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The rise and fall of Caveh Zahedi.

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Caveh Zahedi.
Well, hardly. But as recent web rumblings indicate, one of the hazards of putting yourself out there on the internet is that people may cease to find you charming.

David Poland in today’s Hot Button:

I became familiarized with the filmmaker via his blog on indieWIRE, which didn’t help him any, I have to say.

Before I had a chance to watch the film, I got to scroll through a debate Mr. Zahedi decided to carry on with Nathan Lee, who reviewed his film in the New York Times with brevity and, what I would later learn, was a completely appropriate degree of inattention.

And at his blog All These Wonderful Things, filmmaker AJ Schnack posted a lengthy analysis of the Cuban-Caveh situation that sparked a discussion in the comments and eventually a response from Zahedi himself, which Schnack then reposted along with a response. From the first post:

Proponents of day-and-date keep assuring us of its inevitability, but despite the viability of some political documentaries, there’s yet to be a breakout day-and-date success story, particularly on the narrative side. In fact, nearly all signs point to the flaws inherent to the concept. Perhaps the breakthrough is just one film away, perhaps the breakthrough will never come. Perhaps, as [Sony Classics’ Tom] Bernard describes, it’s the worst thing to happen to indie film since the screener ban.

Maybe Zahedi is an indie-world hero. Maybe he really is a David caught between two Goliaths. Maybe he just knows a good hook when he sees one. Whatever the case, it will be interesting to see if his very public battle translates to some degree of success for a film and a distribution chain that he has already embraced.

The biggest question this situation raises in our mind is how beneficial it is for a filmmaker to be as public a figure as the internet so readily allows. In our heart of purist hearts we’d love it if every filmmaker were an interviewphobic recluse living in a log cabin in British Columbia, just because we’d rather not know about them in context of their film — once completed, we love the idea that a film should float free, unhampered by its creators’ publicly stated intentions. Of course, that’s ridiculous — in real life indie filmmakers need to hustle all they can to get their film noticed, whether this means press junkets or one-on-ones, passing flyers out in the streets of Sundance, selling their own DVDs on the web (but no longer?), staging in-costume battles in front the of Austin Convention Center, podcasting about their process and their personal lives, blogging, or, perhaps, seizing the moment and a juicy media hook. But there comes a point where the filmmaker and the film become too closely linked in one’s mind — though given the autobiographical nature of "I Am A Sex Addict," maybe there’s no such thing.

+ April 17, 2006 (The Hot Button)
+ Caveh, Cuban & Day and Date: "The Worst Thing to Happen to Indie Film…" (All These Wonderful Things)
+ Caveh Zahedi Responds
(All These Wonderful Things)

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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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