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Odds: Friday – Mel Riefenstahl.

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"The state doesn't order us! We order the state! We created the state!"
"Apocalypto" opens in England — the Guardian‘s Peter Bradshaw calls it "pathologically brilliant" but essentially outsider art, and has the following revelation:

It almost puts Mel Gibson into a kind of insane-genius league, not too
far from the adventures of Werner Herzog. But it wasn’t for hours after
I had staggered dumbly out of the cinema that I realised which German
director Gibson really was channelling – and again, this is hardly
going to recommend his film to anyone. Apocalypto is like something by
Leni Riefenstahl, both from her Nazi period (the prehistoric Mayan
Nuremberg, the mad, declamatory leader) and from her later,
primitivist-anthropological period of photographing Sudanese tribesmen.

Both Stephen Humphries at the Christian Science Monitor and Richard Corliss at Time declare 2007 the year of the "threequel."  Actually, Nikki Finke at LA Weekly said similar things weeks ago, only with a bit more "Day of the Locust"-esque tones of impending doom. Also, our New Year’s resolution: For overall health purposes, avoid reading any metaphors comparing the movie business to a sex act.

From Anthony Breznican at USA Today, Sacha Baron Cohen is doffing his Kazakh persona and greeting the press as himself for Oscar season.

The surrealism of always being Borat was wearing thin, he says, so he welcomed the chance to drop it for his Oscar campaign.

"There’s a slight philosophical problem if Borat starts talking about himself acting in the film," Baron Cohen says, in a smooth British accent, far from his Kazakh alter ego’s high nasal octave.

The London Times has tips from Joe Eszterhas"The Devil’s Guide to Hollywood":

Don’t ever name a character after a man or woman you love.

I learnt the lesson painfully: Nomi Malone of Showgirls was named after my beloved wife’s childhood nickname, Nomi — the name I called her in intimate moments. Not any more. Not after a stark-naked Elizabeth Berkley came up to her on the set and said: “Hi, Nomi, I’m Nomi.” Not after Showgirls turned into one of the great bombs in film history.

Jonathan Rosenbaum reviews "Children of Men" and "Pan’s Labyrinth" over at the Chicago Reader:

Despite some striking details and a mesmerizing performance by Michael Caine as an aging hippie, the movie develops from one that could be described in 25 words or less to one that could be described in 10 or less. Not surprisingly, most critics, including me (I wrote a Critic’s Choice for the film two weeks ago), are obsessed with how adept Cuaron is at handling long takes and a complicated mise en scene — we’re celebrating the technique and minimizing the banality of the story.

We’re curious to come back to the film in a year or two — we’ve seen "Children of Men" twice now, and both times the technical achievements hit us like a shot of adrenaline. We do think there’s much more to the film, but would love to see it without that rush of "Goddamn, that shot was so hot!"

And over at the Chicago Sun-Times, a recovering Roger Ebert makes an appearance to rave about "Perfume": "This is a dark, dark, dark film, focused on an obsession so complete and lonely it shuts out all other human experience. You may not savor it, but you will not stop watching it, in horror and fascination."

+ Apocalypto (Guardian)
+ At theaters in 2007, the year of the ‘threequel’ (CS Monitor)
+ The Year of The 3quel (Time)
+ Orgy of Sequels Climaxing in 2007 (LA Weekly)
+ Will the real Sacha Baron Cohen please stand out? (USA Today)
+ Lessons from the front line of film (London Times)
+ Thinking Inside the Box (Chicago Reader)
+ Perfume (

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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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