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Odds: Tuesday – The 80s, Miyazaki the younger, FoxFaith.

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Faith will give you strength...TO RULE THE BOX OFFICE!
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(Yeah, yeah, you’ve seen it already.)

Other randomness: Larry Carroll and Shawn Adler at MTV have a fairly thorough list of upcoming film remakes of 80s shows — we considered putting together a list like this before, but were a breathless combination of too ashamed and too lazy. Thanks, MTV.

Charles Solomon at the New York Times talks to poor Goro Miyazaki, son of Hayao and director of the latest Ghibli film, "Gedo Senki (Tales From Earthsea)," which has turned out to be both a box office hit in Japan and a disappointment to some of the older Miyazaki’s very demanding fans.

The younger Miyazaki said it was [Studio Ghibli president] Toshio Suzuki who initially persuaded him to take the considerable risk of following in his father’s footsteps, after having worked as a landscape planner and serving as managing director of the Ghibli Museum, Mitaka, the wildly popular shrine to the work of the senior Miyazaki and [Isao] Takahata.

“I had never thought about becoming an animation director,” he said. “I was deceived by Mr. Suzuki, who was very clever about making me feel I could do it.”

Andrew Gumbel at the Independent talks to Eric Steel about "The Bridge" — which out-badasses "Shortbus," in a way. What’s real sex got on real death? Also, why are we so going to hell?

At the Washington Post, Peter Whoriskey writes about "Facing the Giants," an indie Christian high school football film that’s managed to become a stealth box office success:

The movie has made $2.7 million in 10 days, and ticket sales were good enough last weekend to place it 13th in the box office rankings, one notch below "Flyboys," a war movie with a $60 million budget and starring James Franco.

Hah! "Flyboys." "Facing the Giants" was torn apart by what critics actually saw it, but this isn’t one for the critics, and, as Whoriskey reminds us: ‘The industry considers the huge success of ‘The Passion of the Christ’ a sign of the untapped Christian market. Last month Fox created FoxFaith, which will release as many as a dozen religious films annually. ‘Love’s Abiding Joy,’ based on the novel about a frontier family by the Christian writer Janette Oke, is showing in four theaters in the D.C. area."

We are so not the market for films like "Facing the Giants," but we are fascinated by them as an example of both changing times for theatrical distributors and the increasing nichification of independent film. A traditional arthouse film release usually goes from either just New York or New York and L.A. to top ten markets to beyond, depending on box office. "Facing the Giants" isn’t playing anywhere near New York; we’re sure the filmmakers could care less about the press they’d get here, as it would probably not be favorable or helpful.

FoxFaith has another Bible-friendly flick lurking out there at the moment (though one that’s more Old Testament than Born Again) — "One Night With The King" is an adaptation of the Book of Esther that has the approval of the American Bible Society and that features Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif in their first film together since "Lawrence of Arabia," though word is they don’t share screen time. Novelty value: it does feature Luke Goss, late of 80s UK boy band Bros, as King Xerxes. Gloria Goodale at the Christian Science Monitor looks over it and other religion-friendly or just plain religious releases, incidentally noting that "Warner Brothers has a multipicture deal with Legendary Pictures, which hopes to bring John Milton’s epic poem ‘Paradise Lost’ to the screen." That‘s going to be a winner.

Richard Owen at the Australian notes that they forgot to invite Sophia Loren to the inaugural Rome Film Festival:

Maria Scicolone, Loren’s sister, who lives in Rome, said the 71-year-old legend of Italian cinema was offended at not having been invited to the opening ceremonies or any other festival event.

"We sat at home and ate chocolates," she said.

Ms Scicolone said festival officials had belatedly realised their gaffe and sent an invitation at the last minute, but that this had only added insult to injury.

"A last-minute invitation does not seem to me the proper way to go about things," she said.

"Sophia is not exactly an unknown."

In last week’s Village Voice, J. Hoberman crowned "Tideland" "kamikaze auteurism." We like that a lot — it seems to be, what with "The Fountain" and "Inland Empire" and, from all appearances, "Southland Tales," a trend this year.

And in the New York Observer, Andrew Sarris responds to Manohla Dargis’ calling out of the festival for giving precious program space to "white-elephant frippery," at least on one account.

Finally, I do not agree with one of my esteemed colleagues that The Queen doesn’t belong in the New York Film Festival because its selections should be confined to difficult foreign-language films in more need of public exposure. While I agree that The Queen is not difficult, it is sufficiently and, yes, marvelously artistic enough to qualify for inclusion.

Sarris personal anecdote watch, while deriding "Old Joy": "But that’s just me; I have never had the slightest desire to go camping with anyone else, male or female."

+ Film Editor (Craigslist)
+ From Mr. T To ‘Transformers,’ The ’80s Are Back And Gnarlier Than Ever (MTV)
+ The Son of the Anime Master Begins His Quest for Honor (NY Times)
+ Bridge to nowhere: Filming the final act (Independent)

+ Filmmakers Say God Was Their Co-Producer (Washington Post)
+ Hollywood takes a leap into faith (CS Monitor)
 + Sophia furious at film festival snub (The Australian)
+ Collision Course (Village Voice)
+ Sublime Queen Opens Festival With Mirren’s Crowning Role (NY Observer)

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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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