DID YOU READ

Roman Polanski should direct “Breaking Dawn”…

Roman Polanski should direct “Breaking Dawn”… (photo)

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…because hey, somebody has to, right? This time last year, all the acclaim for Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” actually led people to speculate that she’d be the natural choice to direct an installment of the “Twilight Saga,” since both her film and the franchise were distributed by Summit.

Like Catherine Hardwicke, who’d just been dismissed because she thought she wouldn’t have enough time to turn around a quality sequel, Bigelow also happened to lack a Y chromosome (and she’s an exacting, intelligent director of kick-ass action, but for many, that was a secondary consideration). Summit eventually went with Chris Weitz for “New Moon” and “Hard Candy”‘s David Slade for “Eclipse,” and Edward and Bella had their marching orders.

With today’s announcement that Roman Polanski’s thriller “The Ghost Writer” has been picked up by Summit for a spring 2010 release, I think it’s time to start a push for the newest member of the Summit family to direct the fourth and final installment in the “Twilight” books. I mean, sure, Weitz’s successful outing with “New Moon” has led many of those same spectators to suggest he’s the most likely candidate for the potentially two-part “Breaking Dawn” extravaganza, but there’s still no director officially attached yet, and there are a couple reasons to think this could work, in spite of Polanski’s legal troubles:

“Breaking Dawn” is batshit crazy.
By now, you may have read Devin Faraci’s widely linked breakdown of Stephenie Meyer’s finale to the vampire series, and if you haven’t, you should. But to summarize, Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Bella (Kristen Stewart) finally consummate their relationship after getting married, have literally otherworldly sex and produce a crazy strong vampire baby who becomes the object of Jacob’s (Taylor Lautner) intense affection. Faraci originally suggested David Cronenberg for the job, particularly for the way he might handle the “C-section [that Edward gives Bella] with his fucking teeth,” but here I’d have to suggest the austerity that the director of “Rosemary’s Baby” might be able to bring to the birth might amount to something even better.

12112009_newmoon.jpgHe’s available (sorta).
Summit’s emphasized a quick turnaround on the “Twilight” series to keep the fleeting attention spans of its teenage audience, and Polanski, who was apparently able to finish the editing on “The Ghost Writer” while under house arrest in Switzerland, obviously has nothing but time on his hands. If Wes Anderson can direct a movie via email, there’s pretty much no stopping Polanski from doing the same on “Breaking Dawn,” some of which could anyway surely be filmed outside his door to mirror the wintry look of Forks, WA. Plus, he surely could use the cash for his legal bills, and Summit’s already decided to weather any blowback about working with the guy by picking up his latest movie.

Actors love him.
Getting past the obvious obstacle/joke of having to direct teenage girls, Polanski could reinvigorate the series’ star Stewart, whose boredom with the whole “Twilight” thing extends far beyond the glazed over look she gives to either Edward or Jacob when they’re ripping off their shirts. Though biting her bottom lip has taken her a long way as Bella, Stewart’s repeatedly shown that she wants to get back to the career she had before “Twilight” with films like “Into the Wild” and “In the Land of Women.” (To that end, she spent her “Twilight” hiatus filming the Sundance-bound Joan Jett biopic “The Runaways” and “Welcome to the Rileys,” in which she plays a prostitute.) Give her and likely Oscar nominee Anna Kendrick a director of similar stature and they might actually be happy to show up to work again.

And yeah, this is all in jest — but we’d never have predicted Werner Herzog would helm a “Bad Lieutenant” remake, either. Stranger things have happened.

[Photos: Roman Polanski on the set of “Oliver Twist,” TriStar Pictures, 2005; “The Twilight Saga: New Moon,” Summit, 2009]

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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.