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Everything You Need to Know About the New York Film Festival

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By Matt Singer and Alison Willmore

IFC News

[Photo: David Lynch’s “Inland Empire,” Studio Canal, 2006]

Why should you care about the New York Film Festival? There are some who’d argue you shouldn’t. It’s not a destination festival like Cannes or Sundance, where people premiere their films to the world. It’s not a marketplace like Toronto, where people cement North American distribution deals. But for 44 years now, New York’s oldest film festival has been a symbol of unapologetic highbrow cinema, of classic arthouse films, of auteurism and sometimes elitism, and, yes, of the blue rinse brigade gathering in cashmere coats outside of Lincoln Center.

These days, with Tribeca sprawling its 200 films all over downtown each spring, the NYFF seems more old-fashioned and, perversely, more important than ever, a testament to uncompromising love of film, even at its most subtitled, long and arty. This year’s festival ran more toward the mainstream than usual — a big chunk of the films selected already had distributors, and some critics complained about the presence of glossy fare like Sofia Coppola’s “Marie Antoinette,” which comes out in theaters this week and hardly needed further promotion. Still, there were plenty of rare gems to be found, like Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s beautiful and strange “Syndromes and a Century,” and David Lynch’s — how to put this? — batshit insane three-hour epic “Inland Empire.”

Click on a title to read our review of the film:


Director: Abderrahmane Sissako


Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan


Director: Barbara Albert

“The Go Master”

Director: Tian Zhuangzhuang

“The Host”

Director: Bong Joon-ho

“Inland Empire”

Director: David Lynch

“The Journals of Knud Rasmussen”

Directors: Norman Cohn and Zacharias Kunuk

“Little Children”

Director: Todd Field

“Marie Antoinette”

Director: Sofia Coppola


Director: Jafar Panahi

“Pan’s Labyrinth”

Director: Guillermo del Toro


Director: Satoshi Kon

“Private Fears in Public Places”

Director: Alain Resnais

“Syndromes and a Century”

Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul

“Triad Election”

Director: Johnny To


Director: Pedro Almodovar

“Woman on the Beach”

Director: Hong Sang-soo

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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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