DID YOU READ

And Now, the 2011 WGA Award Nominees

And Now, the 2011 WGA Award Nominees (photo)

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Yesterday the producers, today the writers. Tomorrow, presumably, the caterers and grips (my sources tell me the duck confit on the “Clash of the Titans” set was on point). Yes, the Writers Guild of America have announced their picks for finest movies of 2010. And writers must have a unique perspective on cinematic excellence, right? A better or at least different knowledge of what makes a script and a film great? No, they pretty much like all the same movies we do. And the nominees are:

Original Screenplay
“Black Swan”
Screenplay by Mark Heyman and Andres Heinz and John McLaughlin
Story by Andres Heinz

“The Fighter”
Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson

“Inception”
Written by Christopher Nolan

“The Kids Are All Right”
Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg

“Please Give”
Written by Nicole Holofcener

Adapted Screenplay
“127 Hours”
Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
Based on the book “Between a Rock and a Hard Place” by Aron Ralston

“I Love You Phillip Morris”
Written by John Requa & Glenn Ficarra
Based on the book by Steven McVicker

“The Social Network”
Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
Based on the book “The Accidental Billionaires” by Ben Mezrich

“The Town”
Screenplay by Peter Craig and Ben Affleck & Aaron Stockard
Based on the novel “Prince of Thieves” by Chuck Hogan

“True Grit”
Screenplay by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Based on the novel by Charles Portis

Documentary Screenplay
“Enemies of the People”
Written, Directed, Filmed and Produced by Rob Lemkin and Thet Sambath

“Freedom Riders”
Written, Produced and Directed by Stanley Nelson

“Gasland”
Written and Directed by Josh Fox

“Inside Job”
Produced, Written and Directed by Charles Ferguson
Co-written by Chad Beck, Adam Bolt

“The Two Escobars”
Written by Michael Zimbalist, Jeff Zimbalist

“Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him)?”
Written and Directed by John Scheinfeld

Before you ask the WGA considers docs for the Documentary Screenplay Award if they feature an onscreen writing credit (they also need to be exhibited theatrically in New York or LA for one week). Regarding the list of films as a whole, I suppose there are a few surprises (including “I Love You Phillip Morris” by Requa and Ficarra) and it is interesting to note that seven out of the ten fiction film nominees came from writers who were also directors. But you didn’t need a crystal ball to predict most of these movies.

People arbitrarily decide whether it was a “good year for movies” or a “bad year for movies.” 2010 had the “bad year” tag for a while. But then so many good films came out in the four months that I’ve started arguing the opposite. At this point, the repetition and boredom of this awards season is making me rethink that position. There can only be this much consensus about the best movies of the year if there aren’t a lot of really good movies to pick between. Sure “The Social Network” and “Black Swan” were great (they made my top ten list, after all). But it seems like everyone loves these movies. The fun of awards season is the debate: “Saving Private Ryan” versus “Shakespeare in Love,” “Avatar” versus “The Hurt Locker.” And that’s something that’s sorely lacking this year so far. I hope the Caterers and Grips Nominees stir some up. Winners for the WGA Awards will be announced Saturday, February 5 at simultaneous ceremonies in New York and Los Angeles.

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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.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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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.

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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.

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Forget Public Wifi

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

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Inter-not

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.

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Self Defense

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

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