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The week’s critic wrangle: Aristocratakitani.

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Gilbert Gottfried+ "The Aristocrats": Everyone loves Paul Provenza‘s dirty-mouthed doc, though they’re quick to throw around some high-falutin’ labels: David Edelstein refers to it as "practically a classical symphony, with a theme, variations, variations that turn the theme inside out, and a coda," while to A. O. Scott it’s "an essay film, a work of painstaking and penetrating scholarship, and,
as such, one of the most original and rigorous pieces of criticism in
any medium I have encountered in quite some time" (he then points out it’s also "possibly the filthiest, vilest, most extravagantly obscene documentary ever made"). Stephanie Zacharek finds that it "moves with an acrobat’s timing. (I’ve seen French art house movies that aren’t nearly so beautifully made.)" Ben Kenigsberg is the only one who finds its a little lacking in heft. And everyone has their favorites among the 60-odd deliveries of the film’s central joke: Scott likes Sarah Silverman, Edelstein singles out Gilbert Gottfried and Steven Wright, and Zacharek and Kenigsberg also go with Gottfried, who may have well inspired the film with what apparently serves as its centerpiece: his telling of the joke at the September 2001 Friar’s Club roast of Hugh Hefner. It was painfully close to 9/11 for any attempts at comedy at all, much less the Twin Towers joke Gottfried went for. As the audience booed, he quickly starts regaling them with the dirtiest joke in the biz. Zacharek: "His staccato, crisply enunciated, ear-splittingly nasal delivery turns the joke into a kind of ‘Mona Lisa’ of perfection."

Rie Miyazawa+ "Tony Takitani": An adaptation of a shorts story running a mere 75 minutes, Jun Ichikawa‘s melacholy feature can’t help be airy, "a delicate wisp of a film with a surprisingly sharp sting," as La Manohla puts it, based on what Dennis Lim refers to as "a mere wisp of a short story." Lim comes across as the biggest fan of the generator of the film’s source material, Haruki Murakami, angling his article toward how the film captures the author’s distinctive voice ("’Takitani’ is Murakami in miniature, a brief, precise inventory of the
novelist’s themes: cosmic loneliness, the shadow of mortality, jazz,
the coincidence of materialist abundance and spiritual barrenness."), while Jeff Reichert devotes more of his article to the writer than the film itself, which he finds too slight.

+ Zagat-style bonus — "Stealth": "The sort of movie that makes you pine for Michael Bay ," "Stealth" is "a sort of retarded ‘Top Gun,’" "a dumbed-down "Top Gun,’" or maybe just "a hash of ‘Top Gun’ and ‘Behind Enemy Lines.’" Most find stars Jessica Biel, Josh Lucas and Jamie Foxx to be merely "decorative," though some think Foxx "in his speech on Oscar night should have thanked God this movie wasn’t released while the voters were marking their ballots." The plot "resembles an out-of-work screenwriter’s garage sale," accompanied by "a year’s worth of whooshing noises on the soundtrack" and "snicker-inducing dialogue," but most find the film to just be "stupid," save one who declared it "an obscenity" "[f]or a movie to pretend, in the face of the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqi men, women, and children directly or indirectly caused by our presence there, that we can wage war without anyone really getting hurt."


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.


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…


A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.