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DID YOU READ

Odds: Monday.

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"Did you lose anyone?"Oy. New issues of Midnight Eye and Senses of Cinema are up. We can’t be bothered to break them down today — meet us back here later this week and we’ll talk.

Slate Wars redux: this is getting juicy. Salon‘s Stephanie Zacharek weighs in on the Tim Noah/David Edelstein debate as to whether or not Steven Spielberg’s references to 9/11 in "War of the Worlds" were exploitative, meaningful, or meaningless.

But even though science-fiction is allowed to be, or even expected to be, about larger issues, moviegoers have every right to bristle when a filmmaker uses images of real-life suffering — in this case, images of a tragedy that, for the citizens of New York at least, is still pretty raw — for something so puny as dramatic effect. There’s nothing inherently wrong with invoking 9/11 metaphorically (and many artists have already done so); but using it as a cheap prop, as Spielberg does, makes him clueless at best and callous at worst.

John Patterson in the Guardian wishes "Europeans would stop thinking they can make better movies about America than Americans." Word, John, word. And maybe we could force Lars Von Trier to take a vacation from movie making for a while? Like, a long while? Every kid coming out of film school dragging a DV camera wants to make an overly simplistic critical grand view of America — what makes him think we need to import any at the moment? Particularly self-important slop like…anyway, anyway, what actually sets Patterson off here is Bruno Dumont‘s "Twentynine Palms."

David Carr in the New York Times pays a visit to the set of the explosion of Americana that is Robert Altman/Garrison Keillor production "A Prairie Home Companion," and answers some of the rumors floating around about Paul Thomas Anderson ghost-directing the film:

A thin young man kept popping up on Mr. Altman’s shoulder during shooting recently, offering bits of advice. Paul Thomas Anderson, director and Altman-phile, is ostensibly on the set for insurance purposes; Mr. Altman is 80, so a backup director is part of the package. But he stays keenly involved because, he said, "it is invaluable to spend as much time around Bob as I can." He has no position as to whom the movie belongs to, other than that it is not his.

"Whatever chef is going to take credit for it, it is going to be a very spicy dish that I will be more than happy to dine on," Mr. Anderson said.

A month after her death and Aida Edemariam’s profile in the Guardian, Chris Lee in the LA Times offers a considerably less romanticized look at Domino Harvey, the subject of Tony Scott’s upcoming film:

A mythology grew up that like her mother, Domino was a model and that, unlike her mother, she had turned her back on the glamour of the runway for a fringe existence. But according to several family members and friends, Harvey never worked as a model.

According to Lee, Harvey was not upset about the film, as previously reported: "family and friends say Harvey was delighted with the movie."

And Anne Thompson in the Hollywood Reporter turns to Joss Whedon‘s "Serenity," and the art of marketing a film with a built-in cult fanbase (apparently, you should make good use of your blog).

+ New issue (Midnight Eye)
+ Issue No. 36, Jul-Sept 2005 (Senses of Cinema)
+ "War" skirmish (Salon)
+ The States we’re in (Guardian)
+ Lake Wobegon Goes Hollywood (or Is It Vice Versa?), With a Pretty Good Cast (NY Times)
+ The fall of a thrill hunter (LA Times)
+ Whedon flock ready for ‘Firefly’ resurrection (HR)

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Final Countdown

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

Uncle-Buck

Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…