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Odds: Wednesday – Once again, “Sex Addict,” “United 93.”

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Sex addicts?
We can’t seem to force today’s links into our preferred artificial thematic groups.

In the New York Times, Nathan Lee reviews "I Am A Sex Addict" (242 words). On his blog, director Caveh Zahedi dissects/responds (777 words) and reminds us why we sometimes fear the internet.

None of this would matter very much, and the dig in question could be easily laughed off, if it weren’t for the fact a New York Times reviewer has the power to make or break a film, and that an off-handed remark like that can mean the difference between success or failure at the box office. And it’s not just the fate of the film that is at stake: it’s also the fate of the filmmaker and of his or her ability to make more films in the future. With such power comes a dizzying responsibility, and it saddens me to see film critics wield their formidable power with such breezy insouciance.

And suddenly we find ourselves nostalgic for the days when an angry director or actor had to content him- or herself with dumping a plate of spaghetti on the head of the writer of a bad review. Over at Matt Zoller Seitz’s blog The House Next Door, Jeremiah Kipp interviews critic/filmmaker Godfrey Cheshire about the effects of technology on the creation and criticism of films:

I discovered that most of [the undergrads in a class Cheshire taught] read critics online. There’s not the culture of the local critic that there was when I was [a student]. Of course, I still write for The Independent Weekly, and I’m in that market. The thing that shocked me was when I asked, “Where do you get your information about films?” Which is basically what films are playing, what’s opening this weekend—and none of them said The Independent, which is the alternative weekly for that area, which is where you would think that most people their age would go for information like that. They get that online. There used to be a certain factor of localism in film criticism, which was very much tied to print, newspapers and journalism. You read whoever was in your market. Of course, you might buy The New Yorker if you lived in North Carolina to see what Pauline Kael had to say. But you read the writing in the local paper, because that was for a local audience. Now, there isn’t that presumption at all. The position of critics tied to local publications is being continually eroded.

Circle of (cinematic) life: South Korean director Shin Sang-Ok (best known for being abducted, along with his actress wife, and brought to North Korea to make films for everyone’s favorite dictator-cum-alleged cinephile, Kim Jong-Il), who passed away. X at Twitch has a nice eulogy of sorts. Meanwhile, Maggie Gyllenhaal and our imagination boyfriend Peter Sarsgaard are apparently engaged and pregnant with a indie hip, talented baby. Via Gina Serpe at E! Online.

Jeffrey Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere adores "United 93."

Is feeling power-drilled all over again by one of the worst real-life nightmares of all time a good thing? To me, it is. It happened, it’s real, and this film knocks your socks off because it takes you right back to that surreal morning and that feeling, that almost-afraid-to-breathe feeling, and to me, that’s partly what good films do — they lift you out of your realm and make you forget about everything but what’s on-screen.

In the LA Times, Scott Martelle takes on the "Too soon?" question:

"In a sense, it might have been better if they could have miraculously gotten this film out in the first three months," [USC’s School of Cinema-Television professor Richard] Jewell said. "Things have taken such a detour now with the country divided about the war in Iraq and all the aftermath. [A movie about] 9/11 is a little bit more risky now, or a bit more difficult to predict how the audience is going to respond."

And in The Age, Philippa Hawker takes the occasion of a David Cronenberg ACMI retrospective to write a lengthy piece on the physicality of his films, also chatting with Cronenberg’s frequent composer, Howard Shore.

+ Chronicling the Fantasies and Failings of One Man in ‘I Am a Sex Addict’ (NY Times)
+ Contra Nathan Lee (Caveh Zahedi’s Blog)
+ Cinema, dead and alive: an interview with Godfrey Cheshire, Part 1 (The House Next Door)
+ Shin Sang-Ok Passes Away (Twitch)
+ Gyllenhaal, Sarsgaard: Engaged, Expecting (E! Online)
+ Blown Away (Hollywood Elsewhere)
+ Is America ready for movies about 9/11? (LA Times)
+ A master of body language (The Age)

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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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