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DID YOU READ

The First-Ever Cinema Eye Honors.

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03192008_cinemaeye.jpgLooking over the many documentarians in the crowd gathered at the first-ever Cinema Eye Honors for nonfiction film last night, awards co-chair AJ Schnack (himself a filmmaker) proclaimed “I don’t see journalists, I don’t see activists — I see filmmakers and I see artists.” Not that there’s anything wrong with journalism or activism, but it’s a fair point — subject matter so often comes first and foremost when people look at a documentary film, and everyone working behind the camera is relegated to the role of a chronicler. One of the common themes of the evening, and one of the reasons the Cinema Eye Honors were created, was that nonfiction films deserve just as serious a consideration of their craftsmanship, of their art, as narratives, which is why there were awards given out for editing, cinematography and production, in addition to ones recognizing films and directors.

Over the course of two friendly and informal hours that featured presenters like recent Oscar-winner Alex Gibney (“Taxi to the Dark Side”) and Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofski (“Metallica: Some Kind of Monster”), thoughts on the state of documentaries, the difficulties and making them and the frequent lack of recognition were unveiled, and nifty statuettes were dispensed. “Manda Bala (Send a Bullet,)” Jason Kohn’s look at class issues, corruption and kidnapping in Brazil, walked away with the most awards — three, for editing, cinematography and overall outstanding achievement. The winners were selected by an invited pool of filmmakers, festival directors and distributors, with the exception of the audience award, which was determined by public vote and which went, appropriately, to the Seth Gordon’s crowd-pleasing look at competitive video gaming, “The King of Kong.”

After the jump, a complete list of winners and a way low quality video of Jason Kohn’s funny and fervent acceptance speech for the night’s big prize (that’s Barbara Kopple presenting the award).

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[Winners are in bold.]

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Filmmaking
* INTO GREAT SILENCE РDir. Philip Gr̦ning, Prods. Philip Gr̦ning, Elda Guidinetti, Andres Pfaffli & Michael Weber
* LAKE OF FIRE – Dir., Prod. – Tony Kaye
* MANDA BALA (SEND A BULLET – Dir. Jason Kohn, Prods. Joey Frank, Jared Goldman & Jason Kohn)
* THE MONASTERY – MR. VIG AND THE NUN – Dir. Pernille Rose Grønkjær, Prod. Sigrid Dyekjær
* NO END IN SIGHT – Dir. Charles Ferguson, Prods. Jennie Amias, Charles Ferguson & Jessie Vogelson

Outstanding Achievement in Direction
* INTO GREAT SILENCE РPhilip Gr̦ning
* LAKE OF FIRE – Tony Kaye
* MANDA BALA (SEND A BULLET) – Jason Kohn
* TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE – Alex Gibney
* ZOO – Robinson Devor

Outstanding Achievement in Production
* BLINDSIGHT – Sybil Robson Orr
* CHICAGO 10 – Brett Morgan & Graydon Carter
* GHOSTS OF CITE SOLEIL – Seth Kanegis, Tomas Radoor & Mikael Rieks
* INTO GREAT SILENCE РPhilip Gr̦ning, Elda Guidinetti, Andres Pfaffli & Michael Weber
* LAKE OF FIRE – Tony Kaye
* MANDA BALA – Joey Frank, Jared Goldman & Jason Kohn

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography
* INTO GREAT SILENCE РPhilip Gr̦ning
* LAKE OF FIRE – Tony Kaye
* MANDA BALA (SEND A BULLET) – Heloisa Passos
* MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES – Peter Mettler
* ZOO – Sean Kirby

Outstanding Achievement in Editing
* CRAZY LOVE – David Zieff
* FLYING: CONFESSIONS OF A FREE WOMAN – Niels Pagh Andersen
* GHOSTS OF CITE SOLEIL – Adam Nielsen
* LAKE OF FIRE – Peter Goddard
* MANDA BALA (SEND A BULLET) – Doug Abel, Jenny Golden & Andy Grieve
* NO END IN SIGHT – Chad Beck and Cindy Lee

Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design and Animation
* CHICAGO 10 – Animation by Curious Pictures
* HELVETICA – Motions Graphics by Trollbäck & Co.
* THE PRISONER OR: HOW I PLANNED TO KILL TONY BLAIR – Graphic Design by Petra Epperlein
* THE UNFORESEEN – Motion Graphics by Jef Sewell
* SUPER AMIGOS – Animation by David Quesnelle

Outstanding Debut Feature
* BILLY THE KID – Jennifer Venditti
* MANDA BALA (SEND A BULLET) – Jason Kohn
* THE MONASTERY – MR. VIG AND THE NUN – Pernille Rose Gronkjær
* NO END IN SIGHT – Charles Ferguson
* A WALK INTO THE SEA: DANNY WILLIAMS AND THE WARHOL FACTORY – Esther B. Robinson

Outstanding International Feature
* GHOSTS OF CITE SOLEIL – Dir. Asger Leth, Prods. Seth Kanegis, Tomas Radoor and Mikael Rieks
* INTO GREAT SILENCE РDir. Philip Gr̦ning, Prods. Philip Gr̦ning, Elda Guidinetti, Andres Pfaffli & Michael Weber
* MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES – Dir. Jennifer Baichwal, Prods. Jennifer Baichwal, Daniel Iron & Nick de Pencier
* THE MONASTERY – MR. VIG & THE NUN – Dir. Pernille Rose Grønkjær, Prod. Sigrid Dyekjær
* PLEASE VOTE FOR ME – Dir. Weijun Chen, Prod. Don Edkins

Audience Choice Prize
* DEEP WATER – Dirs. Louise Osmond and Jerry Rothwell
* IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON – Dir. David Sington
* INTO GREAT SILENCE РDir. Philip Gr̦ning
* JOE STRUMMER: THE FUTURE IS UNWRITTEN – Dir. Julien Temple
* THE KING OF KONG: A FISTFUL OF QUARTERS – Dir. Seth Gordon
* MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES – Dir. Jennifer Baichwal
* NO END IN SIGHT – Dir. Charles Ferguson
* SICKO – Dir. Michael Moore

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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.