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Weekend catch-up.

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Goo-free (for now).
Director Richard Fleischer, of the ambitious  "Tora! Tora! Tora!" and the kitsch masterpieces "Conan the Destroyer" and "Red Sonja" (as well as two films which gave us terrible nightmares as a child, "20000 Leagues Under the Sea" (giant squid!) and "Fantastic Voyage" (malicious inner-body goo!)), passed away on Saturday. Valerie J. Nelson in the LA Times:

He won his only Oscar in 1947 for a post-World War II documentary he produced but did not direct, "Design for Death," which was written by Theodor Geisel who would become better known as Dr. Seuss, and Geisel’s first wife, Helen Palmer. The day Fleischer received the Academy Award, his father sent him a telegram that said, "What took you so long?" He was 31.

The AP files a story about "Super Size Me" director Morgan Spurlock‘s reportedly rowdy speech at a suburban Philadelphia high school:

"If you put the whole package together, the use of the F-word and poking fun at teachers and the comments about special-needs students, it just wasn’t appropriate," Superintendent William Lessa said.

Spurlock responds to the story at his blog:

First and most importantly, it should be made clear that the only person I called "retarded" was myself when I was unable to hear a question from the audience. Having done work with special needs children in the past, something this hurtful would never come from my lips. I did make an aside about kids sleeping in the back wearing helmets, which was done with no malicious intent (I was playing it as a slacker reference to the Jon Heder character in the upcoming film "Benchwarmers," a reference which was lost and, as I was later told, there were no actual students wearing helmets in the back).

At Salon, Sarah Goldstein takes on Macaulay Culkin‘s initial venture into the literary world, "Junior," a novel about, unsurprisingly, a troubled former child star with parental issues.

After years of tabloid drama about the Culkins, the story offers an
unsympathetic, bare-bones view into the hell it must have been living
as a child in that family. Less successful are the moments where Culkin
writes about how hard it is to articulate his feelings toward his
father, as in the following:

Dear Dad, Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck
Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck
Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck [ad nauseam, fills whole page]

Via Reuters, Bob Saget‘s "Farce of the Penguins," which blends "archival wildlife footage with an R-rated screenplay written and directed by comedian" (er….), has found a voice for its version of that Morgan Freeman-as-weary-but-sympathetic-God narration: Samuel L. Jackson (okay, that is pretty funny).

Girish kicks off today’s Abel Ferrara blog-a-thon.

And at the Filmmaker Blog, Peter Bowen prints a letter from Focus Features’ James Schamus, responding to Daniel Mendelsohn‘s claims in the New York Review of Books that in its marketing campaign, the distributor obscured, or at least did not loudly proclaim, "Brokeback Mountain"‘s gayness.

+ Richard Fleischer, 89; Director of ‘20,000 Leagues,’ ‘Tora! Tora! Tora!’ (LA Times)
+ Spurlock Speech Causes Stir at Pa. School (AP)
+ A Letter of Explanation (Morgan Spurlock Blog)
+ "Junior" (Salon)
+ All-star cast set for "March of Penguins" spoof (Reuters)
+ The Blackout (Girish)
+ FOCUS(ED) DEBATED (Filmmaker 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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