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NYFF: “Who’s Camus Anyway?”

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The film crew at work.The most self-reflexive work in the festival is a film about making a film, and about how, when you’re immersed in studying or producing a film, film starts to seep into your reality. There’s something that rings particularly true about this when one’s been seeing two to three films a day oneself (we’re such a wimp) — Mitsuo Yanagimachi, who’s returned to directing after a decade-long hiatus, furthers this dreamy disconnect by shooting "Who’s Camus Anyway?" in an overtly attention-getting cinematic style. It’s a intriguing effect — the particularly modern dramas of a group of film students working on their senior project, a short based on the true story of Takeda, a teenage boy who spontaneously decided to murder an old woman because he was bored, presented in a near-Classical Hollywood fashion, with swooping camera movements and a lushly orchestral score. The film opens in a long tracking shot that traverses a college courtyard abuzz with the activities of various clubs; we meet members of the short film crew as they scurry around making last minute preparations for the shoot, chasing each other down, frantically making cell phone calls. It’s so meticulously choreographed that, as the take gets longer and longer, that becomes all we’re paying attention to — at which point the camera starts to follow the short’s two producers, who are discussing the famous opening of "Touch of Evil," and various other titles that have attempted to outdo it.

It’s a cute touch — it’s a cute film, one that constantly and fondly contrasts the realities of day-to-day life with the films that have become our main context for describing them, and that, in a way, begin to prescribe our behavior (characters nicknamed Aschenbach and Adèle H. even end up acting out small-scale versions of their namesakes’ crises). As a love letter to film culture, it’s a wonderful trifle — Yanagimachi is less successful when he tries for something more with regards to the short the students are making. Some of them, including the assistant director Hisada (Ai Maeda) and the lead actor Ikeda (Hideo Nakaizumi), anguish over the possible motivations for Takeda’s gruesome actions, debating them at length (one dubs him a "modern-day Meursault," hence the title). It’s all a bit psychobabbly, particularly when Yanagimachi’s point seems to be a refutation of Takeda as a representative figure for contemporary Japanese youth — the characters Yanagimachi presents, vibrant, expressive and endearing, are nothing like Takeda at all.

"Who’s Camus Anyway?" currently has no US distributor.

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

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Rev Up

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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Give Back

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

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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