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The week’s critic wrangle: The Fateless Hostel.

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Marcell Nagy as Gyuri Köves+ "Fateless": As Salon‘s Andrew O’Hehir points out, "There have been so many cinematic presentations of the Holocaust that,
with the event itself receding beyond the reach of living memory, it’s
in danger of becoming historical porn, an exotic atrocity we consume
over and over again for increasingly dubious reasons." Nevertheless, nothing but praise as yet for Hungarian cinematographer-turned-director Lajos Koltai‘s film, which rallies us once more to return to those celluloid-friendly days of genocide. O’Hehir, who also makes a halfhearted attempt to find similarities between "Fateless" and the other film he covers this week, "Hostel," flips for the film’s beauty and it’s ability to portray the extreme ordinariness of the increasingly horrifying events that occur, as does A. O. Scott, who observes that "This is a way of normalizing and domesticating something that surpasses comprehension." And J. Hoberman, covering nearly the same points, seems a little stunned by how good the film is: "This isn’t a movie that I’d have thought possible; it’s an auspicious opening for the new year."


"He's appealing to their lust, their prejudice, their ignorance."+ "Hostel": We always hoped that director Eli Roth would, like Marilyn Manson, turn out to be a startlingly and pleasantly articulate goth, but we’re going to have to concede that he’s way not. Attempting to lay out his film’s grand themes Andrew O’Hehir over the phone:

"I think I have the exact level of violence I need," Roth responds. "If people are going to have sex and meet horrible deaths, I want to see that. I mean, if I started off in minute one with nonstop gore and violence, that would be way too much. But audiences are kind of numb. They’re bored of the same stuff. I want people to leave the theater saying, ‘That was really, really violent and fucked-up. That really disturbed me.’"

Also, he’s tan. Well, whatever. O’Hehir elegantly sums up the film as technically skillful but a little much for him, graphic torture-wise, and he doesn’t buy into Roth’s claims of an apparent political subtext. Nathan Lee at the New York Times finds the film too calculate in it’s need to shock, and sighs that "At the end of the day, if you’ve seen one psychopath go to work in a basement abattoir, you’ve seen them all."

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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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