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Once, in the waning hours of a party, someone tried to convince us (with the overwhelming certainty of the very intoxicated) that the director’s name was in fact actually Almodóvarmodóvar. It was great fun to hear anyone slur that out loud, but he was so serious and so insistent that we began to doubt ourselves: Why would anyone go to such lengths to argue such a ridiculous point? Maybe it was really Almodóvarmodóvar. At which point we put ourselves in a cab and went home. Meanwhile, Sony Pictures Classics’ Viva Pedro retrospective kicks off this Friday, and at the Village Voice Michael Atkinson has a nice essay on the two Almodóvars, as he sees it, and how each is represented in the films selected (he’d like to see more of the earlier, nastier Pedro):

What’s missing in these later movies is risk, and the sulfurous charge to be had from the earlier films—including Dark Habits (1983), a very special doped-dyke-nuns comedy-—and from Kika, which transgressed perhaps farther than any other film in the oeuvre (specifically, with a long comedic rape scene that revolted many but called the cards on our pop-entertainment amusement with some kinds of violation, like murder and torture, and not others). An utterly fearless carnivale, with enough plot for three movies and a Gaultier costume-design attack that verges on cyborgian hysteria, the unjustly maligned and hilarious Kika is the most Buñuelian of Almodóvar’s movies, and seems the one in need of a re-release.

New York magazine divides the series’ offerings up into "The Good," "The Bad" and "The Superior."

The Guardian has a transcript of Maria Delgado‘s interview with Almodóvar and actor Penélope Cruz (who stars in his latest, "Volver") in front of a live audience (there’s an audio version here, if you have the patience), while Simon Hattenstone interviews Cruz by herself:

She smiles when I mention Almodóvar’s adoration, and says, yes, it is a
love affair of sorts. "You don’t have to have sex involved in a love
story for it to be a love story. When I’m at the end of my life,
thinking about the most important people in my life, people I have
loved the most, Pedro will be one of the main people."

+ A Tale of Two Pedros (Village Voice)
+ The Almodóvar Octet (New York)
+ Pedro Almodóvar and Penélope Cruz (Guardian)
+ Homecoming queen (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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