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DID YOU READ

Odds: Monday – Pryor, Post-9/11, Problematic “Munich.”

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12122005_syrianaThere have been many heartfelt, fascinating things written about the recent passing of Richard Pryor (that sounded more callous than we intended), but the most emotionally complicated may be Stanley Crouch‘s in the New York Daily News, in which lauds Pryor’s latent while saddling him with what he sees as the currently dismal state of black popular culture.

Janice Page at the Boston Globe comes up with what we’re hoping is the be-all, end-all (and final?) story on the "Memoirs of a Geisha" casting controversy, in which she gets some great quotes from the actresses themselves:

It’s kind of like Peking Opera in China," reasoned Gong [Li], who plays the diva Hatsumomo. ”If somebody said, ‘OK, now we’re going to get some Koreans or some Indians to train them to become big Peking Opera stars,’ we [Chinese] might feel very strange about that. We might say, ‘That’s our national art. How can you do that?’ Still, she dismisses the controversy as ”not really that important" because a moving performance transcends nationality, and because being born Japanese would not have spared her from ”geisha boot camp."…

”There’s too few roles and too many of us," [Michelle] Yeoh observed. ”Caucasian faces can cross over, so why would you say Chinese can’t play Korean or Singaporean or Taiwanese? I mean, the English and the Scottish have their own traditions [and bad blood], but it’s all right for them to play each other. So why are there suddenly limitations on this?"

"Syriana"‘s Stephen Gaghan is blogging at the Huffington Post. His first post: "a brief primer on corruption." Roger Ebert, meanwhile, secures the much-cited speech on the topic Tim Blake Nelson‘s Danny Dalton gives during the film:

DANNY: Some trust fund prosecutor, got off-message at Brown, thinks he’s gonna run this up the flagpole, make a name for himself, maybe get elected some two-bit, no-name congressman from nowhere, with the result that Russia or China can suddenly start having, at our expense, all the advantages we enjoy here. No, I tell you. No, sir. (mimics prosecutor) "But, Danny, these are sovereign nations." Sovereign nations! What is a sovereign nation, but a collective of greed run by one individual? "But, Danny, they’re codified by the U.N. charter!" Legitimized gangsterism on a global basis that has no more validity than an agreement between the Crips and the Bloods! (Beat) … Corruption charges. Corruption? Corruption ain’t nothing more than government intrusion into market efficiencies in the form of regulation. That’s Milton Friedman. He got a goddamn Nobel Prize. We have laws against it precisely so we can get away with it. Corruption is our protection. Corruption is what keeps us safe and warm. Corruption is why you and I are prancing around here instead of fighting each other for scraps of meat out in the streets. (Beat) Corruption … is how we win.

Desson Thomson at the Washington Post sees "Syriana" as the first in a pack of major-studios films explicitly dealing with the post-9/11 world, most of them nowhere nears as complex as Gaghan’s film. Speaking of, David M. Halbfinger at the New York Times pays a visit to the L.A. set of Oliver Stone‘s 9/11 project.

And at the Guardian, Gary Younge reports that the Israel’s consul-general in L.A. has spoken out against Spielberg‘s "Munich," calling it "superficial", "pretentious" and "problematic."

+ Pryor’s flawed legacy (NY Daily News)
+ Considering the source (Boston Globe)
+ On Syriana and Corruption (Huffington Post)
+ Corruption and greed in America (RogerEbert.com)
+ Hollywood Zooms In On a Post-9/11 World (Washington Post)
+ A Ground Zero Grows in Los Angeles (NY Times)
+ Israeli consul attacks Spielberg’s Munich as ‘problematic’ (Guardian)

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Final Countdown

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 IFC.com

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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…