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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]


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.