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DID YOU READ

The 46th New York Film Festival lines up.

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08122008_changeling.jpgAnd it’s Cannes-tastic! As previously announced, Laurent Cantet’s Palme d’Or-winning “The Class” is the opening night film, with Clint Eastwood’s “Changeling” (a film I couldn’t stand) as the starry centerpiece, and Darren Aronofsky’s “The Wrestler,” post premiere at the Venice Film Festival, closing things out.

Also in there, as rumored, Steven Soderbergh’s “Che,” as well as Arnaud Desplechin’s “A Christmas Tale,” Mike Leigh’s “Happy-Go-Lucky,” Kelly Reichardt’s “Wendy and Lucy,” Olivier Assayas’ “Summer Hours” and Hong Sang-soo’s “Day and Night.” The festival kicks off September 26th, full line-up after the jump.

[Descriptions all theirs]

OPENING NIGHT (AVERY FISHER HALL / ZIEGFELD THEATRE)
The Class / Entre les murs
Laurent Cantet, France, 2008; 128m
A tough, lively and altogether revelatory look inside a high school classroom, enacted by real teachers and students.

CENTERPIECE
Changeling
Clint Eastwood, USA, 2008; 140m
Angelina Jolie is a single mother whose troubles are just beginning when her son goes missing in Clint Eastwood’s majestic fact-based period drama.

CLOSING NIGHT (AVERY FISHER HALL)
The Wrestler
Darren Aronofsky, USA, 2008; 109m
Mickey Rourke gives the performance of a lifetime in Darren Aronofsky’s raw and raucous new movie.

24 City / Er shi si cheng ji
Jia Zhangke, China/Hong Kong/Japan, 2008; 112m
The rise and fall of a Chinese factory town is chronicled in this film, straddling the border between fiction and documentary.

Afterschool
Antonio Campos, USA, 2008; 122m
When two students at a posh prep school accidentally overdose, a student filmmaker struggles to create an appropriate tribute for them.

Ashes of Time Redux
Wong Kar Wai, Hong Kong, 2008; 93m
The final, definitive version of Wong Kar Wai’s modernist take on the classic Chinese martial arts tale.

Bullet in the Head / Tiro en la cabeza
Jaime Rosales, Spain/France, 2008; 85m
A powerful, engrossing meditation on politics and the contemporary cult of surveillance.

Che
Steven Soderbergh, France/Spain, 2008; 268m
Steven Soderbergh’s two-part Spanish-language epic about Che Guevara’s revolutionary military campaigns in Cuba and Bolivia features a brilliant lead performance by Benicio del Toro.

Chouga / Shuga
Darezhan Omirbaev, France/Kazakhstan, 2007; 91m
A Kazakh, minimalist adaptation of Anna Karenina.

A Christmas Tale / Un conte de Noël
Arnaud Desplechin, France, 2008; 150m
Arnaud Desplechin’s grand banquet of a movie brims with life, as Catherine Deneuve, Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Devos and the other members of a marvelous ensemble cast come home for Christmas.

Four Nights with Anna / Cztery noce z Anna
Jerzy Skolimowski, Poland/France, 2008; 87m
This visually mesmerizing tale of a shy man and his obsession with the woman across the way marks the triumphant return of Polish maestro Jerzy Skolimowski.

Gomorrah / Gomorra
Matteo Garrone, Italy, 2008; 137m
A blistering version of Roberto Saviano’s modern true crime classic about the modern-day Neapolitan mafia.

Happy-Go-Lucky
Mike Leigh, UK, 2008; 118m
An affectionate portrait of an unattached, 30-something London schoolteacher coming to terms with the fact that she’s no longer young.

The Headless Woman / La mujer sin cabeza
Lucrecia Martel, Argentina/France/Italy/Spain, 2008; 87m
Argentine filmmaker Lucrecia Martel’s powerful third feature takes us into an altered perceptual state with a woman who hits something with her car.

Hunger
Steve McQueen, UK, 2008; 96m
British visual artist Steve McQueen’s feature film debut is an uncompromising look at the hunger strike led by IRA prisoner Bobby Sands in 1974.

I’m Going to Explode / Voy a explotar
Gerardo Naranjo, Mexico, 2008; 103m
Two Mexican teenagers go into hiding to see the reactions their disappearance will get from relatives and friends.

Let It Rain / Parlez-moi de la pluie
Agnès Jaoui, France, 2008; 110m
A portrait of a rising feminist politician may be the ticket to fame and jobs for two aspiring filmmakers.

RETROSPECTIVE
Lola Montès
Max Ophuls, France/West Germany, 1955; 115m
The life of the legendary courtesan and circus performer–lover of kings, knaves and Franz Liszt–is presented in its definitive, restored version.

Night and Day / Bam guan nat
Hong Sang-soo, South Korea, 2008; 144m
When his life in Seoul becomes too complicated, an artist hightails it to Paris–but things don’t get any easier.

The Northern Land / A Corte do Norte
João Botelho, Portugal, 2008; 101m
A woman searches for the truth about her life in the stories of ancestors and the distant manor house they inhabited.

Serbis
Brillante Mendoza, Philippines/France, 2008; 90m
A family tries to quell the tensions tearing it apart while it struggles to keep the family business–a porn movie theater–afloat

Summer Hours / L’heure d’eté
Olivier Assayas, France, 2008; 103m
Juliette Binoche is one of three siblings brought face-to-face with time and mortality by the sudden death of her mother in this moving new film from Olivier Assayas.

Tokyo Sonata
Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Japan/Netherlands, 2008; 85m
A Japanese family struggles to re-define itself after the father loses his corporate job.

Tony Manero
Pablo Larrain, Chile/Brazil, 2008; 98m
In the dark days of the Pinochet dictatorship, a John Travolta wannabe blazes a murderous trail through the back alleys of Chile.

Tulpan
Sergey Dvortsevoy, Germany/Kazakhstan/Poland/Russia/Switzerland, 2008; 100m
Winner of the Un Certain Regard Prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Tulpan charts an aspiring herdsman’s efforts to win the attention of his intended.

Waltz with Bashir / Vals in Bashir
Ari Folman, Israel/Germany/France, 2008; 90m
Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman’s haunting autobiographical memory piece about his experiences as a soldier during the 1982 war in Lebanon are given a hyper-real spin by state-of-the-art animation.

Wendy and Lucy
Kelly Reichardt, USA, 2008; 80m
In Kelly Reichardt’s follow-up to her acclaimed Old Joy, Wendy (Michelle Williams) searches for her dog Lucy. The troubled spirit of modern America is beautifully evoked along the way.

The Windmill Movie
Alexander Olch, USA, 2008; 80m
Filmmaker Alexander Olch, using material left by the late filmmaker Richard Rogers for a never completed film autobiography, attempts to make sense of the life of his former teacher and friend.

[Photo: “Changeling,” Universal Pictures, 2008]

+ 46th New York Film Festival (FilmLinc.com)

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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.