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NYFF: “Caché.”

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Juliette BinocheNow this, this is how you take on the bourgeois in contemporary cinema. Michael Haneke‘s "Caché," coming off well-earned acclaim at its premiere at Cannes, is a shockingly good evisceration of middle-class urban life that pulls no punches. French cinematic icons Daniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche are Georges and Anne Laurent, a successful literary couple: Georges hosts a discussion show about books on TV, Anne works in publishing, and their son, Pierrot, is in a good school and is just hitting his teens. They live in a sleekly modern house on a quiet street in Paris; they entertain often. And one day they find a videotape sitting on their doorstep that contains footage of their house from across the street. There’s nothing remarkable about the footage, other than that neither Georges nor Anne saw anyone out there with a camera. Then they receive another tape. And another.

We never find out who’s been recording the Laurents — the act grows increasingly implausible and ephemeral as the film foes on. It’s more the self-examination that the tapes warrant that sends the family’s lives spiraling, exposing all manner of middle-class guilt and defensiveness, of paranoia and self-importance. Haneke is no novice, and this isn’t "Desperate Housewives" — Georges has a secret, and it’s something both small and terrible dating back to his childhood and the Algerian family that used to work for his parents. Racism and insulation haunt the film — Haneke rips into our concepts of home and comfort, exposing them as means of retreating from and refusing to engage in or acknowledge liability for the world’s problems, particularly in one scene, where Georges and Anne try to track down their son on the phone. They grow increasingly distressed that he hasn’t called, and we can almost see each imagined terrifying scenario running across their minds as it occurs to them, but our eyes are drawn to the news playing on the large-screen television in the background, which shows scene upon scene of unrest and violence. It’s not nearly as anvil-obvious as we’re making it sound, promise.

Auteuil and Binoche, growing gloriously older, give more than solid performances as Georges and Anne — Anne is consumed with the fact that her husband has hidden important details of his life from her (and from himself), but also concerned about preserving the family’s lifestyle and public image, while Georges is simply one of the most quietly ugly personalities to have ever graced the screen.

Haneke sharply draws a world in which people realize that they lead a privileged existence, and create a lifestyle in which they can avoid a sense of culpability for those who don’t by never seeing them. For him, the simple act of forcing his couple to look at themselves is enough to destroy that serenity — for a while.

"Caché" opens in limited release December 23. 

Click here for all the NY Film Festival reviews thus far.


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.