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Dance dance dance.
The very qualities that make Jan Svankmajer‘s films so popular as projections on the walls of irritating parties — unhurried pacing, quiet surreality, subdued dark humor and that distinctive stop-motion animation — also make them as familiar and comfortable as a family room sofa. "Lunacy," his latest, purports to be a horror film inspired by Edgar Allen Poe and the Marquis de Sade, but is neither frightening nor particularly lurid. It’s merely reassuringly Svankmajeresque.

Pavel Liska plays the hapless Jean, whose fears of inherited insanity manifest in violent dreams of approaching straitjacket-bearing orderlies that have the effect of making him appear, of course, insane. On the way home from his mother’s funeral, Jean encounters a mysterious Marquis (Jan Triska) who offers him a ride (in one of the best throwaway moments of this ostensibly period film, Jean gazes disconsolately out of the window of the jiggling horse-drawn carriage as it crosses a Czech freeway) and a place to stay the night, and then proceeds to make him the victim of an elaborately staged prank. To make it up to Jean afterward, the Marquis suggests a way for him to overcome his phobias: by checking in (voluntarily, of course) to a remarkably permissive asylum conveniently run by a friend of his. Additional oddities ensue. Svankmajer’s "the lunatics are running the asylum, and perhaps everyone’s a lunatic" allegories are laid on a little thick, but tolerably so. "Lunacy"’s most memorable images are the sequences of animated cuts of meat and offal frolicking around various locations, like the director’s 1989 one-minute short "Meat Love" (which you can watch on YouTube here) on speed, set to the tunes of a broken music box. The scenes punctuate the film at regular intervals and seem to have no bearing on the main narrative other than to be both grim and grimly funny, which is what we all came for, isn’t it?

Opens in New York today.

+ "Lunacy" (Zeitgeist Films)

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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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