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DID YOU READ

Legalities.

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At least you can buy the t-shirt.
The Guardian reports that US courts have ruled against companies that edit films for language, sex and violence, e.g. CleanFlicks, CleanFilms, Play It Clean Video and Family Flix USA:

[CleanFlicks] claims it should have the legal right to do so because it purchases one copy of a DVD for every edited movie it produces, and includes the original version with the new version when mailing packages to customers. David Schachter, attorney for CleanFlicks of Colorado, said yesterday that his client was unlikely to seek a stay on the injunction, but that it did not preclude others from choosing to do so. A posting on Family Flix’s website reported that the company had decided to close its doors after five years as a result of the ruling. The company would routinely edit content for homosexuality, "perversion" and cohabitation – its version of "Brokeback Mountain" must have been a sight to see.

And the inevitable little dig at the end, you saucy UK press corps, you! Sigh. We had skimmed over this story as it developed before, but had no real conception of how wacky this business model is — as if purchasing a copy of the film each time would placate lawsuit-happy and copyright hypersensitive Hollywood on either economic or artistic grounds.

Over at the LA Times, Henry Weinstein writes that Cyrus Kar, the Iranian-born American who was arrested in Baghdad for suspected terrorist activities while attempting to film a documentary about Cyrus the Great and held without being charged  for almost two months, is suing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and "other high-ranking military officials…alleging that his detention violated his civil rights, the law of nations and the Geneva Convention."

Mark D. Rosenbaum, legal director of the ACLU of Southern California, said the suit is the first civil action challenging the constitutionality of the U.S. government’s detention and hearing policies in Iraq.

Dennis Lim at the New York Times describes how Amir Muhammad‘s "The Last Communist," a "semi-musical documentary road movie" about Chin Peng, the one-time leader of the Malayan Communist Party , became "the first Malaysian film to be banned at home."

On May 5 the Home Affairs Ministry, which oversees the censorship board, retracted its approval, citing public protest. The ban set off a flood of media commentary, much of it questioning the ministry’s decision. After a screening was held for Malaysian members of Parliament, the home minister, Radzi Sheikh Ahmad, said the real problem was that the absence of violence in the documentary could create the misconception that Chin Peng was not himself violent. "It will be like allowing a film portraying Osama bin Laden as a humble and charitable man to be screened in the United States," Mr. Radzi told a local newspaper.

Mr. Amir said, "I think this is the first time a film has been banned for not being violent enough."

Amir has a blog here. Also, Malaysia is infamously arbitrary in banning films — as Lim notes in the article, "Daredevil" was banned because the government was concerned that the country’s youth would idolize a character with a Satanic moniker.

And at the Independent, Geoffrey Macnab has an interesting piece on how Tennessee Williams‘ work has only once been satisfyingly adapted for the screen, partially because his stories were often neutered to please Hollywood’s (self)-censors.

There are many instances in which Hollywood simply cut out elements in his plays that seemed too risqué. Most notoriously, Richard Brooks‘ 1958 adaptation of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" somehow contrived to overlook the central fact of its hero’s homosexuality. Brooks’ later film of Williams’ "Sweet Bird of Youth" (1962) was almost equally evasive, sparing the audience the horror of its hero’s castration. Instead, Paul Newman‘s handsome gigolo, Chance, has his face ripped open by Boss Finley’s son and his thugs. ("Just gonna take away lover boy’s meal ticket," says Rip Torn, as he begins to disfigure Newman.)

+ The filth stays in the picture, judge rules (Guardian)
+ Filmmaker Sues U.S. Over Iraq Detention (LA Times)
+ Your Film Is Banned. There’s Not Enough Violence. (NY Times)
+ A Streetcar Named Desire: Too hot to handle (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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Uncle-Buck

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.

via GIPHY

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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