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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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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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.

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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.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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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.
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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.
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Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
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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.
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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.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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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.

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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.

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