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The forgotten French masters

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042905_latalante_4 Jean Vigo died at age 29 of tuberculosis, right after completing his only full-length film, L’Atalante. The strange, dreamy love story set on a river barge can be considered a precursor to contemporary cinema in more ways than one: the film’s style finds great lyricism in a gritty and mundance everyday existence; and the film’s controlling investors recut the film to fit their idea of what was palatable before releasing it.

Apparently they’re showing three of Vigo’s four films in London this week to salute the 100th anniversary of his birth, and both the Times and the Guardian have excellent pieces on the filmmaker and his masterpiece (the version of "L’Atalante" being shown and available on DVD is a modern reconstruction based on whatever evidence Vigo left behind.

On to another great French filmmaker, this one definitely still alive, as evidenced by the inflammatory interview he gives in the Guardian today. We found the experience of reading Jean-Luc Godard‘s comments on life, the universe, and everything, and how they’re all going to shit, infuriating, and not just because of what he’s saying, which can be summed up as this:

There is something paradoxical about his attitude toward cinema. He now seems despairing of the medium’s ability to reinvent itself or to have any kind of social impact. "It’s over," he sighs. "There was a time maybe when cinema could have improved society, but that time was missed."

We haven’t enjoyed any of Godard’s recent work, which we’ve found to reek of didacticism and lack the love of the medium that was his signature. But he’s an undeniable master who, whether he likes it or not, shaped what cinema is today — it’s painful to hear him sound so embittered and defeated.

+ Jean Vigo – longing shots and brief lives (Times)
+ Viva Vigo (Guardian)
+ ‘Cinema is over’ (Guardian)

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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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