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Elvis’ comeback tour.

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Thandie Newton and Matt DillonBeloved-by-some dreadlocked former New York Times critic Elvis Mitchell, who dramatically exited the print world for a development position at Columbia Pictures, pops up over at the Observer to touch on race and film. He writes about "Ray," "Crash" and "The Fantastic Four," and notes

it’s been less than 40 years since Gordon Parks became the first African-American director on a studio film with 1969’s The Learning Tree. Plus ca change.

There’s certainly nothing to argue there, but we have to take issue with John Patterson‘s accompanying piece in the Guardian on how white people shouldn’t be allowed to make films about race in L.A. anymore. Shut up, John Patterson. Well, we can’t actually think of a good film about race in L.A. at all at the moment, but just because there’s been a particularly sanctimonious spate lately, what with the aforementioned "Crash" and "Spanglish," that really says more about the type of people who get to make movies ("rich white folks in their gated communities and hilltop enclaves," as Patterson puts it) than their race. Or maybe we should write off the "film about race" altogether. Most of the titles Patterson cites as better examples of the genre don’t set out to be about race at all (a shakily broad topic that, like "war" or "love," is really no basis on which to conceive a film), but deal with it as an aspect of their characters’ lives, unlike the creatures that populate "Crash," clumsily fixated on ethnicity as if it were something that had just been invented.

Liz Hoggard, back into the Observer, buys into "Crash" wholeheartedly: "Crash is that rare cinematic event – a film that challenges audiences to question their own prejudices." She then goes on to raise our hackles by pulling out some of our least favorite recent titles:

[I]t’s exciting that once again, with films like Marc Forster’s Monster’s Ball, Crash, House of Sand and Fog, and new film Hustle and Flow, set in the world of rap music and with an all-black cast (a big smash hit at this year’s Sundance), we are seeing film-makers prepared to push the envelope.

Hell. It seemed inevitable that "Hustle & Flow" come up, but we hate to see that calculated piece of crap held up as pushing any social envelope other than that of the limits of corporate cashing in on hip-hop caché through the use of egregious stereotypes and unrepentant misogyny  under the guise of an pseudo-arthouse film. Rar!

+ The final frontier (Observer)
+ Black man’s burden (Guardian)
+ Colour code (Observer)

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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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