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Odds: Wednesday – Half-assed.

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"Do you trust me?"
We’ve been utterly squashed by other work these past few days, and between that and keeping an eye on the election results (yes!) this blog’s been rather neglected. Still, a few things that need to be mentioned:

Like everyone else, we’re shaken by Adrienne Shelly‘s murder — Thomas J. Lueck and Al Baker at the New York Times have more details, and they’re awful. There’s been a lot of shock around the office, where many people were fans and/or had worked with her in some way (she had a role in IFC Films’ "Factotum" and in the network’s doc "In the Company of Women," and "Trust" is actually programmed to air later this month). Walter Chaw at Film Freak Central writes of "Trust":

It wasn’t the quirk that affected me, but the writing and performances: telling too much to say that I connected hard with the depressed television repairman with a grenade and a crush. (Telling, to this day, that there are still large swaths of myself that persists in that identification.) When I learned that Shelly might have hung herself with a bedsheet, I remembered her character Maria’s announcement of her pregnancy leading to the sudden death of her father – and there, vague and filamentous, an emotional, diaphanous connection between her life and this art. I can’t put my finger on it, but I can feel it vibrating in the air.

I haven’t felt this sad about a stranger’s death since Spalding Gray walked into the frozen drink.

David Montero at the Christian Science Monitor surveys the possibly political implications of Daniel Pearl film "A Mighty Heart":

Daniel Pearl’s murder, although nearly five years old, is hardly solved. The most recent stir erupted in September, when President Musharraf revealed for the first time in his memoir, "In the Line of Fire," that Khalid Sheikh Mohammad (identified by the US 9/11 Commission Report as the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks) either killed Pearl or played a leading role in the planning of his murder. Musharraf says he confessed under Pakistani interrogation. Mr. Mohammad is currently being held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and has never been tried in connection with Pearl’s murder.

The Best Animated Feature Oscar long list — if all goes as planned, there will be five nominees this year as opposed to the three of the past few years.

The SF Chronicle‘s Mick LaSalle launches a blog (all the kids are doing it these days). In celebration, he interviews himself. Incidentally, Criterion now has a blog, and Dave Carrpetbagger is back at the New York Times.

At the LA Times Envelope, Jim Bates interviews Harvey Weinstein, patron saint of the Oscar season (and he does looks a little beatific in the photo):

Does it feel a little like the old days? You’re on your own now with no corporate parent as you head into the Oscar season?

I feel the freedom of not having somebody saying "don’t make the Michael Moore movie" or "don’t criticize NBC for not running the Dixie Chicks ad". We’re free to make our own way through this world.

David Thomson at the Guardian thinks there are too many festivals and too many films:

Yet everyone who programmes these festivals will admit (quietly) that all over the world the number of films worth celebrating or saving from lack of distribution grows smaller every year. In other words, nobody interested in films is falling for this mania. The best we can do is try to ignore it.

At the Chicago Tribune, Monica Eng attempts a better-in-theory-than-in-practice piece that involves taking two Kazakh grad students to see "Borat" and then talking to them about it. One observes that "Americans don’t understand Kazakhstan anyway, so if it were a totally made-up name, it wouldn’t matter. You could say it’s near Russia and called `Mujikistan.’ A fake place would have been OK. No country would have been affected or offended."

In biz news, Martin Scorsese signs a four-year first-look deal with Paramount (via Robert W. Welkos at the LA Times). The Weinstein Co. picks up Gillian Armstrong‘s fictionalized Harry Houdini biopic "Death Defying Acts" — magicians! Fictionalized! Trendy! (Via Gregg Goldstein at the Hollywood Reporter.) And First Independent has acquired Paul Fox‘s "Everything’s Gone Green," which is written by "Generation X"‘s Douglas Coupland (via Eugene Hernandez at indieWIRE).

And, for those of you short on reading, David Hudson at Greencine Daily points out that there are new issues of Senses of Cinema, Bright Lights, Undercurrent, Scan, Scope, Midnight Eye and Offscreen.

+ Actress Was Killed in Hanging Meant as Cover-Up, Officials Say (NY Times)
+ Trusting Adrienne Shelly (Film Freak Central)
+ Filming of movie brings new tension to Daniel Pearl case (CS Monitor)
+ 16 Expected to Contend for 2006 Animated Feature Oscar® (
+ Mick LaSalle uncensored (SF Chronicle)
+ What makes Harvey Weinstein run? (LA Times)
+ Let us not see it all (Guardian)
+ ‘Are you like Borat?’ (Chicago Tribune)
+ Paramount teams with Scorsese (LA Times)
+ Weinstein in "Death Defying" deal for Houdini pic (HR)
+ First Independent Goes "Green" (indieWIRE)
+ Issues. November blowout. (Greencine Daily)

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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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