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DID YOU READ

NYFF: “Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story.”

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Rob Brydon and Steve CooganToo soon did we give the "most self-reflexive film of the festival" prize to "Who’s Camus Anyway?" — Michael Winterbottom‘s deliriously fun "Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story" has more wheels-within-wheels than the cast of "Murderball" on a Greyhound bus (De trop? It’s been a long three weeks.). Following in "24 Hour Party People"‘s meta-narrative footsteps (with Steve Coogan once again talking to the camera and attempting to control a story that insists on getting away from him), "Tristram Shandy" starts off as a coy but fairly literal adaptation of Laurence Sterne’s "postmodern before there was even a modern" novel, in which the character of Tristram Shandy attempts to tell his life story, but keeps getting so sidetracked by details about his family that he never quite manages to get past his birth. The film then takes another step back and becomes the story of the production of that "Tristram Shandy" adaptation, with Jeremy Northam as the director, Naomie Harris as an enthusiastic production assitant, and Coogan, Rob Brydon, Shirley Henderson, Gillian Anderson and others as themselves (sort of) playing Sterne’s characters.

Lost? It’s all a warm-hearted and very funny (if lightweight) pleasure to watch, particularly Coogan in a rarefied version of the persona he’s cultivated and made his career out of — an insecure, petty, egotistical and dryly snide type who needs constant reassurance but seems to only receive humiliation. Coogan and Brydon play off each other brilliantly, with Brydon insisting that his role is a co-lead, and Coogan always paranoid about losing screen time and about his status as a celebrity. Kelly Macdonald is also good as his (fictional) down-to-earth girlfriend, with whom he just had a baby.

The whirl of real-life details thrown into the mix adds another layer of navel-gazing, but what the film comes down to, for all its "Adaptation" aspirations about the nature of storytelling and life in art, is a valentine to filmmaking and the wild, organic mini-society that arises on set. And that’s just fine by us.

"Tristram Shandy" opens in limited release on November 5.

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

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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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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

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…