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"I paid to see a flippin' folk singer. Not a big group."Manohla Dargis in the New York Times talks to Steven Soderbergh about "Bubble," the first of several low-budget films shot on HD and released simultaneously on TV, DVD, and in theaters that he contracted to make with Mark Cuban’s HDNet Films. "Bubble" was shot in Belpre, Ohio, on the border with West Virginia, and features all non-professional actors from the area. Soderbergh comes across as a bit defensive about the project, conscious of himself coming off the particularly slick and removed from reality "Ocean’s Twelve" to attempt small town naturalism:

"All I can really defend…is my experience of making the movie and what it was like for us to be there and what the experience was like for the people in Ohio and West Virginia who were involved in making the movie. I’m process-driven, I’m not result-driven." He went on to say, "We wanted to create a site-specific piece of film. So the people we cast in the movie fill it; we didn’t. We didn’t put words in their mouths." He cannot, he said, worry about those who will accuse him of condescending to his characters, men and women from a world so seemingly alien from his own and that of most film critics.

(It’s probably this early and scathing Hollywood Reporter review that’s put him on edge.) Dargis, for all her bringing up similarities to Fassbinder, plays it close to the chest in terms of her opinion of the film. We saw it a few days ago and will have a review up tomorrow, but we’ll say now that we didn’t care for it.

Also in the New York Times, Margy Rochlin talks to Allyson Hollingsworth, the real-life inspiration for the Claire Danes character in the upcoming "Shopgirl," and Joseph P. Kahn in the Boston Globe chats with Daniel Schorr, the last still-working member of the "Murrow Boys," the CBS news proteges of Edward R. Murrow, the subject of "Good Night, and Good Luck."

Mark Caro at the Chicago Tribune gets pointers from Philip Seymour Hoffman (who’ll soon be seen channeling Truman Capote), Gretchen Mol (who’ll be playing Bettie Page) and Joaquin Phoenix (Johnny Cash) on the fine art of playing people who really existed.

And Roger Ebert and the Guardian‘s Richard Vine both dwell on someone who’s now been the subject of two outstanding (and probably iconic) documentaries: Bob Dylan, once the center of (we’d argue) the essential music documentary, and now revisited by another master filmmaker in Martin Scorsese‘s "No Direction Home." Ebert gives the film four stars:

Scorsese’s "No Direction Home: Bob Dylan"…creates a portrait that is deep, sympathetic, perceptive and yet finally leaves Dylan shrouded in mystery, which is where he properly lives.

The film will air on PBS on the 26th and 27th of this month.

+ Director Zigs From Stars to Nonactors in a New Film (NY Times)
+ From Artist to Muse and Back to Artist (NY Times)
+ Raised on radio (Boston Globe)
+ The art of flesh and blood (Chicago Tribune)
+ No Direction Home: Bob Dylan (
+ Folk psychology (Guardian)

A correction: We previously called "Bubble" a 2929 Productions film, but it’s actually an HDNet film. Doh.

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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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