DID YOU READ

Opening This Week

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05122008_princecaspian.jpgBy Neil Pedley

After last week’s ridiculously crowded release schedule, this week’s is somewhat more manageable.

“The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian”
Fans salivating at the prospect of some post-Middle Earth fantasy creature smackdown were left disappointed last time around as, for all its promise, initial “Narnia” installment “The Lion the Witch and The Wardrobe” possessed about as much bite as a hibernating tortoise. Looking to fill the hole left by a certain boy wizard in the summer release schedule, the second adventure into Narnia sees the four Pevensie siblings summoned back to the fantastical world to find that 1300 years have passed and their former kingdom lies in ruins. Joining forces with heir to the throne Prince Caspian (Ben Bames), the children lead a renegade army into battle against the tyrannical King Miraz, seeking to restore Narnia and bring about peace once more.
Opens wide.

“My Father, My Lord”
The winner of the Best Narrative Feature award at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival is an Israeli drama from first time director David Volach set in an Orthodox community where a rabbi struggles with his relationship with his doting son. In Hebrew with subtitles.
Opens in New York.

“Quantum Hoops”
Caltech students are famous for many things, but athleticism isn’t one of them — the university basketball team hasn’t won a game in 21 years. Rick Greenwald’s debut documentary, narrated by David Duchovny, follows the Beavers at the end of their 2006 season as they try to break their 240 game losing streak.
Opens in New York.

“Reprise”
A staple on the European festival circuit since its debut two years ago, this playfully melancholic drama about friendship and ambition was Norway’s bid for the 2006 best foreign language film Oscar. Written over the course of five years by Joachim Trier and Eskil Vogt, “Reprise” tells of two idealistic young writers whose friendship is threatened when one’s manuscript is published and the other is not. “Reprise” has won critical praise for Trier’s audacious blend of a highly kinetic directing style with a classic French New Wave sensibility, but it wasn’t until uber-producer and tastemaker Scott Rudin stepped in that the film found a U.S. distributor in Miramax. In Norwegian with subtitles.
Opens in limited release.

“Sangre de Mi Sangre”
The debut feature from writer/director Christopher Zalla netted a Grand Jury Prize at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, where it was known as “Padre Nuestro.” With a new title (which translates in English to “Blood of My Blood”), this drama follows Mexican immigrant Pedro as he travels to New York City in search of his successful (and estranged) father. Along the way, he meets Juan, a charismatic young con man who steals Pedro’s identity and abandons him in the city. The two race to find Pedro’s father first, one in search of his love, the other in pursuit of his money. In Spanish with subtitles.
Opens in limited release.

“Yella”
Germany’s Christian Petzold, who has been compared to Claude Chabrol, directed this disquieting thriller about a woman who flees an abusive husband for a new job in Hanover, only to become involved in a cutthroat corporate scheme that offers its own dangers. This film, which won over critics at its premiere at the Berlin Film Festival last year, is the first of Petzold’s to get a U.S. release. In German with subtitles.
Opens in New York.

[Photo: “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian,” Walt Disney Studios, 2008]

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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.