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James McTeigue says Occupy protestors using “V for Vendetta” masks “got the film”

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When the Occupy protests started popping up around the country–and the world–last year, there was one face that many were surprised to see present: Guy Fawkes.

During the protests, people started wearing the Guy Fawkes mask popularized by the 2006 film “V for Vendetta.” While some protestors likely wore it to align themselves with the beliefs held by 17th century protestor Guy Fawkes, others said they felt “V for Vendetta” is very relevant with the problems facing our country today.

IFC had the chance to catch up with “V” director James McTeigue while he was promoting his new movie, “The Raven,” and we couldn’t resist asking him what he thought of the use of the Guy Fawkes masks during the Occupy protests.

“I think they got the film,” he said. “The graphic novel was more about the individual, and very consciously I made the film about the mask, or about the populous, if you like. So when I saw all those people in the masks, I thought it was great. The film talks about a lot of things, obviously, but you know that is a big part. The questioning of government in your life and whether government is truly, in a democracy, representing you. You know, it also talks about the morality of terrorism and what makes a terrorist, but yeah, I liked it. I would have to say I was all for it.”

McTeigue said that anyone making a film hopes that it becomes part of the public conversation. To see the Guy Fawkes masks used in such a widespread way was a great honor to him as a filmmaker.

“I think there’s so much cultural noise now. When you make a film, you hope you’ll make some sort of slight impact, imprint, along the way. To see the ‘V’ masks slip into the cultural vernacular, if you want, I thought that was great, because ultimately it was what the film was about,” he said. “It was about questioning government. It was about questioning whether the voice of the people is actually the voice of the people, and whether you ever get true representation.”

He continued, “I think there were a couple of generations there that were completely non-politicized, and I thought this was the rebirth of people being politicized. And I think the mask, in a weird way, gave them a chance to protest again, or gave them a chance to have a voice. They could be anonymous behind the mask and be unified. I think anything that gets people out into the street and they feel like they can protest and be protected by the mask, and I think that was great, actually.”

I must admit that I absolutely adore “V for Vendetta” and consider it one of my favorite movies. I said as much to McTeigue, and he said that it’s nice to see the film has had continued success since its release six years ago.

“It’s always really nice to hear feedback on that movie,” McTeigue said. “It took a while for people to come round to it, but I’m really glad that so many people like that movie now.”

He acknowledged that “V for Vendetta” was probably one of the best experiences a first-time director could have making a movie, and it helped that he had worked with the Wachowskis on their successful “The Matrix” trilogy.

“I was really glad I got to make it in the climate that I got to make it. It would be hard to get a film like that through the studio system these days, so it’s one of those things you get to do on the back of working on movies that have made a lot of money,” he said with a laugh.

Were you surprised that people were using Guy Fawkes masks during the Occupy protests? Do you think “V for Vendetta” still resonates today? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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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.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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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:

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.