Academy Awards consider a move to January.

Academy Awards consider a move to January. (photo)

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January is currently the official movie dead zone, but it may not be for long. Deadline Hollywood reported late last night that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Board of Governors are discussing the possibility of moving next year’s Oscars to January.

The move would have major repercussions, and not just on what day the awards would air (at present, next year’s show is scheduled for February 27th, 2011). The way things shake out presently, nominations are announced just over a month before the awards (next year’s nominations announcement is currently scheduled on January 25th). If the Academy Awards moved to January, even taking into consideration the possibility of a condensed timeline, nominations would have to be announced by the beginning of January.

That means the late December slots typically treasured by awards bait movies may become far less valuable (a few of the movies sitting in those coveted spots this coming holiday season include Sofia Coppola’s “Somewhere,” Mike Leigh’s “Another Year,” and the Coens’ remake of ). If the Oscars move happens, don’t be surprised if some of these release dates shift.

The major reason for the possible move is awards season fatigue, both from the audience, who put up with a ton of these shows during the first quarter of ever year, and from the studios, who shell out millions of dollars on film’s Oscar campaigns and would greatly benefit, at least monetarily, by a move to January.

You can bet nominated stars would enjoy it too; as outlined in an exhaustive (and exhausting) piece by New York‘s Mark Harris, the battle over Oscars isn’t so much a race anymore as the Ironman competition to end all Ironman competition. In our modern world of obsessive firsties, it could only help Oscar ratings to jump ahead of some of the other, previously earlier awards shows who feed off the public’s curiosity about the Oscars like bedazzled barnacles.

Other folks that would definitely suffer from such a move include the trades, who make a killing off the For Your Consideration ads (they were one of the biggest winners of the move from five best picture nominees to ten), as well as sites like In Contention who specialize in awards coverage and see a spike in traffic during awards season. A move could also adversely affect the Sundance Film Festival, which usually dominates the world of film coverage for the second half of January but could struggle for headlines (and media and star attendance) if it overlaps with the Oscars.

That’s why if you’re gonna do the show in January, you need to make it early January, which would push the nominations into December; and that might be a reason this whole plan falls apart (or it could be the reason Sundance moves to early February in 2012, who knows).

Personally, I’d love to see a January Academy Awards, and a die off of a few of the other minor league awards as well. Gives us something to do in the otherwise quiet month of January and lets us close the book on the calendar year of movies close to when it actually ends, instead of months and months later.

[Photos: 2010 Academy Awards Nominations Ballot, Greg Harbaugh / ©AMPAS, 2010; The 82nd Academy Awards, Erik Ovanespour / © AMPAS, 2010]


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…


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. 


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 ’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?”


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).



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.


And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.


Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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GIFs via Giffy

In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.


Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.


Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!



Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.


Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.


If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.