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The midweek critic wrangle: “Inland Empire.”

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"No more blue tomorrows."
Our review from the New York Film Festival is here. We had forgotten until we started reading through the critics’ attempts at parsing David Lynch‘s latest that it contains one of the most frightening shots we can think of — one consisting solely of a spotlit Laura Dern taking a lurching run at the camera.

Seriously, it’s really fucking unnerving.

+ "Inland Empire": J. Hoberman at the Village Voice declares the film "Lynch’s most experimental film since Eraserhead. But unlike that brilliant debut (or its two masterful successors, Blue Velvet and Mulholland Dr.), it lacks concentration. It’s a miasma. Cheap DV technology has opened Lynch’s mental floodgates." That being said, he still concludes that "It’s an experience. Either you give yourself over to it or you don’t. And if you do, don’t miss the end credits."

Similarly bemused are Owen Gleiberman at Entertainment Weekly and David Edelstein at New York. Gleiberman writes that "What this comes down to is that we have no idea who anybody in the movie is. They’re not characters, they’re figments, skulking through a Lynchian maze of mounting, patched-together discombobulation. Inland Empire is so locked up in David Lynch’s brain that it never burrows its way into ours." Edelstein writes that:

As much as I thrilled to every minute of Mulholland Drive, I remembered, watching Inland Empire, why Twin Peaks began to hemorrhage viewers in its second season. There are really enough distorted lenses, absurd non sequiturs, portentous warnings, and inexplicable symbols for ten canceled TV shows. And yet … and yet …

Michael Koresky at indieWIRE allows that "[f]or those not on [Lynch’s] wavelength…"Inland Empire" can be a trial, but it’s worth sticking out: some moments are the most penetrating and rich of his entire career, and one especially, involving a seriously wounded Dern, gurgling blood on a sidewalk, as two eloquently oblivious homeless women exchange tragically mundane words next to her, is simply transcendent."

And at the New York Times, in a rather fabulously written review, Manohla Dargis weighs in:

In an interview published while this film was in production, Mr. Lynch said he shot “Inland Empire” without a final screenplay, which is easy to believe. Like the surrealist practice of automatic writing, the film feels as if it could have been made in a trance, dredged up from within. Then again, this is a filmmaker who probably doesn’t need to tap his unconscious to let loose his demons; one suspects they are lurking right there in the open. Even when his images are flooded with bright Southern California light, danger hovers, suggestively buzzing. No one makes that caressing light seem so dark, so frightening, perhaps because few American filmmakers dare to peel back the surface of things to show us what squirms beneath.

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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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