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Sex, violence, bacon, eggs.

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051705_viggo"Sex and violence go very well together, like bacon and eggs." So says David Cronenberg of "A History of Violence," which has been going over like gangbusters at Cannes and is now being bandied about as a front-runner for the Palme d’Or. He’s referring to an apparently very rough, though consensual, sex scene in the film, about a mild-mannered diner owner (Viggo Mortensen) living a peaceful life with his wife (Maria Bello) and child until an attempted robbery bring up his violent past. According to the Globe and Mail, Cronenberg went out of his way to show the consequences of each violent act in the film, showcasing the effects the main character’s actions have on his family, and, more literally, featuring brief shots of wounds.

Lars von Trier’s "Manderlay" also opened, to the typical mix of sneering and applause. During a particularly quotable post-screening press conference, Von Trier declared himself an unwilling American (due to the unavoidability of American influence, politically and culturally, we’ll presume) and said that this is why he makes films about America (he, of course, is famously transportation-phobic and has never been to the US). "Manderlay" follows Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard in the Nicole Kidman‘s "Dogville" role) in her discovery of a plantation that still has slaves, seventy years after emancipation. Her well-intentioned attempts to free them disrupt the fragile plantation social structure and eventually has them wishing to return to slavery. Von Trier acknowledges that it’s "quite clear" that the film can be seen as alluding to President Bush’s efforts to impose democracy in Iraq. We find Von Trier’s bludgeoning obviousness nail-on-chalkboard worthy, so we direct you to the Guardian if you want more.

In fact, in order to keep ourselves entertained through all the constant Cannes updates, we’d like to present the rest of this post in screenplay form:

Manohla Dargis

"A History of Violence" makes you laugh at violence then feel bad about it. In effect, it deconstructs the American action movie. It is kickass. "Manderlay" is so far from kickass that I will let Tony Scott talk about it instead.

Tony Scott

I am too busy attending official black-tie dinners with Atom Egoyan to write about such things at the moment.

Manohla Dargis

I can no longer contain my bile, so I will hint at dark things by positing this: how in the world will Toni Morrison, who is on this year’s jury, take to Mr. von Trier’s film?

Lars von Trier

We tried several [African-American actors] who thought it was a good thing that the film was being made and that it was interesting. But they didn’t take part it in because it’s explosive stuff in the USA. The English actors were completely relaxed about it, and they said ‘yes massa’ to me every morning. They had a laugh.

Toni Morrison

Hooooooh boy.

Roger Ebert

I liked "A History of Violence." I liked "Caché." I even liked "Manderlay." This is the best Cannes ever. Or, at least, it may be one of the best Cannes Film Festivals in recent years.

Reuters Stringer

You are wrong, Roger Ebert. In actuality, film critics were left cold by early showings this year, but things finally warmed up with the return of tried and tested veterans at the world’s top cinema showcase.

Other Reuters Stringer

Also this year, soccer films have stormed the festival this year with cinematic interest in the world’s most popular sport.

(They all play soccer. It is WACKY and HEARTWARMING.)


+ American Brutality, Scene 1, Scene 2 (Globe and Mail)
+ Lars von Trier acts as a slave to controversy (Guardian)
+ In ‘Violence,’ a Riveting Beat (NY Times)
+ Predictable Reactions to Lars von Trier (NY Times)
+ Strong entries raise the bar at festival (Chicago Sun-Times)
+ After a cool start, critics say Cannes picking up (Reuters)
+ At Cannes, filmmakers discover the beautiful game (Reuters)

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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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