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Wong Kar Wai! And other international types…

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Forces of Darkness, forces of Light...etc, etc.
Hot gossip of the day: via CRI, our beloved, eternally sunglassed Wong Kar Wai is planning on making a movie "based on moving true events in New Orleans when the city was attacked by Hurricane Katrina last year." He’s hoping to cast Adrien Brody as the lead, but Brody apparently wants to read a final script before committing, and as any WKW-phile knows, he’s shit out of luck if that’s the case.

Also, since this news first appeared in the mostly respectable Hong Kong paper Apple Daily, it probably shouldn’t be labeled as gossip, but this is the third project Wong has announced in recent memory (he’s still attached to "The Lady from Shanghai" with Nicole Kidman and that biopic of Bruce Lee‘s trainer, Ye Wen, with Tony Leung), and given his endearingly dawdling pace of production, we’re not going to hold our breath here.

In the Japan Times, Mark Schilling has a two-fer, reviewing Zhang Yimou‘s latest, "Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles," a distinct departure from the florid wu xia films that have lately given him, for better or worse, international recognition. Schilling likes the film, and also has nothing but praise for "Gratitude," the latest from Jun Ichikawa, who also directed "Tony Takitani."

Sahm Venter at the Sydney Morning Herald reports on South African film "SMS Sugar Man," the first feature film shot entirely on cell phone cameras.

The award-winning director Aryan Kaganof shot the film entirely on Sony Ericsson W900i mobile phones in 12 days and is editing the 60 hours of footage, blown up to 35 millimetre, into a feature for distribution in May. Asked why he shot the film with mobile phone cameras, Kaganof answered: "Somebody had to do it."

At the New York Times, Ross Johnson chats with Timur Bekmambetov, whose hyped, then delayed Russian horror/fantasy blockbuster "Night Watch" is finally getting released  in the US by Fox Searchlight on February 17th. We managed to see the film last week and will hopefully have a full review next, but wanted to say, while we enjoyed it quite a bit, it was also one of the most over-the-top displays of visual effects we’ve ever come across, not unlike having one’s head stuck in a blender filled with dozens of Aphex Twin videos and a handle of vodka.

Also at the Times, Dennis Lim writes that:

"Battle in Heaven," the second feature by the 34-year-old Mexican director Carlos Reygadas, is an anomaly among today’s explicit art films, which often deploy sex more as a stunt than a subversion. In the languid, graphic scenes of fellatio that bookend his movie, what is startling isn’t so much the frankness of the sex as the glaring disparity between the participants: Ana (Anapola Mushkadiz), the attractive young daughter of a general, and Marcos (Marcos Hernández), a homely, obese, middle-age man who is the general’s driver.

"Sympathy for Lady Vengeance," by far our favorite installment of Park Chan-wook‘s celebrated and debated "vengeance trilogy," opens in the UK this week. At the Telegraph, Benjamin Secher interviews Park in his Seoul office.

Two vast noticeboards are nailed across its windows, keeping out most of the natural light. Sprawling across them, artworks, adverts and film posters jostle with snapshots of children, actors and naked women. It’s the kind of chaotic visual index that occasionally appears in films, adorning the walls of a serial killer’s hideout. And there in the middle, right above Park’s desk, is the familiar, doughy face of Tom Hanks.

Chilling indeed.

Finally, at the Independent, Anthony Barnes reports that Robin Hardy, the director of the original 1973 "The Wicker Man," is so unhappy with Neil LaBute‘s upcoming US remake that he’s apparently called his lawyers in an effort to have his name removed from the production (he’s currently listed as a screenwriter).

+ Wong Kar-Wai to Do Hurricane Katrina Inspired Movie (CRI)
+ Master auteurs deliver classics on dealing with impending death (Japan Times)
+ The actors phoned it in… (Sydney Morning Herald)
+ From Russia, With Blood and Shape-Shifters (NY Times)
+ No Plot. No Professional Actors. No Holds Barred. (NY Times)
+ Magnificent obsessive (Telegraph)
+ Director to sue over Hollywood’s new ‘Wicker Man’ (Independent)

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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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