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NYFF: “The President’s Last Bang.”

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Baek Yun-shikWatching Im Sang-soo‘s "The President’s Last Bang," you get the sense that it’d be a truly biting and edgy satire if you had the context to know what was going on. We don’t, so the suspected impact of this controversial and funny take on the 1979 assassination of South Korean president/dictator General Park Chung-hee by the head of his secret service, Director Kim, is mostly lost on us. Nevertheless, Im’s ultrablack comedy, with its bleak view of government and of human nature, is a somewhat fun if disheartening thing to watch.

Baek Yun-shik
(also of "Save the Green Planet!") plays Kim, a depressed government fixture who’s had to watch his department, the KCIA, become reduced to arranging trysts for the president with college girls and minor starlets in safe houses — worse, Kim’s had to be a drinking buddy for the president, leaving his liver a wreck, and on top of that, the president’s bodyguard treats him disrespectfully. Together with agents Ju (Han Suk-kyu) and Colonel Min (Kim Eung-soo), he comes up with a semi-plan born half out of idealism ("For the sake of democracy, we’re offering our lives," he trumpets) and half out of self-disgust.

Im draws his deadpan humor from the general human inertia and untidiness of this attempted revolution. Kim shoots the president, but he doesn’t die, and Kim has to run out and get another gun from one of his underlings. Ju is left with no idea about what to do with the two girls who’d been brought in to entertain the officials. Incompetence and confusion abounds, and no one is sure what comes next, particularly when what they thought would magically trigger momentous change just…doesn’t.

"The President’s Last Bang" will be released this fall by Kino International.

Click here for all the NY Film Festival reviews thus far.

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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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