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Fun With The Film School Thesis Statement Generator

Fun With The Film School Thesis Statement Generator (photo)

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The women of CineBoobs found a really fun website. Not to mention a useful one, too, if you’re a film student — I know I would have milked this thing dry if it had been around back when I was in grad school. It’s the Film School Thesis Statement Generator and it couldn’t be any simpler. Type in the name of a film like, say, “Plan 9 From Outer Space” and the FSTSG spits out a paper topic:

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I picked “Plan 9” because I actually did write a grad school paper about “Plan 9” in which I interrogated the meaning and underpinnings of camp viewership. It was a good essay but I like the FSTSG’s version even better. The narrative is completely masked in “Plan 9” but what little remains is almost entirely about the loss of utopia that Ed Wood predicts as the ultimate result of the Cold War arms race.

Just how good is this Film School Thesis Statement Generator? I decided to test it. Obviously it’s just randomly assigning various preset theses to whatever film you type in. But no matter what movie I tried to stump it with, its suggestions were spot-on. Like this one for “Crank: High Voltage:”

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I see. “Crank”‘s Chev Chelios is the ultimate immigrant laborer lost in the deadly post-war (not to mention post-consumerist) world of modern-day Los Angeles. His inability to find electricity to fuel his artificial heart is both a brilliant satire of the debate over immigration and work in this country and an obvious representation of peak oil and the impending world energy crisis. And the images by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor are nothing if not poetic; their tableaux of strippers, racetracks, and industrial worksites exposes the brutality of bourgeois urban sprawl.

You can’t slip anything past the generator. Look at its suggestion for “Anaconda:”

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Interesting. So the giant snake is really a giant phallic symbol, and the casting of Jon Voight an obvious critique of his landmark role in “Midnight Cowboy.” And, of course, Voight and his crew’s journey deep into the Amazon River evokes Conradian identification with those nativist urges. The subversion comes when the phallus devours the snakelike Voight in a powerful moment of Ouroborosian dread.

This thing is uncanny. All right, let’s go for broke. “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”

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Fascinating! So “Revenge of the Fallen”‘s infantile obsession with female anatomy and caricatured racist stereotypes are all intended as critique! Michael Bay’s nonsensical imagery underscores the fanciful imagination of the pre-Oedipal youth, represented onscreen by boyish leading man Shia LaBeouf. Meanwhile, the principle antagonist of the film, The Fallen, is a metaphor for all pre-Oedipal youths’ eventual loss of innocence. Ultimately, we the viewers are the true Fallen.

There you have it. The Film School Thesis Statement Generator: it works. I really could have used this thing in grad school.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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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.