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The trends that shape our lives.

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"This is Dave Beeth Oven."
Ability to become a giant, remote star fading, must settle for being accessible satellite/pocked moon: According to Mark Hooper at the Independent, there’s a shift occurring in what it means to be a star: "If Hollywood is beginning to question if it needs its Tom Cruises, think what that means for the Lindsay Lohans. This is partly to do with a loss of mystique. The movies are about escapism, and it’s easier to escape when you can commit your imagination fully to the film’s conceit rather than concentrating on the people you saw in the gossip rags this morning." As if to hammer this point in, Jonathan Bernstein at the Guardian has a terrifying interview with blogger Perez Hilton:

He scrolls down his computer and begins to quote himself: "We get asked about our hateration for Maniston a lot and, in this interview, we answer the question quite nicely. Interviewer: What is your problem with her? Perez: I just don’t think she’s a nice person. I think she doesn’t have a sense of humour. I think she’s marginally talented, adequately good-looking, doesn’t do anything to make the world a better place …"

NYC video stores — ded: Alex Mindlin in the New York Times writes an elegy to the New York City video store in general and Movie Place in particular:

Mr. Dennis of Movie Place, who named his 7-year-old daughter, Ava, in honor of Ava Gardner, has probably never been asked a film-related question he cannot answer. Once, a woman who was leaving her husband at home for the weekend asked Mr. Dennis, “What are the movies he’d want to watch that I’d hate?” Mr. Dennis’s recommendations: “U-571,” a 2000 submarine thriller set during World War II, and “The Seven-Ups,” a 1973 police drama.

Beethoven — biopic-resistant: Also at the New York Times, Daniel J. Wakin wonders if "there may be something about the nature of the Beethoven myth, and the
bare facts of his biography, that challenges fictionalization in a way
the Mozart myth doesn’t." We would argue that the problem is that as pictured in popular culture, Beethoven, with the hair and the scowl and hearing problem, is inherently silly. Consider: Is there any film portrayal of Beethoven that lingers more than Clifford David‘s grinning, oblivious version of the composer in "Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure"?

Sympathy for Mr. Nazi: Nick Hasted at the Independent writes that we’re entering an era of humanized and more complex portrayals of Nazis in film and literature:

Influenced by a Dutch revisionist history book, Chris van der Heyden’s Grijs Verleden (2001), ["Black Book"] is [Paul] Verhoeven‘s corrective to his own popular tale of Dutch resistance heroics, Soldier of Orange (1977). "I wanted to show what reality was like then," he has said. "Not black and white, but in shades of grey. That is what makes our film so provocative. Nobody has yet shown how we treated our prisoners in 1945."

Children in thematic peril: John Horn and Chris Lee at the LA Times write that films like "Babel" and "Pan’s Labyrinth" are "reworking the troubling narratives laid out ages ago in the works of the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen and Charles Dickens. And like those authors, some of the filmmakers are using children to make political points. Others find that putting children into jeopardy gives their dramas more of an emotional wallop."

+ How Hollywood’s power elite lost the plot (Independent)
+ Meet the most vicious man in Hollywood (Guardian)
+ Lights Out (NY Times)
+ Beethoven as Popcorn Idol (NY Times)
+ A subject for sympathy: Germany’s rehabilitation (Independent)
+ Fairy tales for a mean new world (LA Times)

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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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