DID YOU READ

Cory Edwards will have his revenge on the Weinsteins.

Cory Edwards will have his revenge on the Weinsteins. (photo)

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With studios in financial bunker mode, the internet is becoming a punchy place not just among critics, but among jilted filmmakers as well. When “Anchorman 2” wasn’t greenlit earlier this year, someone started a fake Twitter for Paramount that said things like “Instead of funding Anchorman 2 we are doing a reboot of Hot Rod starring @danecook to be written & directed @andydick for release next year!”

We’ve come a long way from the days when directors who wanted to be heard (without journalistic help) had to spend money to do so, as when Terry Gilliam took out a full-page ad in Variety reading “Dear Sid Sheinberg: When are you going to release my film, ‘Brazil’?”

Which brings us to the strange tale of Cory Edwards, picked up first by /film. Edwards wrote and directed “Hoodwinked!,” the cheap-looking but surprisingly profitable 2005 animated hit that got the Weinstein Company off to a deceptively good start.

06162010_fragglerock3.jpgEdwards has stayed within the fold since then; he was one of the legions who tried to get the “Fletch” franchise rebooted (as detailed by EW in an article you must read if only to see Kevin Smith being incredibly bitter about Harvey Weinstein), and of late he was working on a “Fraggle Rock” movie.

“Fraggle Rock” is one of the less lovable products of the original Jim Henson studios, a musical show aimed at the very young (or very stoned) in which various various brightly colored cave-dwelling scamps sing forgettable songs. Design-wise, some resemble the creatures from the land of Gorch that listlessly staggered through the first and second seasons of “Saturday Night Live.” Yet “Fraggle Rock” has a cult following (what doesn’t?) and Edwards has been struggling towards bringing it to the big screen.

Or was trying to. On his blog on Monday, Edwards threw down the gauntlet, sniping that the Weinsteins had cut him out and were looking for a new screenwriter to make the script “edgy.” “If you only knew the horrible, horrible treatment I have received in the last six months from that studio, you’d be embarrassed by your assessment of ‘reality,'” he writes in the comments. “[I]t’s not ‘biting the hand that feeds you’ if they stopped feeding you a long time ago.”

06162010_hoodwinked.jpgThat’s a long way from Edwards’ vague earlier bitching like “Maybe he needs to get some movies out into the market fast now? Harvey, call me.” And it’s certainly a long way down from the heady days of February of 2006, when Edwards began his blog glowing over “Hoodwinked!” passing $50 million and contemplating writing “an all-mime musical.” (The blog’s quite funny, by the way.)

The internet, then, has begun to take on an unexpected and heartening function, becoming a free way for directors — once kept safely behind the scenes — to build up sympathy and support for themselves, or for the projects they’re like to get made. (No one ever sympathizes with the studio.)

Whether or not this will ever translate to real world action remains to be seen — the internet has yet to really save a movie the way it’s saved certain TV series from being canceled. Either way, it’ll make for spicy reading.

[Photos: Theoretical Dane Cook version of “Hot Rod,” Paramount, 2007; “Fraggle Rock,” Jim Henson Television, 1983; “Hoodwinked!,” Weinstein Company, 2005]

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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.

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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.

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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.