DID YOU READ

Dan Fogler Goes “Psycho”

Dan Fogler Goes “Psycho”  (photo)

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At the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of his directorial debut, actor-turned-filmmaker Dan Fogler (“Balls of Fury,” “Fanboys”) wanted to kick-off the Q & A by thanking his friends, family and most of all, his fiancé for “keeping me sane.” “Well, she’s not doing a good job,” Fogler’s mother yelled from the back of the theater, demonstrating that humor has been passed down in the Fogler family, and nuttiness — who’s to say? And it serves him well — “Hysterical Psycho” is the kind of crazed slasher film/comedy that Alfred Hitchcock would’ve made had the famed auteur been able to fully indulge in all his alleged perversities onscreen. Fogler actually made the film in preparation for an acting role as the young Hitchcock, corralling the members of a theater company he started with his friends from Boston University called Stage 13 and taking $200,000 to shoot in the snowy woods of Maine. (The trailer is here.) It’s a modest production, but one that was clearly fun for Fogler, who flew in for the film’s premiere from Los Angeles, where he has been filming Robert Zemeckis’ motion-capture extravaganza “Mars Need Moms.”

Is there more pride in showing the first film that you directed to your parents or showing them a film as crazy as “Hysterical Psycho” and still having them love you?

[laughs] Well, I put them in the movie, so…they were pretty thankful for that. They’re very supportive. I think if it was horrible, they would’ve probably been like “that was the best thing ever!” But thank God, they dug it.

How did this movie come about?

I wanted to do an acting exercise, because there’s a movie called “The Number 13” where I’m supposed to play a young bohemian Alfred Hitchcock who’s just directed his first film, a comedy that doesn’t work as a comedy. He has to edit it and it becomes a thriller and that’s how he finds his voice. I thought it’d be cool, having my first [film] be an homage to him — a black and white hybrid of comedy and horror. [While I was] formulating it, we were doing a play called “The Voyage of the Carcass,” about friends who go out into the middle of the woods to create something. The thing that they create — because their relationships are so strained — is this play about clowns freezing their asses off in the Arctic, cannibalizing each other. So I had in my head all these images of psychotic clowns and the [idea of] going out into the wilderness, which is a common slasher movie theme — friends going out into the middle of the woods.

The director [Randy Baruh] of the play would sit in the audience and enjoy the play so much, and he would let out these little suppressed, breathy laughs. [imitates laugh] He would mouth everything and it was so freaky hearing that coming from the darkness, and then it hit me like lightning one day — that’s perfect, he’ll be the psycho in the movie. He’ll be the hysterical psycho!

04292009_HYSTERICALPSYCHO_N.jpgYou said for a while you had to act out the whole story to convince the other actors since you didn’t write the script.

My DP was the one who I just told him the concept to and he was like “I’m in!”, but everybody else…[laughs] Every time we added another member to the crew, I had to break into my one-man “Hysterical Psycho” for everybody until I gained enough respect and perspective [for] everyone to know what they were getting into. Then it was convincing them to come into the middle of the woods to freeze their asses off. [laughs]

It’s obvious that you guys are all friends and someone mentioned how you lived together in the woods as you were making the movie — how did you negotiate where the film ended and real life began?

Yeah, it’s life imitating art imitating life imitating art, working on a play about friends going out into the middle of the woods and suddenly we were out in the middle of the woods and that’s what the movie was about. Thank God everyone got along — it became a big party.

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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.