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Sneaking in the social commentary.

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Bill NighyTwo interviews with George A. Romero, whose "Land of the Dead" opens tomorrow, both emphasizing that his movies have earned their place in the pantheon because of the societal criticism innate to each "of the Dead" installment. And also because of all the cool zombie gore. Robert Abele in the LA Times:

"Night" evoked Vietnam-era bloodshed and, with its black male lead trapped in a farmhouse, echoed civil rights hysteria. "Dawn" poked fun at soul-deadening consumerism. And "Day" addressed ethics in science. With "Land," Romero tackles issues of safety and boundaries, showing a community fortifying itself against a murderous horde while its wealthiest keep alive class divisions separating them from the powerless.

"It’s the folly of saying, ‘Everything’s OK, don’t worry about it,’" says Romero, who wrote "Land" before the events of Sept. 11. Its focus then was about "ignoring social ills, setting up a synthetic sense of comfort."

He says he didn’t have to tweak it much to reflect new fears of terrorism. When told that it’s hard not to think of Iraq watching an armored car of trigger-happy humans roll through a zombiefied suburb shooting anything they see, Romero smiles. "That’s one of the things I put in there afterward."

He also discusses how "28 Days Later" and the recent "Dawn of the Dead" remake, for all their relative success, are wrong, wrong, wrong about one thing: zombies really shouldn’t be able to run.

Scott Foundas at the LA Weekly is clearly a Romero fan, and his gushy intro is nearly the same length as the interview itself. He has the director talk about the evolving nature of the zombies in the latest installment.

The Chicago Tribune‘s Michael Kilian covers a far more unlikely vessel for subversive messaging: the rom-com. "The Girl in the Café," an HBO/BBC co-production, features Bill Nighy and Kelly Macdonald falling in love (ew!) at the G-8 conference in Iceland — nothing spells grand romance like a vampire lord, a Scandinavian island and a meeting of representatives from the industrialized nations. Apparently, over the course of the film Nighy’s awkward British bureaucrat is put into an increasingly uncomfortable position, as Macdonald’s character is outspoken about her political beliefs.

"I approached the film as a kind of Trojan horse," said director David Yates. "You’ve reached the audience [with the message] if you’ve made the audience feel it had a substantial interest in these people."

It’s an interesting attempt at sugarcoating ideology to make the message go down smoothly, but we doubt the film will reach or appeal to anyone whose beliefs aren’t already in line with the ones being presented.

+ Knight of the living dead (LA Times)
+ Dead Director Rises Again (LA Weekly)
+ Movie makes poverty, debt crises real (Chicago Tribune)

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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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