DID YOU READ

Roman Coppola on “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III,” Bill Murray and wanting to work with Kristen Stewart

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Roman Coppola has been involved in the Hollywood scene for decades, but he rarely is found directly behind the camera. After helming his directorial debut “GQ” in 2001, he has acted primarily as a co-writer, music video director and producer on projects for people like Wes Anderson and his sister Sophia Coppola instead of directing his own features. That changed in 2011 when it was announced that he would tackle the independent movie “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III,” which he also wrote and was producing.

Years have passed and, after making its premiere at the Rome Film Festival and having a limited run in theaters, “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III” was released on Blu-ray on May 14. IFC had a chance to talk with Coppola about the movie, the actors he chose to work with and what he plans on working on next.

IFC: Why is this the story that you wanted to tell?

RC: What can I say? Projects sort of choose you. People ask, “Oh, why’d you do this?” “Why’d you choose that?” I find it hard to really answer genuinely because you get something kind of in your mind and it’s an intuitive feeling. In this case, there was a character. I had a sense of this guy that I thought would be a fun to see portrayed. And then he got dumped and how does he react to that? He is kind of a very imaginative kind of character in how he sees things and to use to that as an opportunity to have these kinds of flights of fancy and have the experience of the movie reflect the feeling of what it’s like to be dumped and how your mind is kind of crazed and kaleidoscopic, fractured thoughts. It’s not really an answer I can give, why I chose that. It just sort of chose me. It’s just the character interested me in that world, but it did start with the character and the feeling, this vibe of this kind of cool guy who can’t keep it together when he got dumped.

IFC: What led you to casting Charlie Sheen in that lead role? Did you always know you wanted him, or was there someone else you were considering?

RC: I wrote it without really anyone in mind. As you’re writing, you always think, “Oh, it could be this person or that person,” and you’re sort of open to thinking of people, but I didn’t really have an actor in mind. It wasn’t until I kind of got into the casting process — who could I get to portray this? — that I thought of Charlie. To me, it was sort of a no-brainer in that I needed someone who was the right age, so mid-40s. I needed someone who is handsome and is charming, someone who had wit and this kind of sense of humor, and someone who’s a fine actor, and someone that, to me and maybe people won’t agree with me, but a freshness that you hadn’t really seen on the screen. There’s something fun about presenting someone that has a freshness in a way, and I just thought Charlie had all those qualities in terms of being, as I said, a very good actor, very charming, the right age.

The fact that I knew him personally — I haven’t seen him in many years, but we as kids we were pals during “Apocalypse Now” — that’s also something that means something to me. When you’re trying to make a movie, to reach out to people you have a rapport with and you know, you have sense of who they are, [is nice]. Obviously Jason [Schwartzman] is in the movie, and Patricia Arquette is someone who was part of our family; she was married to my cousin [Nicolas Cage]. Bill Murray is someone who I’ve worked with over the years, so there was a comfort and I think an asset of working with someone who I had this connection to.

IFC: It’s interesting that you call it a “freshness,” because I definitely do feel like we’ve seen a new side of Charlie Sheen since he came out of this difficult time in his life.

RC: I wouldn’t want to make any proclamations, but I think it’s great that you see it that way. It’s interesting because, to me, I think he gives a very good performance in the movie. I think he’s very charming. He’s just a witty guy. I think he’s fun to watch. I think that one of the challenges to the movie — and to me, I see him as the character. He’s Charles Swan III. You know, he’s embodying this character, but I think a lot of people seem, my impression, to have a hard time kind of divorcing all their kind of Internet kind of notions about someone. It’s hard for people to let go of that, so I sort of invite people to say, “Hey look, this is an actor portraying the role.” I think a lot has been made, at least presented to me, like, “Oh Charlie, that’s an odd choice,” or, “Why him?” To me it’s like, he’s so obvious. He’s a great talent. He’s got such charm and wit. It’s so obvious to me, but I guess that’s kind of why I’m just a different person than everyone else.

IFC: Well the parallel obviously is in the name, too. It’s weird seeing him onscreen being called “Charlie” or “Charles” and having to disconnect that.

RC: It’s funny because in “Two and a Half Men” he also plays “Charlie,” in his new show [“Anger Management”] he plays “Charlie,” and I wrote the character “Charlie” as just a name, so that’s a weird interesting coincidence.

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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.