’s new in theaters.

Also, we never got a chance to post links to last week’s somewhat abbreviated update: so here you go:

Michelle Orange interviews "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" star Mathieu Amalric:

[A]t the hospital where we shot, some of Jean-Do’s nurses and his
physical therapist were still there, so they could say, yes or no, this
is what this looks like. What was great though, in talking to his
friends and family and listening to them — their stories all
contradicted one another, and what I realized what that, "Oh, this is
not a hero, this is just…a man." He liked to travel, he was
materialistic, he liked cars, he was shallow, he had a temper, he
visited brothels in Brazil — normal things. [laughs] But also, he loved
life. Loved his children. That helped me a lot, it freed me, to realize
that you don’t become a saint when you have a stroke.

Michael Atkinson on "Our Hitler": "Finally, Syberberg’s monster is DVD’d, and of course today ‘Our Hitler’ cannot withstand the burden, for this moviehead, of all those years of anticipation, all that ballooning Sontagian hype, all of that pioneering rhetoric. No film could."

On the podcast, we confessed to blind spots.

And Matt Singer reviewed "The Savages" ("there’s a mundaneness to ‘The Savages’ that is incredibly appealing") here.

+ IFC News

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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.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.