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“It’s the only disease, Mr. Thompson, that you don’t look forward to being cured of.”

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"Blowup"-style.So the rumors are that 71-year-old Sophia Loren posed either nude, or semi-nude, or nothing of the sort for the 2007 edition of the exclusive Pirelli Calendar. Via Reuters:

A picture of Loren’s shoot that ran in Milan’s Corriere della Sera newspaper showed her in lingerie under a bed sheet with two photographers standing over her.

Despite Pirelli’s denials that Loren posed nude, Italian personalities have felt compelled to comment on the idea.

"Sophia Loren is an icon, she is an eternal woman. She can do anything," actress Valeria Marini told Corriere della Sera on Wednesday.

At the Guardian, Zoe Williams and Katharine Whitehorn weigh in. Williams grumbles about the compulsive feminist/political intentions attached to such a move:

People Magazine called her, in 1999, "one of the world’s most stunning and age-resistant women". Really, from a feminist or indeed any point of view, this stuff is irrelevant, but I liked that last, it makes her sound like a tin of Ronseal (does she also resist rain? How is she in other weather conditions?) Female nudity (which my prudish spellcheck just tried to change to "untidy", how weird) tends to generate conclusions that spin way beyond its significance.

Whitehorn notes that while Loren still looks stunning, the world tends not to be well-disposed towards others above a certain age looking to flaunt their goods:

[I]n Italy, a few years ago, some eccentric man suggested that older women should be banned from going topless on the beach, on the grounds that they looked awful – what he got, as I recall, was the appropriate response from women that men with pot bellies should not appear, on the beach or anywhere else, ever, in swimming trunks.

In the Independent, David Thomson writes an ode to another aging iconic beauty, Charlotte Rampling:

In what has always been an unpredictable career, nothing has been as surprising or as welcome as her recent emergence in modest French films as a woman of her own age, with a sex life and romantic longings as steady as those of, say, Kate Bosworth. Just more interesting.

And at the New York Times, Stephen Farber discusses how the 50+ age bracket has traditionally been totally ignored by Hollywood, but that niche films, including "Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont,"  "Boynton Beach Club," and "Ladies in Lavender," have had great success targeting older viewers.

But of course, we’re all about youth, youth, youth these days. Many are reading this year’s list of 120 invitees to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as an attempt at bringing the average AMPAS age down from geriatric levels — it includes Dakota Fanning (!), the "Brokeback" boys, Amy Adams, Keira Knightley and Joaquin Phoenix, along with relative fogies Werner Herzog and Hayao Miyazaki. A neat list, though we doubt it’s going to bring young’uns rushing back to watch the Oscar broadcast.

+ Sophia Loren poses for Pirelli Calendar (Reuters)
+ Body politics (Guardian)
+ Old age exposed (Guardian)
+ It took her 60 years to get there, but Charlotte has reached her prime (Independent)
+ Hollywood Awakens to the Geriatric Demographic (NY Times)
+ Out with the ‘old guys’ as Academy woos Ledger and Gyllenhaal (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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