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Odds: Monday – The inescapable Borat, Bollywood, Bowie.

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In the biz: Borys Kit at the Hollywood Reporter writes that "Universal Pictures has won the intense bidding war for ‘Bruno,’ Sacha Baron Cohen‘s follow-up movie to ‘Borat.’" Universal’s shelling out a lot of cash on the basis of a film that’s by no means a safe bet — Baron Cohen’s Bruno character is also a lot less endearing than Borat, but ah, well. We wish him only the best. Also at the Hollywood Reporter, Gregg Goldstein notes that ThinkFilm has picked up doc "The Hip Hop Project," which premiered at Tribeca earlier this year. Via Coming Soon, "the sequel to 2004’s ‘Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle’ is planned for a late January start date in Shreveport, Louisiana. John Cho and Kal Penn are set to reprise their roles as Harold and Kumar, respectively." And via WENN, Jesse James Hollywood, the inspiration for Emile Hirsch‘s character in Nick Cassavetes"Alpha Dog," is suing Universal Pictures and "claims the movie will ‘irreparably harm’ his ability to receive a fair trial." The movie, if it ever comes out, will be Justin Timberlake‘s theatrical debut ("Edison" having gone straight to video).

More "Borat": In an odd piece in the Guardian, Johnny Dee reminds the world about Mahir Cagri, the Turkish man who becomes internet famous for his unintentionally hilarious personal website (you remember, "I Kiss You!!!"), and who he sees as a clear inspiration for Baron Cohen’s character. Christopher Howse in the Telegraph writes that

When he was in America for advance publicity for the film, in character, [Baron Cohen] remarked, "I would like to meet the fearless anti-Jew warrior, Melvin Gibson." That’s a joke against poor Mel, of course. But how much postmodernist irony can we consume before we begin to swallow straight the lines that say the opposite of what is meant?

Peter Howell at the Toronto Star wonders the same thing.

In other news, Grady Hendrix at Kaiju Shakedown writes that "After 20 years, Carina Lau and Tony Leung have finally said they’re a married couple."

Anupama Chopra at the New York Times reports on the changing face of Bollywood film:

The universal Bollywood hit is becoming increasingly difficult to pull off. A decade ago, the Hindi film market was largely considered a homogenous monolith. What worked in one town was likely to work in another. But over the years the business has splintered dramatically, forcing industry pundits to create new labels for films.

We’re loving the phrase "Supergentry."

At the Independent, David Thomson sings the praises of Isabelle Huppert, but qualifies it in his intro with "At the risk of getting too excited about a blonde actress with a touch of red in her hair…" Hyuck! At the Observer, Liz Hoggard (briefly) sings the praises of David Bowie, bad actor:

But you have to love David for trying. He’s played Pontius Pilate, Andy Warhol, a marooned alien and a goblin king in a fright wig in Labyrinth. Just when you think he might have got the hang of it (he won rave reviews for Nic Roeg‘s The Man Who Fell to Earth and Oshima‘s Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence) along comes a turkey like Absolute Beginners.

And at Slate, Doree Shafrir asks the eternal question "Why can’t a screenwriter be an auteur, too?" The answer, we all know, is that the director can ultimately just grab the script with a "Yoink!" and run off howling with laughter and waving a Sharpie over his or her head, but Shafrir is more specifically focused on the Guillermo Arriaga/Alejandro González Iñárritu feud laid out by Terrence Rafferty in the New York Times a week ago.

+ Universal raises eyebrows with "Bruno" deal (HR)
+ ThinkFilm hip to ‘Hip Hop’ docu project (HR)
+ Second Harold & Kumar Starts in January (Coming Soon)
+ Lawyers Try To Block Movie on Murder Case (WENN)
+ The real Borat (Guardian)
+ We know he’s joking… don’t we? (Telegraph)
+ Why it’s okay to laugh at Borat (Toronto Star)
+ FRIDAY IS FUN-DAY (Kaiju Shakedown)
+ Can Bollywood Please All the People, All the Time? (NY Times)
+ Film Studies: The French directors’ woman (Independent)
+ Why I love David Bowie’s acting (Observer)
+ Bored of Directors (Slate)

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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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