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Life after “Sith”

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051605_sith"This is how liberty dies – to thunderous applause."

First, reviews:

Peter Bradshaw at the Guardian finds it "as dramatically weightless as the movement of tropical fish in an aquarium" and worthy of only one star.

Kenneth Turan at the LA Times: "Although the ‘Star Wars’ universe wouldn’t exist if Lucas hadn’t fought for it and taken it more seriously than anyone else, he seems to be taking it so seriously today that the raffish energy and wised-up sense of humor that marked the very first ‘Star Wars’ is completely gone from the scene."

And at the New York Times, A.O. Scott likes it best of all, and writes a rather splendid melancholy review: "…the inverted chronology turns out to be the most profound thing about the ‘Star Wars’ epic.
Taken together, and watched in the order they were made, the films
reveal the cyclical nature of history, which seems to repeat itself
even as it moves forward. Democracies swell into empires, empires are
toppled by revolutions, fathers abandon their sons and sons find their
fathers. Movies end. Life goes on."

The political leanings of "Revenge of the Sith" are a issue of some debate: the Guardian quotes George Lucas at the Cannes premiere on the film as a political parable and a warning to the US, and many others are reading it this way (in fact, in the LA Times review, Turan cites the quote we started with, spoken by Natalie Portman‘s Padmé Amidala, as one of several "lines that sound as if they reflect as much on the current political situation as the one in the future"). John Patterson at the Guardian seems rather off then, in his screed against the series, claiming that Lucas’ "profound conservatism was already evident in ‘American Graffiti’" and that "four decades after young Americans went to a
meaningless war with heads full of John Wayne anti-commie bullshit,
we’re now sending kids who were raised with Lucas’s new creation myths
to Iraq, albeit with unbattle-worthy light-sabres."

Patterson also brings up another historic sore point – the claim that before "Star Wars," 70s cinema was politically engaged and exciting, and that Lucas’ grandiose sci-fi escapism killed this. A.O. Scott addresses in his NY Times review, saying that this first, those accusations are unjust, and second, Lucas deserves credit for "Sith"’s attempt at political commentary.

At the Telegraph, David Gritten reports on all the hoopla of the world premiere. The Boston Globe talks to Lucas about his long-discussed plans to return to small avant-garde films: "he says he has every intention of dipping into the binder he keeps and pulling out an idea for a movie no one may want to see." And at the New York Post, Russell Scott Smith looks at how "Sith" connects itself to the first trilogy, setting up for "A New Hope."

+ Final Star Wars bears message for America (Guardian)
+ The darker side (Guardian)
+ Stars from a galaxy far, far away take Cannes by storm (Telegraph)
+ After all that, George Lucas is a small-picture guy (Boston Globe)
+ Back to the Future (NY Post)

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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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