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DID YOU READ

Hugo Weaving talks the Wachowskis’ “Cloud Atlas” and working on “Jupiter Ascending”

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Ever since the Wachowskis burst onto the Hollywood scene with 1999’s “The Matrix,” Hugo Weaving has been forever connected with the forward-thinking sci-fi siblings. The trio worked together on the Wachowskis’ upcoming “Cloud Atlas” (which was also co-directed by Tom Tywker), making it their fifth film collaboration including “V for Vendetta.” This movie promises to be their craziest project together yet.

“Cloud Atlas” looks to be as unique a project as “The Matrix” was, combining six separate storylines and having the movie’s various big name stars play different roles in each one. Each of the storylines takes place in its own timeline, its own geography and with its own plotline, and similarly the various characters are different sexes, races and ages and all have different personal interests. One of Weaving’s characters is “a type of woman” who is a nurse. But he promised that each of his characters is thematically linked to the others.

“All six of them have a similar sort of tone, I suppose. Most of them seem to be, in some way, [obsessed] with self-control or repression or status quo or power, and so there’s a link with all those characters,” he told IFC while promoting his upcoming movie “Last Ride.” “Initially, at the beginning of the shoot, jumping from one character to another, you felt the difference between the characters. As the shoot wore on, increasingly you’re seeing an arc for those six characters, like a six-faced character if you like.”

Even though the movie comes out in a little under four months, we have yet to see a trailer for it. With the exception of a few stills and some concept art, we really don’t have any idea how the film will look at all. And fans of the book shouldn’t think they have any better idea than the rest of us. “Cloud Atlas” is based on the David Mitchell novel of the same name, but Weaving said that the movie will work in a different way.

“The story’s told like a mosaic. In the book, you’re getting half of each story and then the second half of each story, and the film’s not told in that way, so the certain characters you play towards the pointy end of the film start to fulfill the same function. That was a really fascinating adventure for everyone working on that,” he said. “And as the film progresses and the script progresses, you get a sense of those actors and those characters coming together and fulfilling a similar function or a similar role if you like in the story.”

Weaving will finally see the fully cut film during a screening next month, and for now he said he’s “just as intrigued as anyone, really.” He said all the actors were more excited and “discombobulated” than he’d ever seen people be while preparing for a movie he’s worked on, and is excited to see how everything fits together in the finished product. He promised that some of the cast of the movie — which includes Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Susan Sarandon, Jim Sturgess and Jim Broadbent — were nearly unrecognizable as some of their characters.

“I remember there was one day with Tom Hanks, we were working on a shoot in Saxony, we were working in an amazing forest, and it was my first day on set with Tom,” Weaving recalled. “We were having a chat and we’d been working for about three hours and he suddenly realized that one of the other characters in the scene he’d been working with in New York for two weeks prior to that, and he didn’t recognize him. It was really different make-up. That’s what it was like.”

Considering the great relationship Weaving has with the Wachowskis, it’s not much of a stretch to assume that he might have a role to play in their next project, the sci-fi flick “Jupiter Ascending.” That movie currently only has Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis cast, but Weaving teased there might be a role for him too.

“We haven’t actually talked about that one but there’ve been sort of muted hints and things about it, to be honest, so I’m not sure what’s happening with that,” he said. “I last talked to [the Wachowskis] while we were doing ADR for ‘Cloud Atlas,’ so it’s just lovely to have a chat again, but I’m hoping to see them in a month and a half and there’ll be a screening of ‘Cloud Atlas’ in Chicago, and I’m hoping to get over to that.”

So keep an eye out, Wachowski fans, because we might end up hearing some new casting news in a month and a half.

Are you looking forward to “Cloud Atlas”? Would you like to see Hugo Weaving in “Jupiter Ascending”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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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.