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Ryunosuke Kamiki stars.Mark Schilling at the Japan Times reviews "Yokai Daisenso (The Big Spook War)," (or see the official site here) the latest effort from Japanese cinema’s top prolific genius/madman, Takashi Miike. Some might find it odd that a director best known for pushing the limits of visual depravity and being particularly obsessed with bodily fluids would be commissioned to direct a relatively big-budget family film, or, as Schilling puts it:

as if Disney had hired David Lynch to make a live-action version of
"Snow White," in which Grumpy inhales a potent gaseous substance
through a plastic mask.

But Miike’s never been an easy one to pin down, genre-wise. Schilling finds the film fine, if a somewhat tired retread, story- and theme-wise. He also faults Miike for not being able to take his material (kid gets caught up in a war among traditional Japanese demons/goblins (however you choose to translate yokai), learns about courage, friendship, believing in self, etc.) seriously.

Indrani Roy Mitra at Rediff reports that Nemai Ghosh, who worked with legendary director Satyajit Ray as his still photographer for 25 years, has 90,000 photographs, negatives and transparencies of Ray that he has thus far been unable to get help from the Indian government to preserve and archive. Ghosh is looking into passing the collection on to a foreign film institute.

Mark Russell in the New York Times writes about "Empress Chung," a feature film animated in North and South Korea that’s also the first film to be released simultaneous in both counties. Russell goes on to describe the faltering Korean animation industry from the mid 80s to the late 90s, South Korea was where a large chunk of American shows were animated, but as the cost of living has gone up, many of the companies have moved on to Vietnam, the Philippines and North Korea.

Korean animators did not learn how to tell their own stories, preferring to churn out others’ tales. "Koreans’ technique is O.K., but they don’t know anything about creation," ["Empress Chung" director Nelson] Shin said.

The Sydney Morning Herald checks in on director Vincent Ward, who has finally wrapped up "River Queen" a New Zealand film that ended up being a particularly troubled production (star Samantha Morton was hospitalized with the flu, Ward was canned halfway through, only to be brought back for post-production). The film will screen at Toronto, and is due out in the US in December.

+ Goblins are great, but not ‘Harry’ (Japan Times)
+ Govt ignores rare Satyajit Ray pictures (Rediff)
+ Uniting the Two Koreas, in Animated Films at Least (NY Times)
+ Pride of the river (Sydney Morning Herald)
+ Road film follows shoe empire (BBC)

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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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