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James Franco’s “Three’s Company” Art Project

James Franco’s “Three’s Company” Art Project (photo)

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Last year, Joseph Gordon-Levitt ruled Sundance’s experimental, installation-based New Frontier Program with selections from his crowdsourced, collaborative hitRECord project. This year, the big name is everyone’s favorite adorably droopy-eyed multi-hyphenate James Franco, whose “Three’s Company: The Drama” is “a multi-media examination of the classic 70s sit-com” that Franco hopes will gives us “a slightly oblique perspective” on the medium of television.

Here’s the entire line-up, descriptions courtesy of the festival.

A Machine to See With
Blast Theory (United Kingdom)
Mixing documentary material, stolen thriller clichés and the films of Jean-Luc Godard, A Machine to See With invites the audience to take risks, play games and connect the fantasy of a thriller movie with the political questions that each one of us must face through interaction with an automated system of interaction and control that navigates the participant through the underbelly of the city. A Machine to See With premiered at the 2010 01SJ Biennial.

All That is Solid Melts Into Air
Mark Boulos (United Kingdom, The Netherlands)
All That is Solid Melts into Air juxtaposes two documentary videos on opposite sides of the wall. The viewer is in between these two powerful videos trying to negotiate the films. One film depicts the Nigerian Guerrilla group that battles the colonization of petroleum resources on their land. The other film depicts stock traders in Chicago who are speculating on futures. As the films play the audio and intensity of the films crescendo to an uproar.

We Like America and America Likes Us (The Corpse)
The Bruce High Quality Foundation (U.S.A.)
The hearse/ambulance is a vehicle designed for both pragmatic emergency response and ceremonial lament. Its chassis astride a fresh piece of asphalt — a corpse on clean sheets — embodies a great American contradiction, a national character with a remarkable gift for survival despite its moves toward implosion. A showing of dark patriotism and a yearning for the possibility of transcendent national purpose while holding the contradictions and let-downs of history, We Like America and America Likes Us (The Corpse) is an allegory of American national consciousness.

SPIN and HIPOCAMPO 2
Daniel Canogar (Spain)
Canogar work explores the short lifespan of the technologies that we use daily. He takes electronic detritus and transforms it into stunning sculptural installations. Spin is an installation comprised of the copied contents of 100 discarded DVDs that are projected back onto their surface, revealing the moving images trapped within the discs. Hipocampo 2 is a sculptural work made of tangles of electric, telephone, and computer cables. Lines of light are projected onto the sculpture creating an illusion of the motion of electricity through time and space.

Three’s Company: The Drama
James Franco
Three’s Company: The Drama is a multi-media examination of the classic 70s sit-com. Television has undoubtedly shaped our world: our increased exposure to dramatic entertainment, the shapes of our houses, the shape of the time in our day. In this piece James Franco hopes to pull television from the box and view it from “a slightly oblique perspective.”

After Ghostcatching
Bill T. Jones and OpenEnded Group (U.S.A.)
A re-envisioning of Ghostcatching (1999), After Ghostcatching is built up from the same motions and vocalizations of Bill T. Jones used in the earlier work, but explores the themes of disembodiment and identity with the new possibilities opened up by 3D projection and a custom 3D renderer. As viewers don their 3D glasses, they experience the virtual movement in real depth.

Theater III + Edgar
Avish Khebrehzadeh (U.S.A.)
Avish Khebrehzadeh’s works evoke fairy tales and dreamscapes, often inspired by her actual dreams and memories. Her painting and video form one integrated work. In Theatre III+Edgar, three loosely linked vignettes unfold. A pregnant woman is carried past a village into the desert where the three men who have been carrying her, leave her. She disappears down a hole with the man who has been digging it.

Moony
Akio Kamisato, Satoshi Shibata and Takehisa Mashimo (Japan)
Moony, by Akio Kamisato, Satoshi Shibata and Takehisa Mashimo from IAMAS in Japan, uses steam as both a screen and an interactive interface. Touch one of the virtual butterflies projected into the vapor, and it will fly away and disappear. But hold your hand into the steam for a while and butterflies will flock around and play with you. Moony received the Ars Electronica [the next idea] art and technology grant in 2004.

The Johnny Cash Project and The Wilderness Downtown
Aaron Koblin & Chris Milk (U.S.A.)
In The Johnny Cash Project participants are invited to create a drawing that is woven into a collectively rendered, hand drawn animated music video tribute to Johnny Cash set to his song “Ain’t No Grave.” The work continues to grow and evolve as more people participate.

! WOMEN ART REVOLUTION and RAW/WAR
Lynn Hershman Leeson (U.S.A.)
!Women Art Revolution is a documentary film exploring and revealing the Feminist Art Movement in the US from 1968 to the present. The rarely seen footage and interviews uncover how the Feminist Movement transformed the art of our times. RAW/WAR is an interactive, community-curated video archive which allows users to access footage, as well as share their own stories through text, images, video clips, and links that highlight the achievements and practices of women artists.

Myth and Infrastructure and Dreaming of Lucid Living
Miwa Matreyek (U.S.A.)
Myth and Infrastructure is a multi-media performance involving projected animation on screen, body, and props. Matreyek’s body becomes part of a layered world of animation, light and shadow. Her strikingly beautiful images lure the viewer into the piece and the story. The dreamy audio is sung by Anna Oxygen. Dreaming of Lucid Living is an exploration of shadow and animation and themes of domestic spaces, dream-like vignettes, large and small cities, magical powers.

Glowing Pathfinder Bugs
Squidsoup (United Kingdom)
Glowing Pathfinder Bugs is an interactive art installation that uses projection to visualize virtual bugs on a real sandpit. The bugs are aware of their surroundings and respond to its form in their vicinity. Viewers can pick bugs up, dig holes and create mounds that the bugs respond to. The piece was originally commissioned by Folly Gallery for Portable Pixel Playground.

ELEPHANT
Deke Weaver (U.S.A.)
ELEPHANT is the second chapter in Weaver’s lifelong project, The Unreliable Bestiary: an ark of stories about animals, our relationship to them, and the worlds they inhabit. Inspired by the literary concept of the unreliable narrator and the medieval bestiary, which gave every living thing a spiritual purpose the project will present an evening-length performance for each letter of the alphabet – the letter representing a particular endangered animal or habitat. From burial rituals to subtle interpersonal communications to post-traumatic stress, elephant and human societies have remarkable similarities.

Pandemic 1.0
Lance Weiler (U.S.A.)
Pandemic 1.0 is a transmedia storytelling experience that spans film, mobile, online, real-world, social gaming and data visualization. Over the course of the festival the story will unfold enabling viewers / players to step into the shoes of our protagonists. The story experience starts when a mysterious sleep virus begins to affect the adults in a small rural town, the youth soon find themselves cut off from civilization and fighting for their lives. Will they survive? Can you survive?

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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.