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DID YOU READ

“Grease” director would “love” to convert iconic film to 3D, along with ’80s classic “Flight of the Navigator”

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In September, IFC assembled the ultimate list of films, mostly childhood favorites, which we would like to see converted into 3D and re-released for audiences. Among those films was Randal Kleiser’s watershed coming-of-age story/sci-fi adventure, “Flight of the Navigator.” Last week, we actually got an opportunity to speak with Kleiser for the DVD release of one of his lesser-known films, “Getting It Right.” During our conversation he said that he would be interested in converting “Navigator” into 3D, as well as another one of his iconic works.

“Sure – very much so,” Kleiser told IFC. “I’d love to see ‘Flight of the Navigator’ repurposed in 3D – and ‘Grease’, too. I think ‘Grease’ would be a great one in 3D. It would have to be done with really good conversion, though, because really bad conversion is worse than no conversion.”

Kleiser indicated that he has actually studied 3D photography in the past, and has a good grasp on how best to utilize the technology for filmmaking. “Sony has a class that they give to directors and cinematographers, and it’s a three-day class,” he revealed. “The first day you sit in a theater and hear lectures about how it works, all of the problems in how to do it, and on the second day, you go to a soundstage and you do it – you shoot with 3D cameras and then in the afternoon you see it projected in 3D, what you shot in the morning. You do that for two days, and that’s really helpful to learn about all of the intricacies of it.”

Having seen a variety recent films he thought some of which were converted well, and some poorly, he acknowledged that for the time being, the process is costly and time-consuming if it’s to be done right. “The way you do 3D conversion, there’s fast ways and cheap ways, and then there’s really expensive, perfect ways, and I’m sure that’s how [James] Cameron did it. I’ve studied how conversion works, and you can kind of pull things out, but that’s the kind where if you look at bad conversion, you can see that the hair is usually on the screen plane and then the person is out, and it looks weird. They look like they’re pasted onto the screen rather than look like they’re real. But if you actually spend the time to go around and rotoscope all around the hair, then it will work. I’ve done a lot of research to see what good 3D and bad 3D is.”

Originally released in 1986, “Flight of the Navigator” arrived in theaters during the heyday of Amblin entertainment, when adventure films for kids were a dime a dozen. Today, films like “Super 8” pay tribute to the ‘80s classics that still endure, but a film like Abrams’ feels like an exception rather than the rule. Kleiser indicated that he’s actually developing a potential follow-up collaboration with the writer of “Flight of the Navigator,” Mark Baker, which he hopes to make in the near future.

“I have a project that I’m trying to get off the ground by the same writer as ‘Flight of the Navigator,’ ” Kleiser said. “It’s a little darker, a little older, and I’m hoping it will get off the ground. It’s not about a boy and an alien, but it’s not this fun little romp; it’s more scary and just offbeat. But I’m very excited about that, and I do hope we get that off the ground. So that is something that I’m looking into doing.”

Despite his enthusiasm for the project, however, he’s unsure whether Hollywood is still interested in these types of stories, although he hopes that the industry is. “We’re just about to take it around,” he revealed. “I’m not sure whether it’s going to work or not, but I hope it does.”

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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.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.