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Death, Darkon, deconstructing Woody.

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Death and criticism.
We’re halfway out the door, headed back to California for the holidays, but a few last things before we go:

The first indieWIRE Critics’ Poll is up here for your browsing pleasure — as Dennis Lim writes in his introduction,

The chatter in film circles this year seemed repeatedly to touch on the relative dearth of truly exciting films, or–since those in our profession are not exactly immune to hyperbole–on the irreversible decline and looming death of film culture, film criticism, film distribution, and even film viewing. It’s only fitting then that our No. 1 movie is about a decrepit old timer’s grim passage into oblivion. "The Death of Mr. Lazarescu," Romanian director Cristi Puiu‘s virtuosic second feature, left behind its competition by almost as large a margin as last year’s Voice poll runaway winner "A History of Violence." Just over half of our 107 voters included it on their 10-best list and it was the #1 film for nine of them.

It was our great pleasure to participate in the poll this year, and to now obsess over its intense clickability. Also at indieWIRE, Anthony Kaufman looks at the Best Undistributed Films list — returning champion: Hong Sang-soo. Also, here are comments from the defenders of orphans receiving only one vote — among them is Mike D’Angelo on his choice of "Sleeping Dogs Lie." More comments here and here.

The folks at the Onion AV Club have their best ofs/year in film piece up.

On the parent network front, IFC has picked up the rights to three docs to premiere on the network eventually: Jerry Rothwell‘s "Heavy Load" follows a punk band of the same name made up of musicians with and without learning disabilities; "At the Death House Door" centers on Pastor Carroll Pickett, the chaplain who spent the last day of the wrongfully executed Carlos DeLuna’s life with him, and is the latest work from "Hoop Dream"‘s Steve James; and, yes, SXSW Doc Audience Award winner "Darkon" (via Kimberly Nordyke at the Hollywood Reporter).

The Reeler has a Woody Allen salute that includes quotes from various New York luminaries. Weinstein watch: Harvey observes "He’s also a helluva great guy." Wait — that’s not interesting! On the other hand, La Manohla does note that she’s "very grateful that he is no longer sticking his tongue down the throats of his dewy young female co-stars." Our own Matt Singer‘s over there, writing about Allen’s on-screen work; Andrew Filmbrain Grant discusses growing up on Allen.

+ 2006 Critics Poll (indieWIRE)
+ The Year In Film 2006 (Onion AV Club)
+ IFC pumps original slate with docus (Hollywood Reporter)
+ Film Forum’s Allen Retrospective Gets City Talking (The Reeler)

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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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