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Oscars 2010: The armed forces vs the alien insurgents.

Oscars 2010: The armed forces vs the alien insurgents. (photo)

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Despite the early buzz around “Precious” and the timely subject matter of “Up in the Air,” it’s looking more and more like this year’s Oscar race is going to come down to a battle of the exes, of the alien insurgents versus the armed forces, the most expensive film ever made against a particularly well-funded indie.

The Academy Awards are going to war, and it’s “Avatar” versus “The Hurt Locker” with nine nominations each — unless, of course, “The Blind Side” sneaks in and steals the win. It wouldn’t surprise me — with this year’s ten film Best Picture race, there’s a feeling that anything goes.

Best Picture
“Avatar”
“The Blind Side”
“District 9”
“An Education”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“Precious”
“A Serious Man”
“Up”
“Up in the Air”

Best Director
Kathryn Bigelow, “The Hurt Locker”
James Cameron, “Avatar”
Lee Daniels, “Precious”
Jason Reitman, “Up in the Air”
Quentin Tarantino, “Inglourious Basterds”

Best Actor
Jeff Bridges, “Crazy Heart”
George Clooney, “Up in the Air”
Colin Firth, “A Single Man”
Morgan Freeman, “Invictus”
Jeremy Renner, “The Hurt Locker”

02022010_theblindside.jpgBest Actress
Sandra Bullock, “The Blind Side”
Helen Mirren, “The Last Station”
Carey Mulligan, “An Education”
Gabourey Sidibe, “Precious”
Meryl Streep, “Julie & Julia”

Best Supporting Actor
Matt Damon, “Invictus”
Woody Harrelson, “The Messenger”
Christopher Plummer, “The Last Station”
Stanley Tucci, “The Lovely Bones”
Christoph Waltz, “Inglourious Basterds”

Best Supporting Actress
Penelope Cruz, “Nine”
Vera Farmiga, “Up in the Air”
Maggie Gyllenhaal, “Crazy Heart”
Anna Kendrick, “Up in the Air”
Mo’Nique, “Precious”

Best Animated Feature Film
“Coraline”
“Fantastic Mr. Fox”
“The Princess and the Frog”
“The Secret of Kells”
“Up”

Best Foreign Film
Argentina, “El Secreto de Sus Ojos,” Juan Jose Campanella, director
Israel, “Ajami,” Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani, directors
Peru, “The Milk of Sorrow,” Claudia Llosa, director
France, “Un Prophète,” Jacques Audiard, director
Germany, “The White Ribbon,” Michael Haneke, director

Best Original Screenplay
Mark Boal, “The Hurt Locker”
Quentin Tarantino, “Inglourious Basterds”
Alessandro Camon and Oren Moverman, “The Messenger”
Joel and Ethan Coen, “A Serious Man”
Pete Docter and Bob Peterson, “Up”

Best Adapted Screenplay
Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell, “District 9”
Nick Hornby, “An Education”
Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci and Tony Roche, “In the Loop”
Geoffrey Fletcher, “Precious”
Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner, “Up in the Air”

Best Documentary Feature
“Burma VJ”
“The Cove”
“Food, Inc”
“The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers”
“Which Way Home”

05202009_inglouriousbasterds.jpgBest Cinematography
Mauro Fiore, “Avatar”
Bruno Delbonnel, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”
Barry Ackroyd, “The Hurt Locker”
Robert Richardson, “Inglourious Basterds”
Christian Berger, “The White Ribbon”

Best Film Editing
Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron, “Avatar”
Julian Clarke, “District 9”
Bob Murawski and Chris Innis, “The Hurt Locker”
Sally Menke, “Inglourious Basterds”
Joe Klotz, “Precious”

Best Original Score
James Horner, “Avatar”
Alexandre Desplat, “Fantastic Mr. Fox”
Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders, “The Hurt Locker”
Hans Zimmer, “Sherlock Holmes”
Michael Giacchino, “Up”

Best Original Song
“Almost There,” music and lyrics by Randy Newman, from “The Princess and the Frog”
“Down in New Orleans,” music and lyrics by Randy Newman, from “The Princess and the Frog”
“Loin de Paname,” music by Reinhardt Wagner, lyrics by Frank Thomas, from “Paris 36”
“Take It All,” music and lyrics by Maury Yeston, from “Nine”
“The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart),” music and lyrics by Ryan Bingham and T-Bone Burnett, from “Crazy Heart”

Best Costume Design
Janet Patterson, “Bright Star”
Catherine Leterrier, “Coco Before Chanel”
Monique Prudhomme, “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”
Colleen Atwood, “Nine”
Sandy Powell, “The Young Victoria”

Best Art Direction
Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg for art direction, Kim Sinclair for set decoration, “Avatar”
Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro for art direction, Caroline Smith for set decoration, “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”
John Myhre for art direction, Gordon Sim for set direction, “Nine”
Sarah Greenwood for art direction, Katie Spencer for set direction, “Sherlock Holmes”
Patrice Vermette for art direction, Maggie Gray for set direction, “The Young Victoria”

Best Visual Effects
Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones, “Avatar”
Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken, “District 9”
Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton, “Star Trek”

Best Makeup
Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano, “Il Divo”
Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow, “Star Trek”
Jon Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore, “The Young Victoria”

05132009_up.jpgBest Sound Editing
Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle, “Avatar”
Paul N.J. Ottosson, “The Hurt Locker”
Wylie Stateman, “Inglourious Basterds”
Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin, “Star Trek”
Michael Silvers and Tom Myers, “Up”

Best Sound Mixing
Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson, “Avatar”
Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett, “The Hurt Locker”
Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano, “Inglourious Basterds”
Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson and Peter J. Devlin, “Star Trek”
Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”

Best Documentary Short
“China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province”
“The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner”
“The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant”
“Music By Prudence”
“Rabbit à la Berlin”

Best Animated Short
“French Roast”
“Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty”
“The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte”)
“Logorama”
“A Matter of Loaf and Death”

02022010_thedoor1.jpgBest Live-Action Short
“The Door”
“Instead of Abracadabra”
“Kavi”
“Miracle Fish”
“The New Tenants”

[Photos: Cameron on the set of “Avatar,” Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation, 2009/Bigelow on the set of “The Hurt Locker,” Summit, 2009; “The Blind Side,” Warner Bros. Pictures, 2009; “The White Ribbon,” Sony Pictures Classics, 2009; “Inglourious Basterds,” Weinstein Company, 2009; “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,” Sony Pictures Classics, 2009; “Up,” Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, 2009; “The Door,” Octagon Films, 2008]

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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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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.”

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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.

Neurotica_series_image_1

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.