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The sun also rises. In the East. Where they also make movies.

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"t was a more familiar brand of otherness, but equally special in its own way."It has been a long day, yes.

Jonathan Ross, who’s going to be hosting a new BBC series called "Asian Invasion," pops up at the Guardian to tell the sad, sad tale about how, as a teenager, he started watching Kurosawa films (gateway drug), which lead to anime, which lead to Bruce Lee, which somehow lead to him recently buying a ticket to Seoul in order to wander the streets, attempting to divine the nature Korea’s cinematic soul:

I’d like to say that I was able to discover the source of Korea’s sudden fecundity – and that I bathed in it, slathering the creative juices all over my ungainly western body. But I don’t think it’s something you can see on the streets of Seoul. I think it’s a combination of Korea’s tragic 20th-century history and the relaxing of state censorship in the 1990s – a sudden opportunity for these insanely hard-working, creative people to express a lot of pent-up anger and longing.

We definitely don’t find the article sad because we’re practically bleeding out from the stab of self-recognition (and the urge to actually stab ourselves because of it). Certainly not.


We just wish he didn’t have to look exactly the way we imagined he’d look on top of it all.

That all being said, the Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum, which takes place in March and is basically a market in which financiers are brought into contact with indie Asian film projects in the hopes that they’ll breed, has announced its slate of 25 projects. The list is drool-worthy look at potential awesomeness for anyone who’s ever, say, used Babelfish to attempt to read Korean film boards. Pen-ek Ratanaruang‘s "Invisible Waves," which will premiere at Berlin this year, was one of last year’s projects. Via KFCC.

In the latest issue of Midnight Eye, Jasper Sharp gives a rave review to "Ranpo Jigoku," an anthology film composed of four short films based on the short stories of Edogawa Ranpo (who took his pen name from a garbling of "Edgar Allan Poe" — the two tackled similarly dark subject matter). Each segment has a different director, and each also features the inescapable Tadanobu Asano. Over at Firecracker, Bertha Chin is also fond of Peter Chan‘s neo-musical "Perhaps Love," Hong Kong’s best foreign film Oscar submission and one of the films we’re most dying to see. Chan’s best-known film is 1996’s great "Comrades: Almost a Love Story," and we still can’t think of a better summation of expat life than Christopher Doyle‘s cameo as an English teacher who constantly steals sips from his hip flask and who leads his uncomprehending class through practice sentences of "I go to hell. You go to hell. We all go to hell."

And over at Digital Chosunilbo, a report that Korean pop star Rain, who’s earned the unfortunate moniker of "the Korean Michael Jackson" for his dancing skills, has been cast in Park Chan-wook‘s latest project, which has apparently been given the unfortunate title of "I’m a Cyborg, But It’s OK."

+ Confessions of a Nipponophile (Guardian)
+ Hong Kong – Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) Announces the 25 Film Projects Selected for 2006 (Official site)
+ Rampo Noir (Midnight Eye)
+ If Music be the Food of Love: Perhaps Love (Firecracker)
+ Rain to Star in Park Chan-wook’s Much-Awaited ‘Cyborg’ (Digital Chosunilbo)

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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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