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Jason Reitman at the New Beverly

Jason Reitman at the New Beverly (photo)

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More Spring Preview: [Theatrical Calendar]
[Anywhere But a Movie Theater]
[Repertory Calendar for the Coasts]

Forgive Jason Reitman if he can’t remember exactly how it came about that he would be guest programming the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles. Even though he can easily recall first stepping inside the repertory shrine for a program of Alfred Hitchcock miscellany including WWII propaganda shorts and the “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” episode “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” when he was 16, these are busy times for the writer/director, who has either been shuttling around town collecting awards for “Up in the Air” or holed up adapting Joyce Maynard’s novel “Labor Day” in recent months. Still, he’s taking a break to show some of his favorite films this week at the theater, and introducing each double feature on first night they show. He also found the time to tell us about his choices, so even if you aren’t in L.A. this week, you can get a prime the pump for watching them at home.

02152010_BuellerElection.jpgJohn Hughes’ “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and Alexander Payne’s “Election” (February 19 & 20)

First, I think “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is kind of a perfect movie and in particular, “Election” is a film that deeply influenced me and I just thought it would be interesting to see Matthew Broderick as student versus Matthew Broderick as teacher, not to mention Matthew Broderick in control of the world versus Matthew Broderick [with] the world in control of him. I think they’re oddly perfect two sides of the same coin, in which in “Ferris Bueller” we see the world as hopeful as it gets – that last year of high school when there is opportunity in anything, and then “Election” is about the opposing moment when you realize this is it. “Ferris Bueller” is a movie about there being no ceiling and “Election” seems to be a movie about touching the ceiling for the first time. Or banging your head on it.

02152010_BoogieShampoo.jpgHal Ashby’s “Shampoo” and Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Boogie Nights” (February 21 & 22)

“Boogie Nights” is a film that I saw at the Beverly Center for the first time at their first test screening and I saw the long version and that was a movie where I saw it and thought, wow, everything’s about to change. And “Shampoo” is a film that had an extraordinary influence on me as well, just in how I tell stories. I think “Up in the Air” is me desperately trying to make my “Shampoo” and I just thought they oddly went together. I think of Wahlberg’s character and Beatty’s character as interesting parallels. Oddly, now that I’m looking at all of my double features, I have to do with comparing the main characters. That there’s interesting line between the stars. Looking at “Boogie Nights” and “Shampoo,” there’s this inexplicable connection between their main characters and their ability to woo women that in a strange way their knack for romance is also their albatross.

02152010_BreakingBottle.jpgPeter Yates’ “Breaking Away” and Wes Anderson’s “Bottle Rocket” (February 24 & 25)

In the case of “Bottle Rocket” and “Breaking Away,” they’re my two favorite movies about misunderstood youth. They’re both about groups of guys in their late teens, early twenties who have been kind of cast aside and are trying to figure it out. I think it’s the [double feature] that excites me the most. It’s funny, I find a lot of people haven’t seen “Breaking Away” or haven’t seen it in a long time and I saw it recently, maybe a year or two ago, and I was struck by how perfect it is. It’s a movie without a false note and the actors are perfect. All four of those guys are just impeccable in it and it takes a world that people [ordinarily] don’t have access to, Suburban town in Indiana and yet has all these accessible ideas. And it speaks to the idea of our hopes and dreams and perhaps the moment where we’re let down. I suppose that’s in all six films that I’m showing and I guess it’s an important idea to me because it runs throughout my films as well — that moment of awakening and whether you acknowledge it or not.

If you live in the L.A. area, tickets are still available for Jason Reitman’s guest programming stint at the New Beverly with double features of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Election” (Feb. 19-20), “Shampoo” and “Boogie Nights” (Feb. 21-22), and “Breaking Away” and “Bottle Rocket” (Feb. 24-25).

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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.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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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:

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.