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DID YOU READ

Mickey Spillane, 1918-2006.

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"Kiss me, Mike...kiss me!"
After a long bout with cancer, pulp king Mickey Spillane passed away yesterday at age 88. Richard Severo in the New York Times has a splendid obit we’re tempted to quote in its entirety. Instead, two highlights:

Mr. Spillane referred to his own material as “the chewing gum of American literature” and laughed at the critics. “I’m not writing for the critics,” he said. “I’m writing for the public.” He described himself as a  “money writer,” in that “I write when I need money.”

“I have no fans,” he told one interviewer. “You know what I got? Customers. And customers are your friends.”

His customers remained loyal even after the Hammer character became much imitated and later generations of pulp writers produced books filled with even more violence than Mr. Spillane’s.

And:

Mr. Spillane took issue with those who complained that his books had too much sex. How could there be sex, he asked, when so many women were shot? He noted the conspicuous role women played among his victims: Mary (abandoned), Anne L. (drowned in a bathtub), Lola (fatally stabbed), Ethel (whipped before she was shot), Marsha (shot) and Ellen (like Mary, given the heave-ho).

And then there was Velda, Mike Hammer’s blond, beautiful and patient companion in several novels. Hammer made no advances toward her and all she got for her trouble was being shot, assaulted, strung up naked and whipped.

In “I, the Jury,” Hammer became so angry at a female psychiatrist that he shot her in her “stark naked” stomach. (“Stark naked” was a phrase that Mr. Spillane rather liked.) As she died, she asked, “Mike, how could you?” To which Hammer replied, “It was easy.”

Of the pantheon of noir writers whose work shaped what may be the prototypical language of modern cinema, it’s Raymond Chandler, with his reluctant romanticism, at whose altar we genuflect. But Spillane’s work was always much more fun, and the best adaptation of one of his books, 1955’s "Kiss Me Deadly," is one of the greatest noir films in existence. Strange and bleak, it contains every noir trope you’d expect while also managing to undo them — watch the clocks. At Greatest Films, Tim Dirks has a lengthy essay on the film.

+ Mickey Spillane, 88, Critic-Proof Writer of Pulpy Mike Hammer Novels, Dies (NY Times)
+ Kiss Me Deadly (1955) (Greatest Films)

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Final Countdown

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 IFC.com

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Rev Up

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.

Uncle-Buck

Give Back

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

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…