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Odds: Wednesday – Scandalo!

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Venice kicks off today, but for now all anyone has to talk about is how a feud between the festival and its newly launched neighbor in Rome was started by an epic game of Telephone. Via Colleen Barry at the AP:

A gentlemanly truce broke this week when the director of the Venice film festival gave an interview saying the nascent Rome festival was performing a service to films overlooked by Venice and Cannes by giving them a venue.

By the time the comment reached the ears of the Rome festival directors, the Rome lineup had become "leftovers" — to the ire of the founders of the new festival.

They called the alleged comment "an incredible offense to the filmmakers who are showing their work in Rome."

The Venice Film Festival issued a statement denying that their director had ever used a word as offensive as "leftovers." But the fact remained: The films being shown at Rome "are films that neither we nor Cannes wanted."

At the Telegraph, Hugh Davies previews Kenneth Branagh‘s "The Magic Flute":

The overt conflict of the opera is between the dark lord Sarastro and the Queen of the Night. Branagh said: "By giving each an army and presenting visually the landscape of the First World War, there is a sense of import and scale about the actions of these characters. The Great War provides a territory both literal and metaphoric that is as emotive and complex as the opera itself."

Arty! Chris Hastings does the same for Stephen Frears"The Queen," and gets a few choice controversy-courting quotes from the director — well, hardly, unless you’re particularly defensive about the British monarchy. But we’re sure someone, somewhere would be offended.

John Horn at the LA Times attempts to predict the line-up of the Telluride Film Festival.

Elsewhere on this rather quiet day: A trailer for Eric Steel‘s "The Bridge," the documentary about the Golden Gate Bridge as a suicide landmark that includes footage of people jumping, is here. We believe Steel is self-distributing this film; it was originally also scheduled to air on IFC next year, but may (no date has been decided yet) air late this year instead. Also, a trailer for Yimou Zhang‘s "Curse of the Golden Flower," another lavish brocade-and-broadsword epic intended for export, here. Does star Chow Yun-fat, Gong Li and Taiwanese pop star Jay Chou.

Sheigh Crabtree at the Hollywood Reporter writes that Vincent Cassel has joined the cast of David Cronenberg‘s "Eastern Promises." Already announced as cast in the film are Naomi Watts and Viggo Mortensen. And via WENN, Martin Scorsese has apparently been hired to write a column DirectTV’s program guide: "Executives at the company came up with the idea when Scorsese, a
DirecTV subscriber, wrote to the firm to suggest changes in the movie
review system." We complain about things all the time — no one gives us a fucking column! What do we have to do, direct "Taxi Driver"? We’ve got a lot on a plate right now.

The San Francisco Chronicle‘s Ruthe Stein claims that being an architect is an overwhelmingly popular career choice for film heroes, and that this trend has gone on for years. She doesn’t come up with much deep cultural analysis stemming from this observation — she does, however, put together a decent list.

Brian Brooks at indieWIRE interviews Andrew Bujalski:

What lead you to filmmaking?

I was obsessed with movies as far back as I can remember ("Rocky III," "Star Trek II," etc), [and] never really considered doing anything else with my life. Wish I could be a musician but lack any apparent talent. Also wish I could be a novelist; same problem. Also painting. Or, I don’t know, even dancing. They all sound good to me.

Ah, ain’t it the truth?

+ Venice, Rome duelling over film fests (AP)
+ Branagh goes to war with Mozart’s Magic Flute (Telegraph)
+ Director claims Diana was ‘sacrificed’ at wedding (Telegraph)
+ Telluride: A Film Fest That’s Actually About Films (LA Times)
+ Trailer: The Bridge (Apple)
+ Trailer: Curse of the Golden Flower (Sony)
+ Cassel making "Promises" with Watts (Hollywood Reporter)
+ Scorsese Set to Become Film Critic (WENN)
+ And now let us praise hot architects. Hollywood can’t get enough of them. (SF Chronicle)
+ Andrew Bujalski, director of "Mutual Appreciation" (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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