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Odds: Thursday – Banging the gong.

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Billy Wells.
Our favorite inane trailer of the moment is here; it’s for "The Marine," which stars rapping pro-wrestler John Cena as… Anyway, it’s August! Yay!

At the Independent, Ian Herbert pens an obit to Ken Richmond, the last and best-known man to bang the gong at the start of all J. Arthur Rank films (see an earlier version with Billy Wells here).

At the Telegraph, Ang Lee talks with David Gritten about why he loves Ingmar Bergman‘s "The Virgin Spring" (the film that inspired, strange but true, Wes Craven‘s 1972 debut "The Last House on the Left"). "It was the artistic power of the filmmaking. But also, it questions the existence of God, and I thought: how dare anyone ask where God is in artistic form? That was beyond me, because I wasn’t brought up that way, so that was a revelation for me too."

Via Kim Tae-jong at the Korea Times, the press-shy Kim Ki-duk held a rare (and strange) press conference after a screening of his new film "Time," expressing bitterness over his lack of success in his home country despite his fame everywhere else:

"From now on, I won’t submit any of my new works to international film festivals held in Korea, including Pusan. This could sound like a threat, complaint or petition, and I know my decision will harm my career. But I did not have good responses to my work, and if I keep failing, I may have to find another job," he said.

Kim expressed his bitter feelings about the phenomenal success of the recent local blockbuster, "The Host."

"As a bleeding director, I think, whether this sounds negative or positive, it’s the finest result produced as it meets the needs of local audiences and the film industry," Kim said.

Is that some snark we detect through the rough translation? Who knows!

An Andrew Sarris anecdote (from his review of "The Bridesmaid" in the New York Observer):

My own favorite [Claude] Chabrol film is still Les Bonnes Femmes (1960), which I screen every year in my international-film history class at Columbia, and of which I never tire. When I was in Paris in 1961 and everyone was raving about Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut, I asked Henri Langlois, the head of the Cinémathèque Française, who he thought was the most promising of the nouvelle vague directors. Without a moment’s hesitation, he answered with defiant certitude, “CHABROL!”

Hardly anyone agreed with him back then, and not too many do now. Over the years, I myself have written much more about Mr. Rohmer, Mr. Godard and Truffaut than about Mr. Chabrol. But the certitude of Langlois has stayed in my mind.

At the San Francisco Bay Guardian, K. Tighe chats with John Byrum about his quite possible before its time (though still not that great) 1984 "The Razor’s Edge," which featured Bill Murray in his first serious role:

"I’ll tell you who got this movie made," Byrum says. "It was Dan Aykroyd. Dan pointed out that we could give Ghostbusters to Columbia in exchange for a green light on The Razor’s Edge — Bill was convinced. Forty-five minutes later we had a caterer." This devil’s bargain is par for the course. Hollywood legend has it that Tyrone Power committed to do one more Zorro movie for the privilege of playing Larry Darrell.

That would be in the 1946 version of "The Razor’s Edge." And who wouldn’t want to be Larry Darrell? He gets engaged to a rich chick, dumps her to loaf around Paris and then travel to India and get all "enlightened," and comes back years later only to have her fall all over him again — how aggravating!

Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing links to this site of images of and anecdotes about abandoned or transformed cinemas in London.

Everyone’s abuzz with rumors that Mel Gibson‘s "Apocalypto" is being shopped around by Disney, who supposedly no longer wants it after The Incident. Of course, nothing’s confirmed yet; still, that didn’t stopped good ol’ Fox News from reporting it.

"Half Nelson"‘s Ryan Fleck takes the questionnaire at indieWIRE:

What were the circumstances that lead you to become a filmmaker, and what other creative outlets do you have?

I was a big fan of Siskel & Ebert as a kid, so I originally wanted to be a movie critic. Seeing Spike Lee‘s "Do the Right Thing" got me excited about the potential of filmmaking. I have no other creative outlets, though I wish I could play guitar.

And really, who doesn’t?

+ Trailer: The Marine (Yahoo)
+ Film world mourns man who banged the (paper) gong for Rank (Independent)
+ Film-makers on film: Ang Lee (Telegraph)
+ Film Director Kim Announces ‘His Funeral’ (Korea Times)
+ Chabrol’s The Bridesmaid: When Family Is a Fraud (NY Observer)
+ John Byrum revisits The Razor’s Edge and Bill Murray’s dramatic debut (SF Bay Guardian)
+ London’s derelict cinemas (Boing Boing)
+ Shopped or dropped? Rumours surround fate of new Gibson movie (Guardian)
+ indieWIRE INTERVIEW: Ryan Fleck, director of "Half Nelson" (indieWIRE)

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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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