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Cinematic destruction finally comes to Chicago.

Cinematic destruction finally comes to Chicago. (photo)

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A friend of mine posed a serious question to me the other night: how can people still make disaster movies when we’ve already blown up all the world’s landmarks twice over? Really we have two men — Roland Emmerich and Michael Bay — who share a vision, one no less personal than those of Ozu or Cassavetes. These two men have sworn to give the public what we want and deserve: an aggregated portrait of the entire world’s destruction, one minor apocalypse at a time.

And so, finally, Chicago will at last get the cinematic drubbing it’s been asking for, as “Transformers 3” will be shooting in the city this summer.

Why should New York and DC take all the pain? God has a plan for the destruction of liberal enclaves, of course (using the kind of logic Pat Robertson and the late Jerry Falwell employed), and why should Chicago be immune from his wrath?

06172010_blues.jpgThe announcement was made at a press conference Wednesday co-starring “Transformers 3” producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley who, when asked about the potential for “mayhem,” responded with a plea for understanding if “street closures or other potential problems” ensue.

Chicago hasn’t escaped completely unscathed, movie destructionwise. The Chicago Tribune‘s Christopher Borrelli takes a fascinating look back at how “The Blues Brothers” blasted the city wide open for constant productions after the death of Mayor Richard J. Daley (father of the current mayor) who distrusted filming and was unwilling to close down streets or extend police assistance.

“The Blues Brothers” blew threw in spectacular fashion, with cars being driven through windows in Daley Plaza. Since then, cars have flipped over for “The Dark Knight” and courtesies have generally been extended; Daley estimates that over 900 films and TV productions have pumped $1.6 billion into the area since 1989.

06172010_chicago.jpgNonetheless, it’s a little funny to see Daley getting mildly defensive about welcoming Michael Bay to blow up Chicago — a city that hasn’t really and truly been destroyed on-screen since 1937’s “In Old Chicago,” a fictionalized take on the 1871 Great Chicago Fire, probably because it doesn’t have iconic landmark buildings that translate outside of the U.S. Not that that would stop Michael Bay.

[Photos: “Transformers,” Paramount, 2007; “The Blues Brothers,” Universal, 1980; “In Old Chicago,” 20th Century Fox, 1937]

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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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