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What’s Up In November

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By Christopher Bonet

IFC News

[Photo: Chia-Liang Liu’s “Dirty Ho,” part of BAM’s series Heroic Grace II: Shaw Brothers Return]

AFI Fest

Nov. 1-12

Returning for its twentieth year, L.A.’s biggest and brightest film fest continues promoting domestic and international, mainstream and independent, feature-length and short, narrative and documentary and, well, pretty much all things cinema. This year’s highlights include the US premiere of Emilio Estevez’s directorial Oscar-run “Bobby,” the world premiere of Zhang Yimou’s glitzy “Curse of the Golden Flower” and a 24-hour movie marathon to support charity.

A Centennial Tribute to Otto Preminger

Nov. 2

Director Peter Bogdonovich hosts this one-night celebration of influential filmmaker Otto Preminger’s 100th birthday at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills. A selection of film clips from Preminger’s films will be screened alongside a discussion with colleagues, family and friends, and the event kicks off a month-long retrospective that includes screenings of the great “Laura,” “The Man with the Golden Arm” and “Anatomy of a Murder.”

Chicago Filipino Film Festival

This film festival promotes, clearly) the work of Filipino filmmakers. The highlight of the festival will be Auraeus Solito’s Sundance favorite “The Blossoming of Maximos Oliveros,” which is this year’s Filipino candidate for Best Foreign Language Film.

New Czech Films

Nov. 3-5

The Brooklyn Academy of Music presents its yearly display of new films out of the Czech Republic. Safe bets include Jan Svankmajer’s “Lunacy” (love that stop-motion meat) and Ivan Trojan’s “Wrong Side Up.”

Machinima Festival

Nov. 4-5

What, you may ask, is Machinima? Where the hell have you been? Machinima is an art form that combines video game production, animation, and filmmaking to present a new style of storytelling — think “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within” without the crushing disappointment. The Machinima Festival returns for its fourth year to the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens.

Polish Film Festival in America

Nov. 4-19

One of the premiere film festivals to highlight Polish filmmakers hits the city of Chicago for two weeks. We’re intrigued by the Jan Jakub Kolski film “Jasminum” and the retrospective on silent film star Pola Negri.

Isabella Rossellini: Illuminated

Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center presents this retrospective on the acting career of international star Isabella Rossellini to coincide with the release of her directorial debut, “My Dad is 100 Years Old,” about her father, the underrated Italian neo-realist director. Phew. Other highlights include “Wild at Heart,” “The Saddest Music in the World,” and, of course, “Blue Velvet.” Pabst Blue Ribbon!

Wilder’s Picks!

Nov. 6-20

Mr. Wonka himself, Gene Wilder, will be available to discuss his favorite films at the Avon Theatre in Connecticut throughout the month. His films of choice are Ernst Lubitsch’s “The Merry Widow,” 1938’s “Topper Takes a Trip,” and his very own “Young Frankenstein.”

Heroic Grace II: Shaw Brothers Return

Nov. 6-28

Last year’s Shaw Brothers retrospective was one of the best series to run at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Now BAM takes another look at the legacy of the influential Hong Kong production company, showcasing further kung fu and wuxia highlights.

Jacques Rivette

Nov. 10-Dec. 24

The Museum of Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, presents this retrospective on the little-known French director who emerged during the New Wave of the 1960s. This series includes a rarest-of-the-rare screening of his 743-minute 1971 film “Out 1,” presented over two days, with breaks for dinner.

Stockholm International Film Festival

Nov. 16-26

This Swedish film festival introduces Europe to many of the hottest films of the fall. This year, director Lasse Hallstrom will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from his native country. We wish we could tell you more, but alas the website is in Swedish.

Modern Urban Mythology — The Superhero

Nov. 17-22

Superheroes seem to be all the rage these days. Recent hits like Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” series and the “X-Men” trilogy pleased critics and reignited superhero interest, while the new series “Heroes” is one of the few successes of this year’s TV season. All things caped and masked hit the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica for this five-day retrospective of the superhero films of yesteryear. Hollywood’s original “Superman” (directed by Richard Donner) and “Batman” (directed by Tim Burton) will be screened, along with their initial sequels. Also screening will be the artsy 1960s caper “Danger: Diabolik” and the unappreciated comedy “The Specials,” about a group of loser superheroes headed by Thomas Haden Church.

Gotham Awards

Nov. 29

This year’s Best Feature nominees include such indie classics as, er, “The Departed,” “Little Children” and “Marie Antoinette.” Oh well, at least the red carpet will be good.

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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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