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Summer Preview: Anywhere But a Movie Theater

Summer Preview: Anywhere But a Movie Theater (photo)

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Whether you’re tired of people texting during the movie, want to relax on your couch or have a fear of catching swine flu, there’s plenty of entertainment options that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home this summer, whether it’s On Demand, Online, or On DVD. A helpful guide is below, and don’t forget our look at the indie films that are hitting theaters this summer.


On Demand

Our sister company IFC Films will have quite the busy summer, providing at least one film a week to watch on demand and nowhere else. The company’s Festival Direct summer schedule recently kicked off with the Robert Pattinson teen drama “How to Be,” and will be followed on May 6th by the premieres of Pablo Proenza’s haunted house thriller “Dark Mirror” and the Patrick Wilson-Amy Smart romantic dramedy “Life In Flight,” which premiered at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival. On May 13, couch potatoes are invited to “The 27 Club,” Erica Dunton’s road trip drama about a rocker tasked with burying his best friend after a suicide. May 20th sees the release of the Swedish mid-life crisis drama “Heaven’s Heart” and the South Korean horror film “Cadaver.” Legendary Hungarian helmer Béla Tarr will premiere his noirish 2007 Cannes entry “The Man From London,” starring Tilda Swinton, on May 27th. (Bruce McDonald’s zombie thriller “Pontypool” will also be available the same date, in addition to its theatrical run.) Two days before its theatrical run courtesy of Strand Releasing on June 5th, the controversial Maria Bello-Jason Patric drama “Downloading Nancy” will premiere on IFC’s Festival Direct. On June 10th, “Fear Me Not,” the latest psychological thriller from Dogme alum Kristian Levring (“The King is Alive”) that proved popular at Tribeca this year, will debut on demand. “Happy Go Lucky”‘s Eddie Marsan and Ewen Bremmer star as historical reenactors who attempt to woo Jessica Stevenson Hynes in the comedy “Faintheart,” premiering on June 17th, the same date as the premiere of “Barbarian Invasions” writer/director Denys Arcand’s latest melancholy comedy “Days of Darkness,” starring Marc Labrèche, Diane Kruger and Rufus Wainwright. And on June 24th, Christian Molina’s Gaudí-nominated drama about a French call girl, “Diary of a Nymphomaniac,” will hit VOD.

Not to be outdone, Magnolia Pictures will premiere some of their summer slate on demand, including such titles as Steven Soderbergh’s just-released “The Girlfriend Experience” (which will be available exclusively in the comfort of your own home until its theatrical debut on May 22nd), Jennifer Chambers Lynch’s thriller “Surveillance” (May 29th in anticipation of a June 26th debut) and the Sundance fave “Humpday,” which has been reported will play VOD before its release in July.

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Online

As Alison Willmore explained back in March, the unconventional distribution outfit B-Side will be working their magic on Brett Gaylor’s doc on copyright law in the 21st century, “RiP: A Remix Manifesto,” utilizing both screenings of the film (a full schedule is here) and a “pay what you want” deal to download the recent SXSW premiere. Additionally, B-Side will screen the Zach Galifinakis-Judy Greer festival fave comedy “Visioneers” in Chicago on June 18th at the Gene Siskel Film Center. However, like “RiP,” “Visioneers” will be available to anyone with the desire to set up their own screening by signing up at the film’s Web site.

Cinetic Rights Management is set to raise the curtain on three films this summer that one can watch from the comfort of their computer — on May 8th, “Office” star Melora Hardin will premiere her directorial debut, “You,” a true family affair that was produced with her husband Gildart Jackson, who also stars in the film as a man left to raise his young daughter alone after a tragic accident. The cast is populated with familiar faces like “Smallville”‘s Allison Mack and Joely Fisher. In June, Brooklynite Dawn Scibilia’s Emmy Award-winning doc “Home,” featuring interviews with Liam Neeson, Mike Myers and Susan Sarandon, among others, waxing nostalgic about their love of living in New York, comes to your home. And July will see the online debut of Michael Almereyda’s latest drama “New Orleans, Mon Amour,” starring Christopher Eccleston as a philandering Dr. Jekyll, who plots a return to normalcy in post-Katrina New Orleans with thoughts of reuniting with his ex-wife when Hyde (Elisabeth Moss), the woman who ruined their marriage, reappears in town.

The good folks at SnagFilms will add to their 650-plus documentary film collection this May with the welcome additions of Carl Sagan’s epic “Cosmos,” the biopic of guitar legend Les Paul, “Les Paul: Chasing Sound” and the cannily opportunistic “Secrets of Angels, Demons & Masons,” which should help many make sense of the latest Tom Hanks adaptation of one of Dan Brown’s globetrotting novels by catching researcher Dan Burstein’s investigation into the real thing. In June, SnagFilms will host the online premieres of two festival favorites — Tim Hotchner’s “Accelerating America,” an inspirational 2008 Seattle Film Fest selection about a school in Rhode Island that gives at-risk high school dropouts a second chance, and Bob Ray’s acclaimed, no-holds-barred “Hell on Wheels,” a 2007 SXSW pick that chronicles the birth and revival of the Texas roller derby, scored to Texas-based rockers …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead. And speaking of music, SnagFilms also recently unveiled a series of Jack Johnson music lessons, which can be found here.

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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.

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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.