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The directors.

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"This was an educational film for me, because I had no idea this was going on."
Pedro Almodóvar is interviewed by Jonathan Romney at the Independent.

Even so, Almodóvar has not yet accepted any Hollywood offers, despite being sent every possible American script about transvestites. There have been near misses, notably when he was offered Brokeback Mountain. "That was the first time I really hesitated about making an American movie, because I read the short story and I was in love with it. But I was afraid not to make the movie with the kind of freedom that I’m used to."

Jeremy Brock, the writer-turned-director of "Driving Lessons," speaks with Sheila Johnston at the Telegraph.

He was 19 when he agreed to do odd jobs for an elderly actress. "I turned up at her house, the door opened, and it was Peggy Ashcroft. I was very naive, but I did recognise her vaguely. And we got on incredibly well."

Dame Peggy encouraged Brock in his "ludicrous" nascent writing
ambitions and, when home became unbearable, offered him a room in her
basement. It was, in his words, a platonic love story which lasted a
year. Then – though they did not part on bad terms – it was over.

Neil Burger discusses casting "The Illusionist" with Michael Wilmington at the Chicago Tribune:

Q. Rufus Sewell and Jessica Biel?

A. Rufus is fantastic. I actually didn’t really want Rufus. But he came in and read in London — and he just completely blew me away, with his restrained, manipulative performance. When he lost his temper, the force of his rage. He totally knocked me out.

And Jessica … I wasn’t particularly interested. But finally we did see her, and she came in, wearing a period costume and had her hair pulled back, and did a really restrained, refined reading — with an accent. She’d really worked on it. And [she] kind of knocked us out. She’s very beautiful, and she [also] had that fearless spirit I wanted Sophie to have … [Sophie is] a woman trapped in her social class, but she’s also a modern woman who takes these bold risks.

Larry Clark talks "Destricted" with Stephen Applebaum at the Guardian:

When he was growing up in Oklahoma in the 50s, America was supposed to be a place of "Ozzie and Harriet, white picket fences, and mom and apple pie; there were no drugs in America, there was no alcoholism." Yet Clark remembers kids coming to school with black eyes from beatings by their drunken parents, and a girl in junior high school who was regularly sexually assaulted by her five brothers. Not even Life magazine talked about this side of American society, he claims. "So I always thought, ‘Why can’t you show everything? Why do all these things have to be kept secret?’ So when I started working, my thing was, ‘I’m going to show everything without the bullshit.’ So I’m not afraid of what people think of what I do. Fuck ’em, I’m just going to try to keep it real."

Documentarian and rabble-rouser Robert Greenwald and his producer Jim Gilliam speak about their unusual funding  with William Booth at the Washington Post.

The pitch? Gilliam wrote: "To start shooting, we need money. Overall, the film will cost $750,000. We can expect about $450,000 to be offset by DVD sales, selling foreign rights, and an advance from our retail store distributor, but we still need $300,000. A generous donor just stepped up and will contribute $100,000 if we can match it with $200,000 from someone else. That someone else is you! 4000 people giving $50 each. We’ll put everyone’s name in the credits."

Neil Labute and Robin Hardy speak (separately) to Stephen Applebaum in the Independent about "The Wicker Man." May we take a moment? Shocked that there will be no press screenings of the film — that’s not a "we don’t care what critics say/folks will see this anyway" plan, that’s "this one’s a dog and we know it.":

"I learnt nothing from Possession," LaBute told me, "because I’m willing to be taken to task again." Asked why, he said it was because he "loved" The Wicker Man. "Yet, I never felt the execution was so great that it couldn’t be touched. I thought, whether it’s bested or not, it could be done again. It’s been 30 years and I think I’ve got a legitimate idea about it. It’s an island of women and Nicolas Cage; that sounds an evenly matched game to me."

+ Pedro’s women (Independent)
+ A very British charmer (Telegraph)
+ Director not obsessed with commercial success
(Chicago Tribune)
+ Sex education
+ His Fans Greenlight the Project (Washington Post)
+ The Wicker Man: Caught in the crossfire (Independent)

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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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