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The alternative distribution dance.

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"Yours truly, Caveh Zahedi."
Did anyone who came across a Movielink story in the past few days not think "Doomed! Clearly doomed!"? Via Gary Gentile at AP:

Warner Bros., Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox and MGM will offer some first-run and older titles on Movielink. New films will be priced similar to DVDs — between $20 and $30 — while older titles will sell for $10 to $20.

In a separate announcement, Sony and Lionsgate said they will sell films through the CinemaNow site.

Films from The Walt Disney Co. will not be available, although both services say talks are ongoing.

What convenience — a service both more expensive than DVDs and so crippled with digital rights management that you can’t burn the film you downloaded to DVD to watch on your own TV. Try harder!

And we’d be remiss if we didn’t link to the series of open letters being posted by "I Am A Sex Addict" director Caveh Zahedi at his blog regarding the day-and-date corporate crossfire in which his film has been caught. "I Am A Sex Addict" is being released by IFC Films as part of their recently launched day-and-date First Take program, in which films are released in select theaters and simultaneously on TV as video-on-demand. Comcast will be carrying "I Am A Sex Addict" but refuses to carry Cuban’s HDNet channels, so Cuban has responded by dropping "I Am A Sex Addict" from Landmark Theaters in Comcast markets, including the Berkeley theater at which the film was meant to have its opening this Friday (Cuban actually responds to one of Zahedi’s posts on the subject). Berkeley’s Elmwood Theater has since picked the film up for Friday.

Got that?

We’re hardly in a place to comment on this (though we actually have very little contact with IFC Films, we can also barely explain the situation, much less come up with anything illuminating to say about the forces at work, and we’re far more comfortable parading around our ignorance about film than about business), but Zahedi makes a reasonable point here:

I seriously doubt that IFC is going to pull out of their Comcast deal, since Video-on-Demand is a significant part of their projected income for the films they are releasing, and a film like mine probably wouldn’t have gotten picked up by them if it weren’t for their Comcast deal. I have no idea why Comcast is refusing to carry the two HDNETs. In a pluralistic society, they obviously should. HDNET has made some great films, and a lot of people would want to be able to see them. But do you really think that pulling my film from your theaters is going to persuade Comcast to carry HDNET? I don’t think Comcast could care less whether you pull my film or not. It just seems to me like a case of killing the messenger. Or taking one of the passersby hostage. I had nothing to do with Comcast’s decision. I was just minding my own business, trying to get my film shown.

Despite all of the fervor surrounding the supposed revolution-in-the-making that is day-and-date releasing, the VOD side (which has the potential to be more interesting than DVDs) rests mainly on the approval of and getting carried by the few large cable providers in the country. It’s more than unfortunate that Zahedi’s film has gotten caught up in this squabble.

+ Hollywood to Sell Digital Films Online (AP)
+ Dear Mr. Mark Cuban (Caveh Zahedi’s Blog)
+ Dear Comcast (Caveh Zahedi’s Blog)
+ Dear Caveh (Caveh Zahedi’s Blog)
+ Dear Steven Soderbergh (Caveh Zahedi’s Blog)


Final Countdown

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


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…