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Odds: Wednesday – Farewell, Wellspring, and the lost art of soft-core.

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But what does it MEAN?
The big news of the day: the Weinsteins, who bought a 70% stake in Wellspring’s parent company back in December, are doing away with Wellspring’s theatrical distribution division, though the home entertainment arm will live on. The final theatrical release under the Wellspring Media name (responsible for "Kings and Queen," "Tarnation," and others) will be "Unknown White Male." Eugene Hernandez has more at indieWIRE.

At the Observer, Jason Solomons attempts to pry answers about "Caché" out of a nonindulgent Michael Haneke:

I’m not going to give anyone this answer. If you think it’s Majid, Pierrot, Georges, the malevolent director, God himself, the human conscience – all these answers are correct. But if you come out wanting to know who sent the tapes, you didn’t understand the film.

Ty Burr at the Boston Globe has a great essay on the heyday of the soft-core film, his particular fondness for 1977’s "Young Lady Chatterley," and his job as a "Cinemax sex-movie content appraiser":

Most of the submitted films weren’t remotely fit for cable airing —
there were a lot of triple-X movies whittled down to about 20 minutes
each — and it got so that the other evaluators and I invented
unofficial rules for assaying the programming worth of a soft-core
film. First, male nudity was OK, but — how to put this? — happy male
nudity wasn’t. Second, the movie had to pass the First Five Minutes
Test, meaning if there wasn’t a sex scene by then, the audience was
probably gone.

In the Telegraph, director Paul McGuigan (whose "Lucky Number Slevin" is going to save Josh Hartnett‘s career, or, er, something) has a lot to say when discussing "In the Mood for Love" with Marc Lee.

Josh Horowitz interviews the great Whit Stillman at Better Than Fudge.

At the LA Times, Mary McNamara sings the praises of "Good Night, and Good Luck"‘ and "Capote"‘s starched white shirts.

When George Clooney‘s Fred Friendly strips down to his shirt sleeves and hunches beside Murrow in the dim light of the studio, he all but glows. You can practically hear the sizzle of the starch as the iron pressed it into the cotton, smell the clean hot bleachy steam.

Forget Clooney; women were swooning for the shirt.

We’re tempted to launch into a sidebar on our personal love of and obsession with ironing, but we’ve got to run off and see some Orlando Bloom movie in a sec, so we’ll just let your imagination fill in terrible, strange things on the topic.

Posted everywhere, and for good reason: Jeremiah Kipp‘s fascinating interview with Charles Taylor, formerly of Salon, at Matt Zoller Seitz’ blog:

I’ve heard people say that if a critic has a professed dislike for someone’s work, someone else should review it so the artist gets a fair hearing. Well, we already have that. It’s called publicity. It’s not a critic’s job to go in concerned with being positive. But news people are trained in that journalist’s way of thinking, "You get the facts. You report them. You provide evidence to support the position." Critics take imaginative leaps, they employ hyperbole and that makes the reportorial mindset very nervous, and they don’t get it.

And hey! "Brokeback Mountain" in Legos.

+ Major Changes for Wellspring As Weinstein Controlled Genius Pulls Plug on Existing
Theatrical Distribution Unit
+ We love Hidden. But what does it mean? (Observer)
+ ’70’s soft-core brought safe sex to cinemas (Boston Globe)
+ Film-makers on film: Paul McGuigan (Telegraph)
+ The Greatest Conversation Ever…with Whit Stillman (Better Than Fudge)
+ Like grown-ups (LA Times)
+ Against consensus: an interview with Charles Taylor, by Jeremiah Kipp (House Next Door)

+ Lego Brokeback Mountain (Destination Daniel)

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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.

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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…

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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.

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