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2006 Top Ten: Michael Atkinson

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By Michael Atkinson

IFC News

[Photo: “Battle in Heaven,” Tartan Films]

1. Battle in Heaven

2. 4

3. United 93

4. The Death of Mr. Lazarescu

5. Woman Is the Future of Man

6. The Departed

7. Cavite

8. La Moustache

9. My Country, My Country

10. The Wild Blue Yonder

A dire year, all tolled, appearing from where I’m sitting to have been dominated by the publicity surrounding a handful of tiresome studio films rather than the films themselves or anyone’s genuine enjoyment of or satisfaction in them. The smaller and/or imported whirligigs on my list should’ve generated their own kind of cultural hoopla, but they couldn’t afford to buy it; buzz, an increasingly rare resource, doesn’t occur naturally anymore. Ah well: when the source-wells for a top ten list include the Philippines, Romania, Mexico and outer space, things can’t be all bad. A breakdown: two debuts, three sophomore films, four American (including the Herzog, since he and NASA are both U.S. residents), one doc, three shot on digital video, and seven utilizing, in one form or another, unprofessional actors.

Runners-up (in order): “The Hidden Blade” (Yoji Yamada, Japan), “Lady Vengeance”
(Park Chanwook, South Korea), “The Science of Sleep” (Michel Gondry, France),
“Army of Shadows” (Jean-Pierre Melville, France), “Looking for Comedy in the
Muslim World” (Albert Brooks, US), “A Scanner Darkly” (Richard Linklater, US),
“Mongolian Ping Pong” (Hao Ning, China), “Overlord” (Stuart Cooper, UK), “49 Up”
(Michael Apted, UK), “Old Joy” (Kelly Reichardt, US), “Lemming” (Dominik Moll,
France), “Workingman’s Death” (Michael Glawogger, Austria/Germany), “Kekexili:
Mountain Patrol” (Lu Chuan, China), “Brick” (Rian Johnson, US), “Letters from
Iwo Jima” (Clint Eastwood, US), “The Troubles We’ve Seen” (Marcel Ophuls,

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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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