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DID YOU READ

The old guard.

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Rock HudsonArmy Archerd is calling it quits after 52 years of writing his "Just for Variety" column for, you guessed it, Variety. Archerd "hated the term ‘gossip columnist’ and bristled whenever anyone referred to him as one," but kind of is/was one, albeit of the extremely classy and industry-focused type.

In the July 23, 1985, column, he printed that Rock Hudson — despite
denials from the actor’s publicists and managers — was undergoing
treatment for AIDS. Global media picked up on the story; though the
disease was not new, this was the first time anyone put an identifiable
face linked to the disease. The New York Times stated that if it
weren’t for Archerd’s report, the actor’s death probably would have
been attributed to other maladies, and the realization of the scope of
AIDS would not have been publicized and realized until 1992, when Magic
Johnson revealed his condition.

Then the writer goes on to call Archerd "Hollywood’s first blogger." Well…yes, in that column-writing and blogging both involve writing regularly. Would it be so bad to just let him be as a well-known, respected columnist? We realize it’s de rigeur these days to name-check blogging whenever at all possible, but, please, not when it’s unnecessary. The kids do still understand what "columnist" means, we’re assuming, and don’t require it to be roughly translated ("Archerd S retiring 2rite hs memoirs, jst lk Dave Eggers"). And they’re not reading Variety anyway.

Meanwhile, our Armond White fixation may well now be replaced with a late-era Andrew Sarris fixation. In his latest column in the New York Observer, Sarris once again revisits his glory days of warring with Pauline Kael:

Part of my motivation in studying the present for clues to the future is to escape the spiritual paralysis of an unforgiving nostalgia for the past. André Bazin (1918-1958) once tried to exclude Hollywood directors from the purview of François Truffaut’s La Politique des Auteurs by invoking "the genius of the system" as an alternative theory to explain the large number of Hollywood classics. I raised my very tentative and respectful objections to Bazin—a film theorist I admired above all others—in my 1963 essay in Film Culture Magazine, entitled "Notes on the Auteur Theory in 1962." This piece of critical writing annoyed Pauline Kael sufficiently to write the much more widely read "Circles and Squares" in Film Quarterly Magazine, launching a 40-year war for which I was polemically unprepared. The trouble was that the cultural establishment seized on the Sarris-Kael imbroglio as a way to keep critical theory out of a "fun" field like movies. Hence, I was suddenly catapulted from obscurity to notoriety without passing "Go." Now, almost half a century later, I can refute Bazin’s "genius of the system" argument more succinctly simply by asking: If the "system" was responsible for the good films, then who or what was responsible for the much more numerous bad films?

Still so wounded! Were those years really so bad, Mr. Sarris? Yes, James Toback was mean to you, but those were some damn great and influential days of film criticism you participated in (honestly, there was a Film Culture Magazine and a Film Quarterly Magazine, and people actually read them!). Anyway, he goes on to declare he’s going to live forever (yes, we’re totally taking that out of context, enjoy it for what it is) and discuss contemporary directors that might make his "pantheon of English-language auteurs" with the tone of someone looking down from a great height (not condescending, more like…stratospherically removed).

+ ‘Just for Variety’ column to end after 52 years (Variety)
+ The Mysteries of Richard Linklater: Director Finds Lifetimes in Moments (NY 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 IFC.com

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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.

Uncle-Buck

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

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…