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Nothing new under the cineplex.

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Caveh Zahedi and co.
The word back from industry convention ShoWest seems to be fairly distressed: via Sharon Waxman at the New York Times:

"There is a general recognition that the world of entertainment is
opening up in ways that we can’t imagine today, we are launching into a
whole new era," [Frank J. Rimkus, the chief executive of Galaxy Theaters] said. He added, with a note of self-confession: "We
are trying to understand what the public wants. And Galaxy does not yet
have a handle on it."

But we seem to remember everyone being at the same place six months ago at ShowEast, though perhaps with less a sense of glum urgency. Where’s our revolution, by golly?

Scott Bowles at USA Today sees less grimness than what may be delirious denial:

"We see all of this hand-wringing, people saying that it’s the end of theaters," says Peter Brown, president of AMC Theatres, the nation’s second-largest movie chain. "And, to be honest, we’re laughing a little. Business is actually pretty good."

And another money quote:

"The movie business is a little like the drug business," says Greg Laemmle, president of Laemmle Theaters, which operates 16 theaters in Southern California.

"We are the pushers, and our customers are the users. Even if business is good, you have to keep giving people what they want."

Mark Caro at the Chicago Tribune is tickled by MPAA chief Dan Glickman’s plans for a "Pork: The Other White Meat"-type campaign touting the movie industry as a whole:

We all love movies, right? So let’s help Hollywood out and come up with a really nifty slogan that will get the theater turnstiles spinning by the time "Dallas: The Motion Picture" hits the multiplexes.

I’ll go first:

"Movies: They Can Be Excellent!"

And Wired NewsScott Kirsner, checking in on the digital projection front, sees reluctant cinema owners more excited about the new dark-chocolate Raisinets ("two thumbs up").

At the Hollywood Reporter, Anne Thompson devotes a column to the state of day-and-date (not a popular topic at the conference), turning up some interesting tidbits, including the fact that Ben Rekhi‘s widely reported high numbers distributing his film "Waterborne" on Google Video success were actually the result of a programming glitch, and that "Bubble" "was a sleeper hit in hotels, where it was the third-biggest seller last month."

And at his blog, filmmaker Caveh Zahedi, who published a manifesto on the pleasures of self-distribution in Filmmaker before going on to set up a distribution deal for "I Am A Sex Addict" with, yes, IFC Films and their fledgling day and date program First Take, mildly recants.

Well, I still agree with what I said, but it’s also true that having an established distribution company on your side is also fun, and is also arguably less alienating, more organic, and more human than doing it all yourself. Because while self-empowerment may be an asymptotic ideal (however eloquently Ralph Waldo Emerson may argue for it), we are all ultimately parts of a larger human community and the do-it-yourself ethos is ultimately a myth. No one makes a film alone, and no one distributes a film alone.

+ When Moviegoers Vote With Their Feet (NY Times)
+ What, movies worry? (USA Today)
+ Hollywood needs a catchy slogan (Chicago Tribune)
+ Digital Cinema Show ‘n’ Tell (Wired News)
+ Distributors hold firm against day-and-date (Hollywood Reporter)

+ Apologia Pro Vita Sua (Caveh Zahedi Blog)

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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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