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Tribeca ’08: “Let the Right One In.”

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04282008_lettherightonein.jpgRed on white on white, Tomas Alfredson’s “Let the Right One In” is a moody, surprising Nordic pre-teen love story about a bullied boy, Oskar, and the girl who moves in next door, Eli — a vampire. And it’s not the perky goth fable it sounds like it could be — Oskar’s a monochromatic, friendless lad who plays with a knife and dreams of killing everyone who’s tormented him, while Eli’s eating habits leave her and the surrounding walls smeared with gobs of blood. Set in an ice-encrusted Swedish backwater, the film is centered in the apartment building in which the two children live, a thin-walled structure where everyone dwells claustrophobically close to one another in the midst of swaths of empty land. Eli and Oskar prefer to be alone, which is why they meet — both go out at night to the courtyard for solitude, though Eli’s always underdressed and in bare feet. She reflects that she’s forgotten how to feel cold.

“Let the Right One In” isn’t told entirely from Oskar’s point of view, but it does have the elliptical quality of the internal life of an only half-emergent adolescent — incidents swarm into sharp focus like unconnected memories. It’s a coming-of-age story, but only for Oskar — Eli, played by the remarkable Lina Leandersson, with enormous eyes and a dour face, has the air of an old woman in a juvenile body, but is really just an eternal girl, frozen at 12. For Oskar, who likes stories of death and visiting his father in the country, and otherwise lives in metropolitan isolation, Eli arrives as a form of very dark salvation, and the formation and arc of their relationship is a knife-edge balanced mixture of the gentle and the disturbing, right through the film’s splendidly bittersweet ending.

Elegantly lensed to capture both the poetically bleak, birch tree snow globe exteriors and shabbier interiors of the town, “Let the Right One In” is the kind of film you like better a few days after first seeing it. Or at least I did — by the very nature of its central connection, the film’s at an emotional remove, and it took some time mulling it over to really appreciate the inherent and uncompromising cruelty in its version of the world. That the film may include the gruesome ending of a previous iteration of the relationship Eli and Oskar strike up is the most unsettling fact of all — after all, she’s never going to grow up.

“Let the Right One In” has been acquired by Magnet Releasing, though no theatrical dates have been announced yet.

[Photo: “Let the Right One In,” Magnet Releasing, 2008]

+ “Let the Right One In” (


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…