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DID YOU READ

What 3D movies really need are more dance numbers.

What 3D movies really need are more dance numbers. (photo)

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Good news, technology boosters and fans of progressive cinema: the UK has finally stopped paying attention to trifling matters like who’s in charge of the country and gotten around to producing their first 3D film.

If even the title “Streetdance 3D” sounds suspiciously like the upcoming “Step Up 3-D,” well… watching the trailer below won’t disabuse you from that notion. They just got the number in on the first try. (Another original American music product co-opted by our villainous ex-colonial masters!)

It’s not terribly surprising that the British film industry — which doesn’t have nearly as much money to throw around as Hollywood — would take this long to produce a 3D film. 3D is fast becoming the industrial standard for mega-expensive blockbusters — something confirmed by the bizarre fact that a Tim Burton film has now made $1 billion — but the UK isn’t in the business of producing such films.

Putting aside ’70s porno novelties like “Disco Dolls in Hot Skin”, there were basically three main 3D waves, the latest of those three being the one we’re currently in the middle of. In the ’50s, like now, 3D films were attempted both by the respectable, like Hitchcock’s “Dial M For Murder,” and the not-so-much, like “Bwana Devil” with Robert Stack:

Eventually it stalled out. In the ’80s, by contrast, it was always and forever a gimmick, which is why it didn’t prosper; a gimmick is a novelty until it’s not. The stakes were lower, the budgets and revenues not so extreme.

An effort like “Streetdance 3D” owes more to a ’50s 3D musical like “Kiss Me Kate” than anything — it acknowledges that 3D is excellent for stuff that’s kinetic and distracting otherwise, no matter what James Cameron has to say about it.

05282010_rampling.jpgSo far, the best 3D efforts have been the ones that acknowledge that you don’t really need all that space and depth unless you are a) in balletic motion of some kind (“Avatar”) b) showcasing the artificial depth and details of a world conceived with 3D in mind (“Coraline” and “Avatar” again, the two best of the bunch thus far).

Until someone makes history with a stellar 3D narrative in which the visuals are inextricable from the story, each 3D movie will have to find its own visual rationale. Something like the UK’s “first 3D movie” is just another blip on the radar, though our gimmicky dance/3D movies don’t generally include thespians the caliber of Charlotte Rampling, one of “Streetdance 3D”‘s stars. Paging Julia Stiles.

[Photos: “Streetdance 3D,” Vertigo Films, 2010]

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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.