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DID YOU READ

Liam Gallagher takes a bite out of the Beatles’ Apple.

Liam Gallagher takes a bite out of the Beatles’ Apple. (photo)

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Amidst all the groaning and disappointment currently emanating from Cannes, there was a bright spot: Liam Gallagher — he of the ferociously entertaining interviews and, oh yeah, Oasis — arrived at Cannes, fresh from the dissolution of his band, to talk up his forthcoming movie “The Longest Cocktail Party.” Advance rumors have pegged this as a film about the last days of The Beatles, but this, he told The Guardian‘s Xan Brooks, was untrue. It’s about Apple Records, the mostly unsuccessful record label they founded, and it’s based on Richard DiLello’s memoir, which appears to be one of those reasonably amusing tell-all accounts from inside a failure and a warm-up to all those burning-your-industry-bridges autobiographies to come.

It’s worth clicking on the Brooks link just to watch the video, where Gallagher manages to say “You know what I mean?” 20 times in three minutes. Still, he has his lucid moments: he says he’s only going to make one film and then get out (“I’m not gonna be doing films about whales or unkempt eyebrows”), which is a mild shame insofar as musicians don’t have much of a history of making films about other musicians. Then again, critics have long pointed out that Oasis owes a debt to The Beatles, and to make a film even tangentially about them seems to be the logical culmination of a lifetime.

Nonetheless, when Brooks asks about what it means to make a film about The Beatles, Gallagher snaps that this movie won’t feature the band in any way because “that’s been done” and biopics suck. All of which is true. But there’s another reason a Beatles biopic would be redundant, despite the fact there’s never been a full-on, career-spanning one — more so than pretty much any other band, The Beatles meticulously documented themselves to make sure no one would ever have to conjure them up again.

05182010_yellow.jpgThough at first they were content to just be subjects (in the Maysles brothers’ bright and bemused “Meet The Beatles”), the band quickly figured out that image self-management was the only kind that worked. That’s a simplification: they weren’t happy with “Help!” and “Yellow Submarine” and “Let It Be” were only done to fulfill their obligations to United Artists. Still, they’re there on screen, in roughly all of their incarnations; even when they were hiding in the studio, they were on-screen one way or another. If they hadn’t been trying, there still couldn’t have been a more effective way to discourage future filmmakers than flooding the market with their own productions. (It’s no coincidence that all their biopics have focused on the early, relatively undocumented days.)

In fact, “Yellow Submarine” did fictionalize them while they were together more neatly than any post hoc movie could. They admitted long after the fact that they were actually pleased with the film, as well they should’ve been. It gets the balance right between the clean-cut wit of their early incarnation and the later period, when the band was venturing into weirder psychic terrains and…well, you know all this stuff, but the movie splits the difference so genially that it kind of sums up everything lovable about the band without all the garbage. The animation remains genuinely surreal, so much so it can make over-familiar songs seem momentarily strange again.

Liam Gallagher doesn’t want to mess with the Beatles’s legacy; he just wants to use their record label to show why the record industry doesn’t work, or to champion an underappreciated aspect of the band’s oeuvre. (The book looks like terrific source material, honestly.) Good for him.

[Photos: “Yellow Submarine,” MGM/UA Home Entertainment, 1968.]

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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.