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Oh, that Armond White.

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051805_crashWe’ve been waiting anxiously to see what our favorite invective-spouting firebrand has to say about "Crash,"  Paul Haggis‘  by all accounts heavy-handed but well-received take on race relations in Los Angeles. Well, we wait no longer. the New York Press‘ Armond White weighs in, and he puts his extra week to use by addressing the film’s critical reception far more than the film itself. For instance:

Local critics praising Paul Haggis’ "Crash" accidentally reveal racism so deeply hidden in their own privilege that they casually ignore it while expressing high-minded appreciation for this film’s fake controversies.

Oh, and he’s naming names again, or rather, not bothering. David Denby’s glowing review of the film from two weeks ago ("It’s easily the strongest American film since Clint Eastwood’s ‘Mystic River,’ though it is not for the fainthearted.") fuels the article’s ire. White never calls Denby out directly, preferring to refer to him as the "American Sucker" while coming close to abusing the fair use rule of journalistic quotation. White famously (well, famously to the five or six people who read as many reviews as we do) hated "Million Dollar Baby," which Haggis wrote the screenplay for, and in his review indirectly called Roger Ebert ignorant after Ebert’s early declaration of "Baby"’s masterpiece status, but that’s benign compared to this.

He also cites several of the films dealing with race issues he sees as cruelly neglected by the critical community, and while we didn’t buy his attempts to establish "Flight of the Phoenix" or "Spanglish" as ignored greats, we agree that Todd Solondz‘s films manage the biting both ways thing better than Haggis.

But what of the film itself? For White, it comes down to this: "Colored people are caricatures. Whites are tragic. Gullible critics applaud." 

Others to look at: in the Japan Times, Mark Schilling finds that none of the three Asian directors of "Three…Extremes" lives up to the Takashi Miike of old, not even Miike himself. And Stephen Holden in the New York Times has a lyrical review of "Shake Hands with the Devil," a film that sounds too heartbreaking to bear.

+ Watts the Matter With L.A.? (NY Press)
+ Asian film omnibus goes to so-so extremes (Japan Times)
+ Ten Years Later, Back at the Killing Fields to Heal the Spirit (NY Times)

An update: In retrospect, White didn’t actually quote Denby that much — we blame shock for making New Yorker quotes bloom across the article like flowers of pain. He does only directly quote the article twice, and name-checks the publication a demure five times.

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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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