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Harmony Korine’s found footage film.

Harmony Korine’s found footage film. (photo)

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Whatever you think of art film’s designated provocateur, it’s hard to imagine anyone less famous than Harmony Korine getting a movie into major festivals that was conceived of only four months before, shot in two weeks, and consists mainly of dudes in old-person masks fellating tree branches, drinking wine bottles and — yes, indeed — humping trash. But such is “Trash Humpers,” 74 plotless minutes that gain value from a dedication to the shoddiest of VHS aesthetics; the film was edited on anachronistic VCRs, and it shows in good, nostalgic ways. It’s oddly painless, but provocative in a too easy way: Ugliness is truth, and truth ugliness.

Korine was calm and unruffled when facing the press after the screening, and they in turn asked only respectful questions. He addressed his inspirations in order. “With this movie, what happened was I grew up really close to — and live now close to — where we filmed,” Korine explained. “My wife bought this little black dog and made me walk it two or three times a day, so I would walk it in these back alleyways. Generally I like to walk at night, and I remember as a kid I spent most of life in abandoned parking lots and back alleyways and under bridges, and they now are just littered with garbage. Sometimes when I’d walk through these alleyways they would resemble humans, the way they would be laying with these things blowing over them. I don’t know what happened, I just started imagining what it’d be like to hump them. At the same time, when I was a kid there used to be a group of elderly guys who would sometimes peep through windows in the neighborhood. I’d always look through my window and catch them looking at the girl next door in this yellow house. It was a common thing.”

As for the VHS: “Sometimes when I would travel to movies, people would give me films or hand me tapes or a bird’s nest or something, and someone came up to me and handed me a video tape and told me to watch it, that they had found it in a thrift store. Usually I throw the stuff away because I’m scared to look at it, but this one I kept. A couple of months later my wife was there with her friend and they said to put a movie on, so as a joke I put this tape in. And what I saw was mainly these kids driving around, punching each other, playing tuba, screaming at each other, just things that were kind of silly and mundane, but they both started yelling at me to take it off and I said ‘Why?’ And they said, ‘because someone’s going to get murdered.’ It was a strange reaction for them to have, but then I thought it was an interesting idea, to make an idea that was like a VHS tape, that was like something that was found.”

Those were the money quotes, and they were genuinely entertaining: the rest of the conference was less so, with Korine giving many variants on the vague, art-school-y statement “They only want to take evil and make it somewhat beautiful or transcendent.” He repeatedly said he wasn’t sure if “Trash Humpers” even qualifies as a movie. He meant it in a good way, because conventional movies are boring. I’m not so sure.

[Photo: Korine at press conference. Photo courtesy of Jason Shawhan.]


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.


Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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GIFs via Giphy

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:


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.


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!


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.


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.



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.”


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. 


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.