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Does a paradigm shift in the woods?

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Robin Wright Penn.So who do we see topping up Hollywood Reporter today but the ol’ parent company, Rainbow Media, LLC? As Anne Thompson recounts, Rainbow is working towards being the first to acquire and release indie films simultaneously in theaters (mainly the IFC Center) and on video-on-demand. Hopes are to release 18-24 films per year through the new strategy — the VOD package will be called "IFC Center Presents" and will offer a subscription model as well as a per-title one (the first release will probably be Jeff Stanzler‘s "Sorry, Haters"). And that’s all we got on that at the moment, because sometimes we get our company announcements the same way you do — via a regurgitated press release read on an internet news source.

Of course, the whole collapsing windows issue is a hot one, particularly since Rainbow’s not the only one with this idea. Slate‘s Edward Jay Epstein looks at what Mark Cuban is trying to do with HDNet Films (its kick-off film, Steven Soderbergh’s "Bubble," which we reviewed at the NYFF here, will get a simultaneous theatrical/DVD/TV release January 27th), detailing the sticky situation that is the studio-enforced 45-day to four-month window between when a title is made available on DVD and when it can go to VOD or a premium movie channel.

What has prevented the studios from closing the video window is simple: Wal-Mart. The company, which is the single biggest seller of DVDs, has made it clear that it does not want to compete with home delivery. Wal-Mart executives told Viacom’s home entertainment division in no uncertain terms that if any studio does away with the 45-day video window for a single title, they would risk losing access to Wal-Mart’s shelf space for all of its titles. Wal-Mart provided studios with more than one-third of their U.S. DVD revenue in 2004. In the face of Wal-Mart’s retail power, the studios have not dared (yet) to do away with the protective video window.

Meanwhile, indieWIRE announces that The Weinstein Company (we got a press release from them with a W logo — TWC looks to be settling in as the permanent name, despite what they’re said) has cemented its funding. And Empire‘s got some of the brothers W’s plans for TV, now that they’re flush with cash and ready to start media empire-building:

After its 2006 cinematic sequel, "Sin City" will become a TV series and, cashing in on the current US TV craze for poker-based programming, the Matt DamonEd Norton grifters flick "Rounders" will also hit the small screen.

Using their cinematic connections, the Weinstein’s have also pulled together an impressive array of talent to adapt Alexander McCall’s nit novel "The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency." Anthony Minghella will direct the pilot — which centres on a female private eye solving mysteries in Botswana — with Richard Curtis on board to script the story. Minghella and Curtis in turn have approached TV guru David E. Kelly ("Ally McBeal") to produce.

They do not dream small, those two. We’ve always had a soft spot for "Rounders," to tell the truth, what with John Malkovich hamming it up in that Eurotrash tracksuit.

John Anderson at the New York Times covers another alternative to the traditional distribution route: offers a catalogue of super-indies that they’ll burn onto DVD for you for &9.95.

+ Day-and-date VOD, theatrical bow for Rainbow pics (HR)
+ Will Mark Cuban (Finally) Revolutionize Hollywood? (Slate)
+ Weinsteins Announce Completion of $490 Million Equity Investment (indieWIRE)
+ Weinstein TV (Empire)
+ Once It Was Direct to Video, Now It’s Direct to the Web (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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