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Odds: Tuesday – Hefty reads and going against the grain.

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"The tender boughs of innocence burn first."
In the new issue of the Threepenny Review, there’s a selection from Greil Marcus’ new book, "The Shape of Things To Come: Prophecy and the American Voice," in which he writes about the America of "Twin Peaks." It’s almost too sprawling and free-form to be called an essay, but it is a nice read:

The film noir city seems to be Manhattan or Los Angeles. At the heart of the form, whether in the movies or in the crime novels inspired by them, just as the most emblematic noir story is that of the soldier back in his hometown after the war to find the place a swamp of corruption, in the Forties and Fifties the most emblematic noir location is a small, vaguely Midwestern city. It is Midwestern culturally even if not exactly geographically—"They say native Californians all come from Iowa," Walter Neff says in Raymond Chandler‘s script for Double Indemnity —as in Chandler’s The Little Sister, where Los Angeles is at least half Manhattan, Kansas, a place Philip Marlowe finds far more terrifying than anything in Hollywood.

In the new issue of Cineaste, Jared Rapfogel writes about Maurice Pialat and "A nos amours" ("Pialat has always resisted categorization, even if time has demonstrated that he ultimately created a category of his own, one elaborated upon by Téchiné, Assayas, and their ilk"); Sandy Flitterman-Lewis celebrates "Army of Shadows"; Patrick McGilligan has a piece on what constitutes "great" acting that’s an immensely more down-to-earth improvement on Lynn Hirschberg’s NY Times Mag musings; Jonathan Rosenbaum reviews Simon Callow’s "Orson Welles:  Volume 2: Hello Americans."

At Stop Smiling, Nick Pinkerton is happy to let the "Mutual Appreciation" bandwagon go rolling by. Interestingly, he briefly takes director Andrew Bujalski to task for not delving appropriately into the film’s Williamsburg setting — we live in Williamsburg and are fond of the neighborhood, but would rather gouge our eyes out (out, vile jelly!) on the pomade-encrusted crest of our next-door neighbor’s fauxhawk than watch a feature film realistically depicting life there. Pinkerton writes:

Bujalski is not Eric Rohmer, not even Kevin Smith. The great artists grouped under the tent of Naturalism — Rohmer, Dreiser, Pialat, Harold Frederic (the diversity of their talents reveals the ambiguity of the word) — deserve celebration because they reintroduce us to the world; much of the undeserved reputation that’s been attached to Bujalski is limited to the facile familiarity of his situations.

Armond White, at the New York Press, was also (as expected) displeased with "Mutual Appreciation"; in signature fashion, he triumphs "Crossover" as the better film.

And at MSNBC, Sarah D. Bunting tries valiantly to defend the acting abilities of Orlando Bloom, while Michael Ventre makes the argument that Brian De Palma is "just a gifted gun for hire riding on the reputation of an occasional popular success."

+ Picturing America (Threepenny Review)
+ Fall 2006 (Cineaste)
+ In defense of Orlando Bloom (MSNBC)
+ Brian De Palma is simply a gun for hire (MSNBC)

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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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