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Odds: Friday – Monks, hipsters, cowboys, Asians.

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Go, monk, go.At the BBC, Ray Furlong reports that "Into Great Silence" (the more delicious "Die Grosse Stille" in German) a near-wordless three-hour documentary about the extremely ascetic lives of Carthusian monks in the Alps, has become an unexpected hit in Germany.

At Slate, Nathan Lee waxes poetic about the wonders of Andrew Bujalski‘s "Mutual Appreciation":

Bujalski is the poet laureate of post-grad bobos from Brooklyn to Portland and every Urban Outfitted nabe in between. Like "Funny Ha Ha" (2003), his much-loved debut, "Mutual Appreciation" nails the walk and talk of twentysomething iPeople like nothing else. These movies get so deep in the heads of their shy, vigilant, sweet-natured protagonists that every passive-aggressive blip and conversational tic registers onscreen with beyond-doc authenticity. Bujalski gets his effect by tailor-making roles for friends, keeping plenty of space open for improvisation. But ultimately his talent is as mysterious as Cassavetes’, to whom he is so often compared it’s become a cliché.

We’re now even more interested in and leery of the film, because if "Funny Ha Ha" hit so squirmingly close to home in its depiction of that meandering post-college period in life, we’re a little frightened of seeing Bujalski take on our very own Brooklyn ‘hood.

Alex Beam of the Boston Globe devotes a column to mocking "Brokeback Mountain" and the critical adoration its received, and manages to score some points regarding the media’s generally goggle-eyed and clueless fascination with how the film would play outside of the top five markets (not that we had any clue ourselves).

Anne Ishii has a lot going on in her Village Voice essay, taking on neo-Orientalism, "Memoirs of a Geisha," Gwen Stefani‘s human accessories the Harajuku Girls, and Engrish in general.

And in the Japan Times, Mark Schilling comes up with his list of the top ten domestic releases. He’s come up with a list of mainly indies (which makes it less likely that any will ever make it over here) — his top pick is Tatsushi Omori‘s "Germanium no Yoru (Whispering of the Gods)."

+ Germans flock to see silent monks (BBC)
+ Brooklyn Confidential (Slate)
+ The passion of the cowboy (Boston Globe)
+ English as a Second Language (Village Voice)
+ Indies good to go (Japan 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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