DID YOU READ

Sean Stone talks working with father Oliver and directing “Greystone Park”

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Chances are you know Sean Stone even if you don’t recognize his name. The son of director Oliver Stone has appeared in 13 of his father’s movies including “Natural Born Killers,” “JFK” and “Savages.” But now he’s decided to put the camera into his own hands.

Stone has created his first feature film with “Greystone Park,” a found footage horror movie that details the real-life experience he had with the movie’s co-writer/star Alexander Wraith at a haunted insane asylum. IFC had the chance to catch up with Stone over the phone prior to the flick’s DVD release and talk to him a bit about his inspiration for the project and his decision to have his father star in some of the movie.

IFC: What influenced you to make this movie? Have you always cared about ghost stories and haunted houses and things like that?

SEAN STONE: Well, I have, actually. I’ve loved horror films since I was about four years old and forced my mother to take me to see “Pet Cemetery.” I don’t know what it is, but I’ve just loved scaring myself since I was a little boy. Hearing ghost stories, I’d always wanted to have the experience but I’d never actually had an encounter with a ghost or anything like that. When this opportunity came up, it was because I met Alex Wraith at dinner just like you see in the film, and he had stories about this play, Greystone, out in Jersey, a great haunted mental hospital, and I just got excited. I said, ‘Let’s check it out, I want to film it.’

IFC: So did that idea come first and you were like let’s make a story about it, or did you already have a gem of an idea and kind of develop it from there?

SS: No, pretty much we lived it. We literally recorded [the experience]. I always had an idea about making a film. Alex had been going there for about three years and taking a camera inside. [He had] been stopped by police and been arrested a couple times. [He’s] lost footage because they confiscated the footage. So he kept going back like he was trying to piece the thing together, like he was going to shoot it all with his friends running around inside the place.

That’s the point that I met him, and for me it was just like the place sounded amazing. I wanted to explore it and, sure enough, the next night we went in and what happened to us that night was the basis of the story. So when I left with Alex I said, “This is a movie, we should start writing it.”

IFC: You said when you were younger that you hadn’t encountered a ghost, but would you say that that’s changed now?

SS: Yeah.

IFC: Now that you’ve gone to Greystone Park, are you going to continue going to haunted areas? Is this something you’d want to pursue?

SS: We spent about two years, all in all, in the dark. 2009, 2010 and into 2011 when we finished the film I really felt like I was living in the darkness. A lot of expeditions at night; we kept going to not just Greystone but other places. We went to other kinds of hospitals, haunted houses, forests: just places with a lot of negative, dark energy, and we carried it with us, you know? They definitely follow you, and then you start getting the calls and they start interacting with you more and more; they’re telling you they’re interested about you. It’s a really weird reality so, in a sense, I don’t feel the need to go back and make another film about it at the moment. I’m working on a martial arts comedy; it’s a very different direction.

IFC: That’s the opposite of what you’re doing right now.

SS: It’s the opposite direction, definitely. I definitely am fascinated by that realm and I want to do more projects hopefully documenting and understanding more about that and that world.

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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.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.