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More season ending stuff.

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And hard out there for a foreign film.Two more wrap-ups, both excellent, from those crazy kids over at LA Weekly:

Scott Foundas writes an immensely satisfying compare-contrast between "Hustle & Flow"‘s hype and subsequent mediocre box office turnout, and "March of the Penguins"‘ lack of hype and subsequent surprising box office success. Both of the films premiered at Sundance, "Penguins" rather quietly, "Hustle" famously being acquired in the biggest deal in the festival’s history. "Penguins" has gone on to be the sleeper hit of the summer, while "Hustle" has about broken even, and has petered out of theaters.

Our "Hustle & Flow" schadenfreude aside (Foundas is right there with us: "And if you happen (as I do) to find ‘Hustle & Flow’ a callow and loathsome minstrel show of a movie, that pleasure is doubled."), it’s been an oddly satisfying summer that way. There’s nothing quite like seeing millions of marketing dollars gone to waste while films seemingly picked at random went on to great success.

David Ehrenstein, meanwhile, has a look at the increasingly tough market of foreign films. It’s frustrating to read — for many theaters and distributors, it’s not worth it to book small foreign films anymore. Ryan Werner of Wellspring:

"[T]he climate with exhibitors is that there are so many films opening that unless you can guarantee you’re going to get major coverage from The New York Times and the L.A. Times, it’s really hard to get a film to run for more than one week."

For small distributors, DVD sales have become the focus, and the limited theatrical releases they pull are really just a way to get publicity about a film in preparation for the DVD. But most interesting of all is Ehrenstein’s chat with Dave Kehr, the New York Times’ video/DVD reviewer.

Kehr…is becoming arguably more important than his counterparts, A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis, who review the week’s new theatrical releases.

"Most foreign films close a week after they open," says Kehr, "even with Manohla plugging away at the readers about ‘Head-On’ and ‘Tropical Malady.’ Both Manohla and Tony see it as their mandate to push the art films they love, and they’ve both found it a sobering experience that their love doesn’t make any difference. The power of New York Times film critics to influence filmgoers is practically nonexistent at this point.

We’d argue that even if crowds fail to turn out at the cinemas on the basis of a great review, it’s still that review in a consumer’s mind when they seek out a DVD, but still — gah!

+ Hustle & Toboggan (LA Weekly)
+ Foreign Affairs (LA Weekly)

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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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