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Spring Preview: A Repertory Calendar for the Coasts

Spring Preview: A Repertory Calendar for the Coasts (photo)

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There’s no need to focus all your attention on new releases, particularly not when spring is studded with enough fantastic repertory scheduling to fill your every evening. Here’s a look at what’s been planned in New York and L.A.

New York:

Anthology Film Archives

Catalan filmmaker Albert Serra returns to the Anthology Film Archives from Feb. 25-March 3 to present his latest film, “Birdsong,” an atmospheric retelling of biblical Three Wise Men story with an eye towards the desert landscape they were traveling [pictured left], in addition to Mark Peranson’s experimental making-of “Birdsong” doc, “Waiting for Sancho,” which will show on Feb. 28 and March 1… On March 4, ’60s underground filmmaker Jose Rodriguez Soltero will get a double feature of two newly restored prints of his 1965 exploration of narcissism, “Jerovi,” and the 1966 celebration of Mexican Hollywood star Lupe Velez, “Lupe.”… From March 5 through 15, one of America’s finest character actors gets a retrospective when Rip Torn presents his eclectic body of work, including Norman Mailer’s “Maidstone” (March 5 and 11) and “Beyond the Law” (March 9 and 15), Daryl Duke’s rough-and-tumble character study “Payday” (March 5, 8, and 13), Moses Milton Ginsberg’s voyeuristic drama “Coming Apart” (March 6 and 10, with Ginsberg introducing on the 6th), Alan Rudolph’s “Songwriter” (March 6 and 10), the Jean-Luc Godard-D.A. Pennebaker-Ricky Leacock collaboration “One P.M.” (March 7, 12, 15), Richard Brooks’ “Sweet Bird of Youth” (March 7 and 14), Ira Sachs’ “Forty Shades of Blue” (March 7 and 14), Cornel Wilde’s “Beach Red” (March 8 and 12), Karl Malden’s rarely seen directorial debut “Time Limit” (March 8 and 11), Joseph Strick’s “Tropic of Cancer” (March 10 and 13), and “Lucky Days,” the premiere of the Coney Island-set drama directed by Torn’s two children Angelica and Tony, on March 14, preceded by a collection of the elder Torn’s TV work… Abstract filmmaker Coleen Fitzgibbon will present some of her early work on March 6 and 7… The Flaherty NYC Seminar shows work from Jacqueline Goss (“Stranger Comes to Town”) and Joshua Weinstein (“Flying on One Engine”) on March 9… The Bronx-born Kuchar Brothers get a retrospective of their experimental shorts from March 11-17, from their earliest home movies to George Kuchar’s “Classroom Cavalcades” from his time teaching at the San Francisco Art Institute… Appropriately enough, George Kuchar is also included in the presentation of “Treasures IV: American Avant-Garde Film, 1947-1986,” the newest DVD collection from the the National Film Preservation Foundation, from which highlights including the work of Stan Brakhage, Andy Warhol and Jonas Mekas, will be shown on March 18 and 19 in honor of the DVD set’s impending release… Michel Auder takes his career as a video artist and diarist to an extreme with this 177-minute quasi-autobiography, “The Feature,” which will be shown from March 18-24… Multidisciplinary artist Elaine Summers will be at the Archives on March 28 for an evening of her unique brand of live performance and film… On April 9-12, the Archives will follow up with a Chelsea Hotel tribute comprised of films including Andy Warhol’s “The Chelsea Girls” and Alex Cox’s “Sid and Nancy,” among others…. Legendary avant-garde filmmaker Hollis Frampton’s kaleidoscopic seven-part “autobiography” and examination of film will be presented in full over six nights at the archives from March 25-31… Following February’s MoMA tribute to the man called the father of public access television, the Archives are hosting a tribute all their own to the documentary filmmaker and NYU film professor George C. Stoney every Wednesday in April, starting on the 8th… “David Holzman’s Diary” director Jim McBride will also get a retrospective from April 8-13, with rare screenings of his 1970s output like the 1974 sex comedy “Hot Times” and 1971’s sci-fi nuclear war adventure “Glen and Randa.”…The Archives plans to fill the void left by the dearly departed New York Underground Film Festival with the Migrating Forms Film Festival, running from April 15-19… The late Shirley Clarke surely would’ve appreciated such a festival, but the pioneering experimental filmmaker will get a retrospective of her own from April 22 through 28… And Swiss filmmaker Thomas Imbach, who popularized mixing film with video, brings his documentary/narrative hybrids like 2001’s “Happiness is a Warm Gun” to the Archives on April 24 through 26.

02182009_Rififi.jpgFilm Forum

Continuing its “Breadlines and Champagne” series of Depression-era films, the Film Forum plays host to double bills of “Dead End” and “Three on a Match” (Feb. 20), “Scarface” and “Blood Money” (Feb. 21), “It Happened One Night” and “Bombshell” (Feb. 22-23), Mervyn LeRoy’s “Little Caesar” and “Two Seconds” (Feb. 25), “No Greater Glory” and “This Day and Age” (Feb. 26), “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town” and a restored “Theodora Goes Wild” (Feb. 27), “King Kong” and “42nd Street” (Feb. 28), the musicals “Golddiggers of 1933” and “Footlight Parade” (March 1), “Me and My Gal” and “Central Park” (March 2), “Counsellor at Law” and “The Mouthpiece” (March 4), “Upperworld” and “Night World” (March 5). For those really looking to pinch a penny, there are also two triple features: “Female,” “Ex-Lady” and “Mills of the Gods” (Feb. 24), and “Taxi!,” “Lawyer Man” and “Blonde Crazy” (March 3)… Restored prints of John Stahl’s 1945 melodrama “Leave Her to Heaven” (March 6-12) and Costa-Gavras’ “Z” (March 13-26) follow… Film Forum also remembers the late Jules Dassin with a two-week retrospective that mixes the noir specialist’s classics such as “Night and the City” (March 27-28), a double bill of “The Naked City” and “Thieves Highway” (March 29), “Brute Force” (April 2) and “Rififi” [pictured right] (April 3-4) with many of his lesser known (and mostly still-unreleased-on-DVD) films like Dassin’s first film, “Nazi Agent,” which shares a double bill with the Joan Crawford-John Wayne starrer “Reunion in France” (March 30), his 1958 African-American-cast remake of “The Informer,” “Up Tight!” (March 31), and his collaborations with his wife, actress Melina Mercouri, starting with “He Who Must Die” (April 1-2) and subsequent double features of “Topkapi” and “Never on Sunday” (April 5) and “10:30 PM Summer” and “The Rehearsal” (April 6), and “Phaedra” and “A Dream of Passion” (April 7)… Another noir king’s underappreciated career detour is being dusted off when Jean-Pierre Melville’s 1961 Occupation drama “Léon Morin, Priest” plays a week-long engagement (April 17-23), followed by a week-long run of Luis Buñuel’s “Viridiana” (April 24-30).

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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.