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The end of things.

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"Life is very sweet brother; who would wish to die?"
[Jonathan Rhys Meyers is in "Mission: Impossible III"? We’re totally going to go see it now.

Oh, turn those judging eyes away.]

In the Guardian, Alex Cox writes about the prolonged death of the western at the hands of Sergio Leone and Sam Peckinpah. Describing a photo of the two with Monte Hellman on the set of "China 9, Liberty 37," he writes:

In the photo, Peckinpah and Leone don’t look at each other. Leone is gazing out, past the camera, his glasses reflecting movie lights. Peckinpah is looking at Hellman, his director. The significance of the second photograph, I think, is what Leone and Peckinpah are doing. Neither is directing. Leone is a visitor to the set. He has time on his hands. Peckinpah is an actor, in a battered coat and hat, playing a supporting cowpoke in a work-for-hire directed by a friend.

By 1978, neither had a western of his own to make. Each would direct one more feature, but the men who had killed off the western had pretty much written themselves out of a job.

We grew up watching post-westerns — it wasn’t until later that we ever discovered that there were westerns that weren’t concerned with the fact that life out there was grim and violent, that we’d run out of frontier, and that the unheroic creep of civilization was far worse than any hardscrabble existence you could dream up. There are many interesting things about "The Proposition" (which we saw too long ago to write a full review of now), most interesting of all its use of the nearly otherworldly Australian outback…jagged and alien, with no ocean to run up against for thousands of miles, it’s genuinely intimidating and bleakly lovely. If the neo western is ever marked by a sense of deflation, of encroachment and the end of free spaces in which to run, "The Proposition" is a rarity in that the fragile "civilization" of its main settlement seems genuinely in danger of being crushed by the vast empty spaces around it.

At one point, Danny Huston‘s
character, staring out at the sunset from a rocky perch, sums it up as "the end of
things," and quite right. Beyond the obvious Peckinpah references,
writer Nick Cave and director John Hillcoat have clearly been reading up on their Cormac McCarthy — the most obvious reference point for something so almost profanely, biblically violent swirled with moments of still beauty.

+ A bullet in the back (Guardian)

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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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