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Outside the system.

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'When you need him, he's always there!'In the New York Times, Sharon Waxman pays a visit to Tom Laughlin, the creator (and actor) behind 70s cult action figure Billy Jack ("Just a person who protects children and other living things," as the tagline to the 1971 movie went).

Back then, it was bigotry against Native Americans, trouble with the nuclear power industry and big bad government that made this screen hero explode in karate-fueled rage. At the time, the unlikely combination of rugged-loner heroics – all in defense of society’s downtrodden and forgotten – and rough-edged filmmaking sparked a pop culture and box-office phenomenon.

Laughlin and his wife, co-star and co-writer Delores Taylor, raised money for the original film from individual investors, and, unable to secure a distributor, rented the theater spaces and collected the box-office profits themselves (according to the article, Laughlin hired Mormons to work the ticket booths because he figured they could be trusted with the money). "Billy Jack" took in $32.5 million, and now Laughlin and Taylor are raising money for a new Billy Jack film that will take on drugs, the religious right, and the current war.

Over at the LA Times, Martin Miller profiles Scott Neeson, a former high-up in the international marketing arm of Sony Pictures Entertainment who left Hollywood to help Cambodian street children. The funny part (and by that we mean sad) is the industry’s reaction:

News of Neeson’s career move created something of a stir inside Hollywood. The single man with no children is having a midlife crisis, the rumor mill speculated. Or he was pushed out of his job at Fox and/or Sony. Or he’s just playing some angle for a triumphant return. Or he’s gone nuts.

And, back at the New York Times, Lewis Beale uses the IFC Center‘s plans for a Midnight Movie series as a launching point to dwell on what makes a "midnight movie" these days:

What was once culturally transgressive – sexually, thematically, aesthetically – has now been made mainstream, he said, by filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino, whose "Kill Bill" would have been a perfect midnight movie if it had been made in 1975.

The current biggest midnight movie is "The Goonies," a sad testament to how nostalgia has replaced the sheer offensiveness we’d prefer. And anyway, we’d take "Labyrinth" over "The Goonies" any night. Ah, David Bowie: The cheekbones! The contact juggling clearly being done by someone else! The eyeshadow! The odd undercurrents of sadism!

+ Billy Jack Is Ready to Fight the Good Fight Again (NY Times)
+ Film exec did well; now he does good (LA Times)
+ John Hughes Versus the Vampires: The Dilemma of the Midnight Movie (NY 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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