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See This Movie, Dammit! “An Inconvenient Truth”

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By Andrea Meyer

IFC News

I’m not really comfortable on a soapbox. But the other night I saw “An Inconvenient Truth,” and here I am — shrieking from the top of a wobbly crate, suds sloshing around my ankles. That’s how important this movie is. As you may have gathered from the current Al Gore mania in the press, Davis Guggenheim’s film documents the former vice president’s fascinating multimedia presentation about global warming. A filmed lecture about an Important Environmental Issue might sound like a bore — or, as my colleague Alison Willmore more eloquently put it, “cinematic spinach” — and it’s true that high school science teachers nationwide will probably force students to see it. But just like veggies (even those forced down the gullet with the threat of no TV) provide essential vitamins, this movie is good for you. And to push the metaphor further, just as we learn to love the taste of spinach (especially sautéed in garlic), this movie is also enjoyable going down.

Or maybe enjoyable isn’t the best word to describe the sensation. It is entertaining — riveting even — but viewer emotions are likely to range from astonished, to alarmed, to downright terrified. What Gore calls his “slideshow” is an impressive, impeccably researched presentation that he’s compiled over the last 30 years and improved with impressive charts, diagrams and film clips to explain in a compelling, often amusing way the connection between carbon emissions and the global climate change responsible for such phenomena as melting glaciers, disappearing lakes, widespread heat waves and the increased frequency of unstoppable storms like Katrina.

The film is essential viewing, because even true believers can use a brush-up course in global warming — and most could use a kick in the pants as far as taking action is concerned. No one who sees this film can remain skeptical or indifferent, and Gore is very clear that we already have the tools necessary to reverse the alarming changes in the weather. We just need to use them. He says it’s not a political question at this point, but a moral one, although political steps are a necessary part of the solution. Time is running out and everyone, politicians and civilians alike, needs to start taking this seriously if we want to save the planet.

Interspersed throughout the film are interviews with Gore, in which he talks about his life and life lessons. These segments reveal an Al Gore who is passionate, thoughtful, funny — it’s hard to believe from Election 2000, but he’s actually a funny guy — and as handsome as a movie star. It is strange to see him so assured, entertaining and comfortable in his skin. You might wonder what joker was in charge of image control during the 2000 election — and you might want to beat him up. Almost as depressing as the impending doom facing our planet is the fact that this confident, intelligent, impassioned man did not become president. You can’t help but wonder how our country — and world — might have been different had the winner of the popular vote been allowed to take his rightful seat.

I’m about to stop preaching and simpering, but one last thing. “An Inconvenient Truth” has given me a much clearer picture of the threat of global warming. Its devastating effects are rushing toward us like a missile. If we don’t reverse their course, the glaciers will continue to melt and the results will make Katrina look like light drizzle. The Bushes and Cheneys of the world are going to have to change their tune soon enough. They have no choice. And what can you do? Swap out your light bulbs. Trash your SUV. Take shorter showers. Walk, ride a bike, buy rollerblades. Recycle. Plant a tree. Write an editorial. Bug a congressperson. And for God’s sake, go see the movie. If my soapbox were high enough and my voice loud enough, I’d demand that everyone in the world go see it. Our lives may depend on it.

“An Inconvenient Truth” opens in limited release on May 24. For more on the film, see

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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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