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Can’t Be At Cannes 2011, Friday Edition

Can’t Be At Cannes 2011, Friday Edition (photo)

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It sucks not being at the Cannes Film Festival. To keep you up-to-speed on all the latest developments with the minimum amount of pain and jealousy, we’ll be providing frequent roundups of all the biggest news and best reviews. This is the second; for additional installments, along with all our Cannes coverage, can be found here.

We start on this fine Friday with that bastard Tim League, creator of the Alamo Drafthouse and founder of Fantastic Fest, who has a seemingly endless supply of awesome, I-sold-my-soul-to-the-devil-at-a-crossroads-in-Mississippi-caliber ideas. His latest, announced yesterday at Cannes, is an anthology film he’s producing with Ant Timpson of Timpson Films and Magnet Releasing called “The ABCs of Death.” It’s just a concept at this point, but what a concept: twenty-six short films by twenty-six horror directors each about a different method of killing, one for every letter of the alphabet. So a is for asphyxiation, b is for blugeoning, c for cranial leakage, and so on. If you’ve ever been to Fantastic Fest or you’re a fan of indie horror, you’ll know a lot of the names signed up for shorts: “Timecrimes”‘ Nacho Vigalando, “Kill List”‘s Ben Wheatley, “Red White and Blue”‘s Simon Rumley, “The House of the Devil”‘s Ti West, and many more. Production’s scheduled to begin next month and conclude by January of next year. For more info, and a better look at that great poster I’ve sampled above, you can go to TheABCsofDeath.com.

But “The ABCs of Death” wasn’t the only bit of absurdly cool movie news emanating from the south of France last night. Screen Daily, reported that Lars von Trier, he of “Antichrist,” “Dogville” and assorted other batshit crazy/beautiful movies fame, is teaming with Martin Scorsese, he of movies so famous they needn’t be mentioned fame, to remake von Trier’s 2003 film “The Five Obstructions.” In the original film, von Trier challenged one of his filmmaking inspirations, Jørgen Leth, to recreation his 1967 film “The Perfect Human” five different times, each with a different set of “obstructions.” So, for example, in one version he couldn’t have use any shot that lasts longer than half a second; in another he had to remake it as a cartoon and so on. If the collaboration alone isn’t exciting enough, Screen reports that “it is believed that ‘Taxi Driver’ will be the film that von Trier asks Scorsese to revisit.” In other news, I have already declared “The Five Obstructions 2: You Talking to Me?” the best film of 2012.

Back in the world of completed movies, the big release that’s ran the critical juggernaut since yesterday is director Gus Van Sant’s “Restless,” which opened Cannes’ Un Certain Regard sidebar. Here’s Karina Longworth in The Village Voice with an excerpt from her less than positive review:

“The story of the doomed romance between a funeral-crashing rebel dreamboat (Henry Hopper, son of Dennis) and the terminally ill sprite (Mia Wasikowska) whose calm (if highly affected) stroll towards death teaches him a little something about life, is essentially a Nicolas Sparks flick given a Van Sant aesthetic makeover… It’s also a film with absolutely nothing on its mind, and sub-teen-TV quality dialogue (the script is the first produced screenplay by Jason Lew) that elicited chortles from some critics in Thursday morning’s screening.”

Ouch. Kevin Jagernauth has a similar take over on The Playlist, saying it’s “easily the first hard flop of the Cannes Film Festival” and that “almost every element of ‘Restless’ feels like the script needed another pass.” This seems to be the early consensus on the film, though a couple reviews I’ve read online were a little kinder; Simon Gallagher from Film School Rejects compared his reaction to the film to his discovery of “Blue Valentine” at Cannes last year, calling it “a tender and touching portrait of a fleeting love affair tempered by, and leading towards tragedy.” But unfortunately the majority of critics weren’t impressed and by the end of the film were, y’know getting, uh, what’s the word for when you’re bored by something, and you’re uncomfortable, and you’re like fidgeting in your seat and stuff? Eh, it’ll come to me.

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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.