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Getting It On At Sundance

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By Andrea Meyer/IFC News

There’s been a lot of talk about the graphic sex at Sundance. Filmmaking dynamo Michael Winterbottom tried his hand at art-house porn, getting his actors to really do the deed in his explicit relationship saga “9 Songs.” Doc darlings Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato got inside the most notorious and profitable X-rated flick of all time with “Inside Deep Throat.” Festival audiences fled theaters as comedian after comedian told the dirtiest joke ever in “The Aristocrats.” A hot older woman—oh my God, she’s 32—does little besides bang her 19-year-old boytoy in the raunchy Korean romance “Green Chair.”

What I noticed about Sundance 2005, though—besides the criminal non-existence of swag for non-celebrities, not even a Sony baseball cap or Palm Pictures tote in sight—was the sex, sex, sex that was gushing (or occasionally just hovering around the edge of the frame) in this year’s teenager flicks. These movies were all about tasting it, craving it, using it to get what you want and, especially, losing it.

In Rebecca Miller’s lyrical dad-and-daughter love story “The Ballad of Jack and Rose,” the titular teenage girl (Camilla Belle) is so pissed at her dad (Daniel Day-Lewis) for inviting his girlfriend and her sons to move in, she convinces one of her reluctant stepbrothers to deflower her—and hangs her bloody sheets in the yard as evidence. Troublemaking slut Maggie Gyllenhaal snags a young lad’s virginity in “Happy Endings,” though said lad is not so supportive: The only benefit he sees in the unpleasant turn of events is his dad might not realize he’s gay.

In Noah Baumbach’s award-winning (best screenplay and best director) “The Squid and the Whale,” two Brooklyn boys have different ways of coping with their parents’ divorce: 12-year-old Frank (Owen Kline) starts drinking booze and wiping his ejaculate on books in the school library. His 16-year-old brother (Jesse Eisenberg), on the other hand, tries to play tough and detached with his first girlfriend, a difficult task while suffering the humiliation of coming in six seconds and being told he uses too much tongue when they kiss.

If Baumbach’s scenarios are disturbingly familiar, Miranda July, winner of a special jury prize for originality, uncovers the offbeat in everyday lives in “Me and You and Everyone We Know,” in which sons deal with their parents’ divorce. 14-year-old Peter is a willing judge in the neighborhood girls’ blowjob-giving contest, and 7-year-old Robby gets involved in the funniest cybersex ever committed to celluloid.

While sexual firsts can make for great, comic, cringe-worthy entertainment, there are also unsavory and much more serious possibilities. In Gregg Araki’s haunting “Mysterious Skin,” two boys are sexually abused by their baseball coach. Both flailing to make sense of the experience later in life, one (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) becomes a hustler while the other (Brady Corbet) convinces himself he was abducted by aliens. In order to make sure nothing similar happens to her, the teenage bombshell (Ellen Page) in David Slade’s midnight movie “Hard Candy” orchestrates a sinister revenge plot for the older man she encounters on the Internet.

Even when early sexuality seems sweet, nothing is simple in adolescence. Lou Pucci is astounded when his beautiful girlfriend announces she’s only using him in Mike Mills’ smart coming-of-age tale “Thumbsucker.” A precocious blonde’s sexual sophistication provokes lust, awe and rage in the boys of a southern France town—to horrific results—in Ziad Doueiri’s “Lila Says.” In “Pretty Persuasion,” a satire in which three high school girls accuse their teacher of sexual harassment, nobody is innocent. Ringleader Kimberly (Evan Rachel Wood) uses her sexuality—and her oral sex skills—to manipulate and deceive everyone around her.

While not a movie about teenagers, it seems wrong to leave “Murderball” out of a roundup of sexual firsts. Henry-Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro’s film enters the real lives of guys who have been sexually active for a while, but have had to learn how to make love all over again. One of the funniest sequences in this documentary about quadriplegic rugby is where the athletes—manly men who have limited use of all four of their limbs—discuss the wonderful world of quadriplegic sex: the hard-ons they still proudly get, the early awkwardness and experimentation, the positions that work the best, the women that love them (and want them and boink their brains out) all in spite of their disabilities. Suburban teens could learn a lot from the brave, confident, sexy young men in this film.

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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

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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.

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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

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