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Exclusive premiere: Okkervil River “Your Past Life as a Blast”

Exclusive premiere: Okkervil River “Your Past Life as a Blast” (photo)

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For Okkervil River’s deeply nostalgic song, “Your Past Life as a Blast,” director Isaac Ravishankara sought to capture a distant memory on video.

“My initial inspiration came from some of William Faulkner’s novels, especially ‘The Sound and the Fury,’ where the same story is told from four unique perspectives,” Ravishankara explains. Also, I had been reading a lot about how the brain processes time, and also thinking a lot about meaning in juxtaposed images.”

A boy and a girl share a jaunt to an isolated lake, take off their clothes, swim away, and according to our sources, live out the rest of their lives. Where do these two lovers memories overlap? Where do they part? A simple concept, but the impressions it leaves are as deep as the lake into which they plunge.

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“Your Past Life as a Blast” was filmed on an overnight trip with a small crew in upstate New York with actors Benedict Mazurek and Margaret Miller. “The woods were filled with nature, which often was literally on top of us. Mostly snakes,” Ravishankara says. “Ben caught one, actually, on day 1. But the hardest part of the shoot, by far, were all of the water scenes. We spent hours in the lake and it was awfully cold. By the end of the day, Ben and Margaret and I were so cold, our shivers had turned to full-on uncontrollable shaking, which Kevin (Hayden, DP) thankfully captured.”

Months after in editing, as the shoot itself became a memory, so did the video become even more of an abstraction, of a past life captured. And a line from the song seemed to echo loudest, “touch my wrist it’s shaking just like someday baby when we’re older.”

“That last shot in the video is my favorite shot I have in anything I’ve ever made.” Ravishankara adds, “I hope you enjoy the video, and I hope it moves you, even if just a little bit.”

We’re moved. Are you? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook!


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…


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.