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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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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IFC: How would you describe Janice and Jeffrey to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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