DID YOU READ

“The Other F Word,” reviewed

“The Other F Word,” reviewed (photo)

Posted by on

A version of this review first ran as part of our coverage of South by Southwest 2011.

When Roger Daltrey first sang “My Generation” and said he hoped he’d die before he got old, just how old was he talking about? The guys’s 67 and not only is he not dead, he’s still singing that song. That’s the weird thing about rock stars: they get older but their songs — and their fans — stay the same age. When Jim Lindberg started the punk band Pennywise, he was 23. Now he’s in his mid-40s with a wife and three young daughters. On stage, he’s still the same obnoxious guy he was two decades ago, still singing about effing authority. Off stage, his big concern is making sure he’s home from touring in time for the big father/daughter dance. Reconciling those two sides of his personality is hard and getting harder.

That’s why I liked the documentary “The Other F Word” about Lindberg and a whole generation of punk rockers who have become parents. It’s not just a fluffy portrait of dudes with tattoos and their cute kids; like a good punk rock song, “F Word” is suffused with anger and love and frustration. These guys love their families, but they love their music too. Both are full-time jobs, and it’s tough to have two full-time jobs at the same time.

Lindberg’s existential crisis and his increasing isolation from his Pennywise bandmates (who don’t have kids) provides “The Other F Word” with its core narrative, but director Andrea Blaugrund Nevins fills out the film with anecdotes from tons of punk rock dads At every turn, their interviews confounded my expectations. I wasn’t prepared to watch Flea cry while he describes what his daughter means to him or to listen to Art Alexakis talk about the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse that inspired his song “Father of Mine.” I typically don’t have a lot of patience for woe-is-me stories about celebrities, but these are different. There’s a genuinely tragic dimension to this punk rock lifestyle. Its live fast, die young ethos has been romanticized by its fans to such a degree that they expect and almost demand their heroes live deranged, tortured lives. In many cases, that expectation becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Few punkers have enough money to retire so they have to keep playing, and to keep playing, they keep acting like they’re 21. As Lindberg notes, that can be hazardous to your health in middle age whether you’re a father or not.

There are plenty of laughs in “The Other F Word” — who doesn’t get a kick out of NOFX’s Fat Mike’s daughter scowling at him as he giggles at his own farts — but there are some hard truths too, most importantly about the sad state of the music industry, where record sales have evaporated to the point that the only way to make a living at rock and roll is through constant touring, which isn’t an option for a family man like Lindberg. The movie really captures how soul-deadening it can be to play the same song night after night, in one city after another, while your family is thousands of miles away. In maybe the best scene in the film, Lindberg tries to do a video Skype chat with his family while he’s out on the road. The connection’s bad and the call gets lost, and his kids are left talking to a big black void on their computer screen whether their dad used to be. That scene is emotionally devastating enough to make you hope your music career dies before you get old.

“The Other F Word” opens today at Film Forum in New York City and Friday at The Nuart in Los Angeles. If you see it, tell us what you think in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Watch More
JaniceAndJeffrey_102_MPX-1920×1080

Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

Posted by on

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.

JaniceAndJeffrey_106_MPX-1920x1080

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.

Watch More
IFC-Die-Hard-Dads

Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

Posted by on
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.

Watch More
IFC-revenge-of-the-nerds-group

Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

Posted by on
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.

geowash_flat

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.

Watch More
Powered by ZergNet