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Flustle and Ho.

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Terrence Dashon HowardCraig Brewer‘s "Hustle and Flow" opens this Friday, and we’ll reserve our thoughts on the film itself for a review we’ll post later this week. The crew’s out doing the publicity rounds — Terrence Dashon Howard, who stars as DJay and who’s the most interesting, personality-wise, of the bunch, is interviewed by Lynda Gorov over at the Boston Globe and, more interestingly, by Robert Abele in the LA Times:

Howard, who also writes songs and plays guitar, initially wanted DJay to sing Terrence Howard originals — an idea Brewer quickly nixed — or at least rap "intelligent and profound" things. But Brewer was adamant DJay’s crude, droning crunk style never betray anything above a ninth-grade education.

Says Howard of the film’s set-piece raps, "I hated every word I had
to say, and that was a challenge, to love and believe and stand behind
the words. I love the storytelling [in rap], but I don’t think music
should ever be violent or ugly. Maybe I’m a tree hugger or something,
and that’s my problem."

Howard is mildly famous for being, for better or worse, somewhat lacking in self-censorship in interviews, and it’s a novelty to see, near the end of the LA Times piece, his publicist actually pulling him out of the room for a second and taking him to task over his "media relations skills." Paramount’s certainly been managing the cast of this film ve-ry carefully, and you’ll note how the ads all manage to steer clear of the pimp storyline. Over at indieWIRE, Ellen Keohane talks to director Brewer and Stephanie Allain, the producer who championed the film through to its Sundance success.

The LA Times hearts Brad Grey, the newish Paramount chief who’s turned the studio around with chancy things like the "Hustle & Flow" deal: he bought the film at Sundance for $9 million, a huge deal for the festival (though, even with the $15 million they’re spending to market it, next to nothing, really), and will finance Brewer’s next film, "Black Snake Moan," with Christina Ricci as a nympho and Samuel L. Jackson as the older blues man who cures her of this problem.

+ In the ‘Flow’ (Boston Globe)
+ His upward spiral (LA Times)
+ The "Hustle & Flow" of Independent Film (indieWIRE)
+ New chief remaking Paramount Pictures (LA 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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