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Oh, right, indie film.

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060105_greenwaldLooking over our recent posts, we’ve noticed that we’ve hardly been treading an obscurist path lately. It is summer and all, but we’d like to take this moment to tear our gaze away from the gleam of Hollywood.

In the LA Times, Chris Lee claims that "Crash," despite its mixed reviews, is developing into a mini "Passion of the Christ"-type cultural phenomenon — in other words, it’s the type of film that leads to intense chatter around the water cooler. Though if the film is so dead on in its negative portrayal of race relations, why haven’t any of these so-called water cooler interactions escalated into needless, yet unavoidable and dramatic violence?

In the Guardian, Duncan Campbell looks at Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky‘s fantastic documentary "Paradise Lost," which, together with its sequel, are just now reaching theaters in England. Berlinger and Sinofsky examine a case in which three teenage boys in a small Arkansas town are convicted, largely on the basis of their penchant for dressing in black, listening to heavy metal, and reading Stephen King, of the horrific murder of three children. Interestingly, Campbell points out that the docs differ from the typical British "miscarriage of justice" piece in which "the style was to present an unequivocal case for someone’s innocence.
With the ‘[Capturing the] Friedmans’ and, to a lesser extent, ‘Paradise Lost,’ the audience
is very much left to make up their own minds." From what we remember, one of the main critical complaints about the films, particularly the sequel, was that they were more activist journalism than documentary.

These days, such doc distinctions have gone out the window. In the New York Times, David Halbfinger talks to Robert Greenwald, one of major figures of the new documentary-as-political-weapon. The man who directed "Outfoxed" and "Uncovered" is the poster child of the quick, relevant, cheap activist doc, and he’s planning to take on Wal-Mart next. Greenwald’s always been particularly savvy about making alliances with grassroots groups like, and this time around, he’s talking to churches, trade groups and the National Education Association, as he sees the issue as less partisan (can any commentary on Wal-Mart say more than that "South Park" episode, we wonder?).

+ Cultural ‘Crash’ at the water cooler (LA Times)
+ Until you are dead (Guardian)
+ Taking On a Giant (Whistleblowers Welcome) (NY Times)

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Rev Up

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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Give Back

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

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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