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"Heeeerrrreeee's Brucie!"
We’ve been super swamped this week, if you haven’t noticed from the paucity of posts (we’re also gearing up to go into alliteration rehab — a terrible habit of late). We hope to have time to look over the critics on "Dark Water" and "Saraband," but until then, Caryn James’ overview of novels lost in the shadow of the classic films adapted from them in the New York Times today caught our eye. James points out that few people (ourselves included) knew that "Jules et Jim" and "The Leopard" were novels first, and then briefly touches on something far more weekend, barstool conversation-worthy: films that are better than the books they’re adapted from. She picks "Jaws" for this rare distinction:

The film can still make us jump. The book, with its dated 70’s aura, shows how right the filmmakers were to strip away all the extra plot stuff, including an affair between the shark expert and the police chief’s wife; we know them as the Richard Dreyfuss character and the Roy Scheider character’s wife. But it’s amusing to read Mr. Benchley’s brief new introduction, in which he practically apologizes to sharks everywhere for misunderstanding them. "I could never write ‘Jaws’ today," he says. "I could never demonize an animal."

To revisit a long-ago Greencine conversation we had on this topic, our choices here would be  "Blade Runner" (Philip K. Dick always was better at ideas than at writing), "The Silence of the Lambs" (a forgettable airport paperback becomes something genuinely dark and sublime), "The Last of the Mohicans" (James Fenimore Cooper purpled adventure would have been a silly airport book, had there been airports back in the 1800s — on film it’s still very purple, but far more satisfying, and the part where she jumps off the cliff gets us every time), "Fight Club" (the central conceit works infinitely better visually), and the "Lord of the Rings" film (oh, stop, in your heart of hearts you know it’s true).

So, um…what are we missing?

+ When the Film Outshines the Novel (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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