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National Film Registry Class of ’11 includes “Silence of the Lambs” and “El Mariachi”


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Every year the Library of Congress selects 25 films of “enduring significance to American culture” for preservation as part of the National Film Registry. 550 films have joined the Registry since it was first started by congressional order in 1989, and yesterday 25 new titles were added to their prestigious ranks. They are, in alphabetical order:

“Allures” (1961), directed by Jordan Belson
“Bambi” (1942), directed by David D. Hand
“The Big Heat” (1953), directed by Fritz Lang
“A Computer Animated Hand” (1973), directed by Ed Catmull
“Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment” (1963), directed by Robert Drew
“The Cry of the Children” (1912), directed by George Nichols
“A Cure for Pokeritis” (1912), directed by Laurence Trimble
“El Mariachi” (1992), directed by Robert Rodriguez
“Faces” (1968), directed by John Cassavetes
“Fake Fruit Factory” (1986), directed by Chick Strand
“Forrest Gump” (1994), directed by Robert Zemeckis
“Growing Up Female” (1971), directed by Julia Reichert and Jim Klein
“Hester Street” (1975), directed by Joan Micklin Silver
“I, An Actress” (1977), directed by George Kuchar
“The Iron Horse” (1924), directed by John Ford
“The Kid” (1921), directed by Charles Chaplin
“The Lost Weekend” (1945), directed by Billy Wilder
“The Negro Soldier” (1944), directed by Stuart Heisler
“Nicholas Brothers Family Home Movies” (1930s-40s)
“Norma Rae” (1979), directed by Martin Ritt
“Porgy and Bess” (1959), directed by Otto Preminger
“The Silence of the Lambs” (1991), directed by Jonathan Demme
“Stand and Deliver” (1988), directed by Ramon Menendez
“Twentieth Century” (1934), directed by Howard Hawks
“The War of the Worlds” (1953), directed by Byron Haskin

As is usually the case, the Registry selected an eclectic mix of films this year: mainstream and avant-garde, silent and sound, a century old and relatively contemporary. The earliest films, a pair of silents called “The Cry of the Children” and “A Case of Pokeritis,” were made one hundred years ago. The most recent is 1994’s “Forrest Gump.” Now we can all rest easy knowing that future generations of Americans will be able to learn about life through the metaphor of a chocolate box.

You might even say that the National Film Registry is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re going to get. According to an article in The Washington Post, the selections are made by just one man: Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, who makes his choices based on the recommendations of an advisory board and regular movie fans (got a movie you want on the Registry? Submit it here). Artistic merit is good but cultural merit is better. Hence “Airplane!,” which helped inspire an entire genre of spoof comedies, made the cut last year while “The Naked Gun,” an even funnier but less influential film from the same directors, remains cruelly overlooked. Some day, Enrico Palazzo, your time will come.

According to the Post, films selected by the Registry “are preserved at the Library of Congress’s Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation in Culpeper, or through collaborations with archives, studios and independent filmmakers” and “most of the films named to the National Registry can be viewed by reservation at the Library of Congress’s reading room on Capitol Hill.” So if you live in the DC area, and you don’t feel like paying $3 to rent “Night of the Living Dead,” you can always try there.

Also: am I crazy, or is Librarian of Congress kind of the sickest job title on the planet? “What do you do?” “Oh, I’m a Librarian…OF CONGRESS.”

What movies deserve to be preserved by the National Film Registry next year? Tell us in the comments below or write to us on Facebook Twitter.


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.


Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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GIFs via Giphy

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:


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.


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!


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.


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.



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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GIFs via Giphy

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.”


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. 


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.