DID YOU READ

David Lynch’s Latest Surprise Ending and a Truce on DVD Chapter Stops

David Lynch’s Latest Surprise Ending and a Truce on DVD Chapter Stops (photo)

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Even if you’re not in Los Angeles, you may have heard about “Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World” director Edgar Wright’s “The Wright Stuff II” series happening at the New Beverly Cinema this week and if not, there have been some truly wonderful pieces about what’s been going on, whether it’s been Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule‘s Dennis Cozzalio’s breathless coverage of every evening of double bills Wright has shown, New Bev doyenne Julia Marchese‘s touching tribute to the repertory theater that has come full circle with Wright’s second round of programming, or Damon Houx and Peter Avellino‘s reappraisals of “American Graffiti” and “Dirty Harry,” respectively, after watching them with a packed house and the tremendous lineup of guests Wright has pulled together on a nightly basis.

Quentin Tarantino appeared positively giddy in explaining the connection between “Dirty Harry” to the Tea Party, Steven Spielberg took the time to send an e-mail to introduce “Duel,” and Walter Hill looked so flabbergasted to see such a big audience for “The Driver” (which he joked was most people in the U.S. that had ever seen the film) that it’s no wonder he’s returning to do a rare Q & A for “The Warriors” later this week. Toss in the fact that Warner Archive announced shortly after an ultra-rare screening of the idiosyncratic and undeniably fun 1974 policier “Super Cops” that it would release the film on DVD for the first time and I’d say it’s been a pretty incredible week.

Yet even Wright didn’t completely know what was in store for his screening of “Wild at Heart,” David Lynch’s trippy love story with Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern as lovers on the lam. Wright had invited producer Steve Golin, which was enough to satisfy the die-hard cinephiles in the audience who knew him as the architect of Anonymous Content and Propaganda Films, but even without that, he charmed everyone with stories of Lynch’s good luck rituals before a film like checking license plates in a parking lot for his initials and how he had a lunch meeting with Lynch where moments after he said he wanted Nicolas Cage for the part of bad boy Sailor Ripley, Cage walked into the restaurant they were eating at. However, when Wright welcomed Dern to the stage as a surprise guest after the film ended, little did he know that the actress had a surprise guest of her own.

The moment David Lynch stepped out in front of the New Beverly crowd, he received a nearly-endless standing ovation and while he and Dern ultimately didn’t speak much about the film at hand, they certainly brought down the house. Dern spoke a lot about her family connections to the film, sharing two funny anecdotes: one about Cage freaking her out a little before shooting a scene by saying, “That’s your mother in there,” expressing a slight bit of disbelief that she would be acting against her real-life mom Diane Ladd, and another involving her late grandmother, who went to premiere of “Wild at Heart,” which courted an X rating at the time for its violence and featuring Dern in various states of undress, and patted Lynch on the shoulder after to tell him he made a great film.

For his part, Lynch wanted to commend Tarantino, who unfortunately wasn’t in the crowd, for helping to save the New Beverly from destruction a few years back and eventually dropped a few tidbits for fans when the audience got to ask a few questions. On the subject of the “lost” “Blue Velvet” footage that’s been recently uncovered, he recounted the same story he told to KCRW about discovering the missing outtakes in Seattle, but if there was news on the home video front, it was Lynch’s announcement that from now on, he’ll be including chapter stops on the DVDs and Blu-rays of his films, a reversal from his previous stance. As Lynch said, he wants audiences to watch a film the whole way through a first time, but recognizes the importance of going back to observe particular scenes after an initial viewing. Also, no one should hold out hope for a sequel to “Eraserhead” after the passing of its star Jack Nance, though Lynch said, “I would love to go back to that world.”

Not surprisingly, Wright put it best the morning after on Twitter by writing, “Was too starstruck to note that when David Lynch appeared from the curtain as a surprise last night, it was like The Wizard Of Oz joined us,” a reference that could apply either to “Wild at Heart”‘s recurring “Oz” motif or the fact he left an entire crowd spellbound on what turned out to be a magical evening.

UPDATE: “ReverendBeastly” uploaded video of the event on YouTube. The clip is here:

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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.