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DID YOU READ

Odds: “Porno” gets the R, ThinkFilm doesn’t need your damn bills.

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08052008_zackandmiri.jpgKevin Smith gets “Zack and Miri Make a Porno,” first rated NC-17, down to a more marketable R. As if there was ever any doubt. [Via the AP]

ThinkFilm is so indie it doesn’t even need to pay its bills! Bills just roll right off it! Alex Ben Block gets some fabulous quotes from company head David Bergstein at the Hollywood Reporter: “Some of what is out there is true. The vast majority is not true. And for the stuff that is true, my answer is, ‘So what? So what if X, Y or Z might be owed money?’ “

“He is used to going in, buying something that’s normally four cents for two cents and then saying to everyone, ‘It’s a distressed asset. I’m only going to pay you half of what you deserve,’ ” said a veteran talent manager and producer who has worked with Bergstein. “It’s just a whole mindset that is antithetical to the movie business.”

Alas, one would think this technique would only work if you keep up the pretense that you’re actually trying to pay people back for the services they rendered or the film they signed over to you.

At his blog at the LA Times, Patrick Goldstein looks at Slydial, a service that lets you skip straight to someone’s voicemail without their phone ever ringing, and notes that producer Scott Rudin perfected a technique to achieve the same end years ago:

As Hollywood insiders will attest, the Oscar-winning, titanic-tempered producer has been famous for being impossible to reach by phone, often returning supplicants’ phone calls in the wee hours of the morning or long after closing hours, anything to avoid actually speaking to the intended party. Entire memoirs have been written about playing phone tag with Rudin, who, according to former assistants, was a Slydialer long before this fancy new version of the technology was invented. He simply had two assistants sit next to each other, dialing the same (studio exec/agent/lowly reporter’s) cellphone at exactly the same time, ensuring that the calls would come in simultaneously, bumping them both to voice mail.

At Artforum, Darrell Hartman on the Dardennes:

The Dardennes deliver memorable images of life on the brink–as when Rosetta, wrestling with her alcoholic mother near their trailer, falls into a muddy sinkhole. She flounders, cries out, then drags herself out of the slime alone, gasping desperately. You can almost hear the filmmakers crying out: How can a civilized country tolerate anything so abject?

[Photo: “Zack and Miri Make a Porno,” Weinstein Co., 2008]

+ Smith wins appeal for R rating for ‘Porno’ (AP)
+ Has ThinkFilm lost its mind? (Hollywood Reporter)
+ Phone message of the week: Scott Rudin’s office, returning (LA Times)
+ Simple Life (Art Forum)

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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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GIFs via Giphy

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.