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A far off place.

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"The beard? What beard?"A smattering of reports on films still in pre-production:

Casually dressed in a plaid shirt and work pants, [Mel] Gibson at first appeared tense and deflected queries about the film’s storyline. "What I’m doing is creating an action adventure of mythic proportions," he said, leaving it pretty much at that. He also was clearly bothered by photographers’ continuing to take flash pictures while he was talking. "It does something to my liver," Gibson said, blinking. "I’ll have an epileptic fit in a minute and start swallowing my tongue."

Reed Johnson‘s report in the LA Times on Gibson’s "Apocalypto" press conference is pretty much all gold, from the Gibson glamor shot at the top to the sparse details about his upcoming film the writer/director/producer is so reluctant to let slip, perhaps because he knows they sound more than a little cracked out. You can imagine a room full of reporters doodling on their notepads: "ALL UNKNOWNS? IN ANCIENT MAYAN? SMOKING ANGEL DUST?! BUT ‘THE PASSION’ SOUNDED LIKE A FUCKING CAR WRECK TOO!!!!!"

Hell, it’s ambitious, he’s got the money, let the man grow out his facial hair and make his movie if he wants. Over at the New York Times, Michael Joseph Gross reports on Richard Linklater‘s planned "Fast Food Nation" adaptation, which is so super-secret that its super-secret working title has now been printed in the most prominent paper in the country. The article comes down to the fact that no one’s discussing the movie much (though it was announced months ago that "Maria Full of Grace"‘s Catalina Sandino Moreno would star), and that’s about that, though nice to see the new-ish will be involved to attempt to tie the film with an outreach program.

And, also at the Times, Christian Moerk looks at the plan announced at Toronto this year: Bob Balaban, Stanley Tucci and Steve Buscemi are each planning to direct an American remake of one of slain Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh‘s films. Balaban will do "1-900," Tucci "Blind Date" and Buscemi "Interview." Van Gogh was well-known in the Netherlands as a provocateur and public personality, and he was stabbed and shot by a Dutch-Moroccan radical Islamist offended by his short film "Submission: Part I," but all of the films being remade are from his earlier days, and focus on sexuality and gender conflicts.

Van Gogh is an uneasy martyr to free speech — he went out of his way to provoke without, it seems, ever believing in or appreciating the effect his words and films could have on people. "Who’s going to kill the village idiot?" was his oft-quoted question, and clearly the answer is: someone who wasn’t laughing. Van Gogh’s death was terrible, and also sobering — it’s become too easy, perhaps, to feel that one’s public words get whirled away and lost in the increasing chorus of various media voices, but people do listen. And despite all this, who can help but love this impulse?

Van Gogh…would utter an expletive instead and say: "Film it now.  Low budget buys you freedom."

+ Mel Gibson’s latest passion: Maya culture (LA Times)
+ Want Stealth With That? The ‘Fast Food Nation’ Film Goes Undercover (NY Times)

+ Remaking a Martyr, Plus Stars but Minus Politics (NY Times)

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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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