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Halliwell’s Top 1000.

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One of the most popular sports among film buffs is compiling the definitive list of greatest hits, an activity that reveals rather more about a person than they might care to admit. For a critic it’s like being asked how much you are paid. People’s eyes glaze over at your
brilliant and utterly obscure choices. They wince at your passionate case for "Withnail & I." And they are horrified that you haven’t seen "Once Upon a Time in the West." Mostly they wonder how on earth you got the job.

That would be James Christopher in the London Times on "Halliwell’s Top 1000," hitting shelves June 13 (in the UK at least, no word on the US though you can order it online) — and that would be top 1000 films of all times, yes. As you may know, we loathe magazine stunt lists, but this hardly falls in that category. Compiled by John Walker, "Halliwell’s" is a smart, obsessive cinephile’s dream, ballsy enough to feel no need to include a movie made in the last twenty-five years in its top ten (unless you count "The Godfather Trilogy"’s final segment, but we don’t). The ten:

1. Tokyo Story
Japan, 1953, Yasujiro Ozu

2. La Règle du Jeu
France, 1939, Jean Renoir

3. Lawrence of Arabia
GB, 1962, David Lean

4. The Godfather Trilogy
US, 1972, 1974, 1990, Francis Ford Coppola

5. The Seven Samurai
Japan, 1954, Akira Kurosawa

6. Citizen Kane
US, 1941, Orson Welles

7. Raging Bull
US, 1980, Martin Scorsese

8. Vertigo
US, 1958, Alfred Hitchcock

9. Some Like It Hot
US, 1959, Billy Wilder

10. 8½
Italy, 1963, Federico Fellini

Ozu! Ozu! ♥! And kicking "Citizen Kane" down to sixth place when it’s been the boring, de facto answer for top film for ages. The only inclusion we find fault with is "Some Like It Hot," which we’ve never been that fond of, and which has become the kind of comedy version of "Citizen Kane," occupying undeservingly high spots on top tens and such because it’s a safe comedy title (and comedy is so much more subjective than drama).

As with all lists, "Halliwell’s" is clearly intended to spark debate. What we love is that by picking an undeniably excellent but fairly obscure Japanese film for number one, Walker has ensured the only people who’ll be interested in debating this list are twitchy, passionate film types. Because we wouldn’t want to hear from anyone else.

To confirm this, Walker himself has an article, also in the Times, in which he defends his choices, pointing out that:

Writing about critics’ reactions to the TV soap-opera "Crossroads," the 1970s epitome of wobbly sets and wobblier acting, an academic researcher claimed that it was wrong to take no account of the feelings of viewers. Apply that to the cinema and the greatest movie would probably be "Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith," closely followed by "Titanic" and the other five "Star Wars" films (the original trilogy can be found at No 70).

This variance may result from most audiences’ limited experience of film. They go regularly from their teens, stop in their late twenties and tend to think that cinema begins and ends with their own immediate experience.

This is snobby, but lists are all about being snobby. What infuriates us about the group lists done by magazines are that they pander to ideas about what movies deserve spots on lists (without thinking about why) and also insert controversial choices just to get attention.

The Times has the top 100 according to Halliwell. For the record, the most recent five entries in the top 100 are "Toy Story" (#25), the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy (#30), "Breaking the Waves" (#39), "Gosford Park" (#71) and "Fargo" (#88). The oldest in the entire list is 1915’s "Birth of a Nation" (#232).

+ The best film ever? (Times)
+ Halliwell’s best movies 1-100 (Times)
+ The movies you must see before you die (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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