DID YOU READ

“Darkon” and Four Other Documentaries About Gaming

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In his book Mother Night, Kurt Vonnegut writes: “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.” Someone should mention that to the participants in Darkon, a LARP (live-action role-playing game) where, since its founding in 1985, normal everyday people dress up in homemade armor and pretend to be inhabitants of a fantasy realm, including wizards, warlords, and princesses. The LARPers take over soccer fields in suburban Maryland to battle over pretend land in a pretend country and then pack it up and go back to their day jobs. The historic battle between the imaginary kingdoms of Mordom and Laconia was captured in the documentary “Darkon,” which airs today on IFC.

The world of LARPers and their less live action-oriented brethren of the RPG (role-playing game) is a fascinating subject, combining aspects of anthropology, sociology, and homegrown cultural study. Yet, few documentarians have turned their camera lenses on to this insular world. That said, its rumored that a new Dungeons and Dragons documentary is coming out in 2013 in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the role-playing game. Until then, here are five documentaries for those interested in delving deep into the world of the gamer without leaving the comfort of their couch:

1. “Darkon”

2. “Uber Goober

3. “Life with the Dice Bag”

4. “The Dungeons & Dragons: Experience”

5. “Men Of War”

“Men Of War” A Documentary About Role Playing Games from Tiw on Vimeo.

“Darkon” airs on IFC today at 1:45 p.m. ET and Feb. 23 at 6:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. ET

Jackie That 70s Show

Jackie Oh!

15 That ’70s Show Quotes to Help You Unleash Your Inner Jackie

Catch That '70s Show Mondays and Tuesdays from 6-10P on IFC.

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When life gets you down, just ask yourself, what would Jackie do? (But don’t ask her, because she doesn’t care about your stupid problems.) Before you catch That ’70s Show on IFC, take a look at some quotes that will help you be the best Jackie you can be.


15. She knows her strengths.

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14. She doesn’t let a little thing like emotions get in the way.

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13. She’s her own best friend.

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12. She has big plans for her future.

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11. She keeps her ego in check.

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10. She can really put things in perspective.

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9. She’s a lover…

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8. But she knows not to just throw her love around.

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7. She’s proud of her accomplishments.

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6. She knows her place in the world.

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5. She asks herself the hard questions.

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4. She takes care of herself.

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3. She’s deep.

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2. She’s a problem solver.

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1. And she’s always modest.

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What to Watch on IFC: January 23 – 29

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No denying it, it’s Monday. Whether you are a Garfield or a Pollyanna, there is no arguing that Monday morning means a whole week of work lies ahead of you and you need something to look forward to. Luckily we have seven days of movies and original programming to keep you going all week long.

Here’s what to watch this week on IFC:

Monday

We all love Elmore Leonard, so when Barry Sonnenfeld tackles his novel“Get Shorty” you know it’s going to be good. In this screen adaption, John Travolta stars as Chili Palmer, a film-loving loan shark who teams up with a B-movie producer (Gene Hackman) to become a Hollywood mogul. Danny DeVito and Rene Russo round out the cast of this caper, which airs at 8/7c.

Tuesday

Costume up and get into the world of “Darkon” at 1:45 p.m. ET. The documentary follows some real-life adventurers who turn Baltimore into an imagined medieval world called Darkon. Yep, they’re LARPers and they bring the action of Dungeons and Dragons to life with their combination of physical re-enactments with character-driven storylines. It’s a fascinating look at a world not many of us are privy to.

Wednesday

A racist prison-guard (Billy Bob Thornton) has an intense affair with a black woman (Halle Berry) after her husband dies on death row. That’s right, it’s“Monster’s Ball” at 8/7c. Who wants to come up with a drinking game?

Thursday

Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg star in “The Yards” at 8/7c. After going to jail for a crime he didn’t commit, Leo (Wahlberg) gets out of jail and is quickly lured into the corrupt world of the subway-car business based out of the train yards owned by his uncle (James Caan). When a fatal error occurs, Leo has to go on the run and bring down his uncle’s operation.

Friday

Kick off the weekend with brand new episodes of “Portlandia” and “The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret”beginning at 10/9c. Don’t forget that every Friday you can chat live and play trivia on IFC Sync with other fans of Fred and Carrie while you watch the show.

Saturday

It’s a double feature of horror when we show “Hostel” and “Hostel II” back to back. In part one of the grisly pics focuses on backpackers (Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson) who find that their decision to stay at a Slovakian hostel is a gruesome mistake. Hostel II will make sure you never consider traveling abroad again after three American women take a weekend excursion and become pawns in a grisly game designed to entertain privileged deviants. The fun and frights start at 8/7c.

Sunday

Baz Luhrmann’s “Moulin Rouge” stars Ewan McGregor as a young writer in love with Satine (Nicole Kidman), the star of the Moulin Rouge cabaret. Satine loves him too, but strings along a duke who can finance improvements to the night spot. The movie was the first musical nominated for a Best Picture Oscar in a decade, but the real reason to watch it is the costumes and the songs. Now sit back and watch Christina Aguilera sing “Lady Marmalade,” because that is what you are supposed to do right now.

Jack McBrayer Conan Weiners Circle

All Smiles

5 Funny Jack McBrayer Videos That’ll Have You Grinning

Catch Jack McBrayer in the final three episodes of Todd Margaret season three tonight at 10/9C on IFC.

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Bright, shining, and with a smile from here to his native Georgia, Todd Margaret star Jack McBrayer is the perfect actor to play any role that calls for serious pep. Best known for his work on 30 Rock and his various appearances on Conan O’Brien’s late night programs, Jack has amassed a slew of classic scenes and hilarious performances.

To get you ready for the final three episodes of Todd Margaret season three (airing tonight at 10/9c on IFC), here are five hilarious Jack McBrayer clips that’ll have you smiling from ear to ear.

1. Jack and Triumph Visit Chicago’s Weiner’s Circle, Conan

Nicest guy in the world Jack McBrayer is put through the ringer when Conan sends him to the brutally honest Weiner’s Circle in Chicago, an establishment that earns much of its business by insulting the customers. But Jack exacts his revenge — and gets to don a vendor hat as well — when he enlists Triumph the Insult Comic Dog to unleash a barrage of killer put-downs.


2. Sherlock Doug, Todd Margaret

With the unexpected third season of Todd Margaret, Jack takes over the role of Doug from actor-director Spike Jonze and puts his usual jubilant spin on the character. But when he consigns to investigate the disappearance of another Todd Margaret character, he becomes a cold-hearted flatfoot in search of his perp. (Of course, he’s still pretty chipper.)


3. Jack Struggles to Talk Over Triumph’s Quiet Reading, The Tonight Show

The rapport between Jack and Triumph proved to be too valuable to abandon, so the duo kept the act going when they visited Jimmy Fallon on the set of The Tonight Show. But like the classic “straight man/comic relief” acts from the Vaudeville era, Jack can’t seem to get in a word in edgewise as he keeps getting upstaged by the canine answer to Don Rickles.


4. New Breaking Bad Drug Lord, Conan

Few television series reached the dramatic tension of Breaking Bad largely due to the phenomenal actors. But Conan discovers that one pivotal scene from the show was woefully miscast. Take a look at who was hired to play Walter White’s latest rival. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.


5. Backwards Day, 30 Rock

30 Rock had one of the greatest ensemble casts in a television comedy, and Jack played a huge role in that. (His Kenneth the Page character ending up being immortal was just a bonus.) But if you happened to miss the series when it aired, check out this easter egg of Jack McBrayer’s dedication to learning how to phonetically say a phrase backwards. When the scene plays in reverse, you’ll see he nailed it.

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