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DID YOU READ

Into the fray.

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"I'm stunned, Roger."
Roger Ebert’s return is a reminder of the pleasures of watching two intelligent people bicker, either on camera or in print. The recently launched online archive of "Siskel & Ebert" shows can easily suck away an entire afternoon as you bounce between reviews like this one for "Pulp Fiction," in which Ebert and the sorely missed Gene Siskel nearly fall out of their chairs with enthusiasm for the film, and this one, for "Cop and a Half," in which Siskel drawls "Where’s your big red suit and beard, Santa, you just gave them a gift!" after Ebert deems the film worthy of a thumb up. The clip fades to black with the sound of them still exchanging back-and-forths, and it’s easy to imaging them arguing into the twilight over the relative value of Burt Reynolds‘ comedic turn.

While Richard Roeper’s no fitting replacement, Ebert has been kicking up dust in print with other writers. Here he debates horror paperbacker Clive Barker over whether video games can be considered art after Barker took up the gauntlet at the Hollywood and Games Summit. Barker said "We can debate what art is, we can debate it forever. If the experience moves you in some way or another… Even if it moves your bowels… I think it is worthy of some serious study." Ebert responds "Perhaps if the experience moves your bowels, it is worthy of some serious medical study."

And here he takes umbrage with Jonathan Rosenbaum‘s op-ed piece in the New York Times arguing Ingmar Bergman’s overratedness, and battles him, strangely enough, in Google search results:

Rosenbaum says Bergman is less taught in schools today than Godard and Hitchcock. He carefully avoids saying Bergman is less taught than Dreyer or Bresson. I grant him Hitchcock. He uses Google counts in his argument, so out of curiosity I googled “film class on Ingmar Bergman” (1,400,000) and “film class on Jean-Luc Godard (310,000). He says Bergman is “less discussed,” so I googled web discussion groups and found that Bergman scored 59,000 and Godard 14,400. Of course these entries cover a multitude of kinds of content, but there you have them.

Neither has the quotability of Ebert’s famous exchange with Vincent Gallo upon the premiere of "The Brown Bunny," which caused Gallo to use his voodoo powers to inflict cancer upon the critic. Still, we do like to see the debate.

+ Siskel & Ebert & Roeper archived (RogerEbert.com)
+ Games can be art, says Barker (GamesIndustry.biz)
+ Games vs. Art: Ebert vs. Barker (RogerEbert.com)
+ Scenes From an Overrated Career (NY Times)
+ Defending Ingmar Bergman (RogerEbert.com)

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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 IFC.com

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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.

Uncle-Buck

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…