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Sundance is on fire.

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Dance dance dance.
Or so this year’s festival branding would suggest. Before each film, audiences are offered one of several variants of flame or furnace imagery that eventually yields the festival logo, suggesting, we suppose, creative smolderings, industrial industriousness, the warming glow of nearby celebrity or the mountains of Mordor. It also brings to mind the wisecrack someone passed along to us about the difference between Sundance and hell — we don’t remember the punchline, but we’re sure it was funny, or at least…punchline-like.

Not that we’re complaining — it’s a pleasure to be here. At the top of festival day four, we haven’t gotten a sense that there’s any one film everyone’s buzzing about. The biggest acquisition so far has been the Weinstein Co’s reported $4 million buy of "Grace is Gone," a film we haven’t seen and haven’t heard anything that exciting about. "Hounddog," the title with the biggest advance buzz due to its inflammatory subject matter, will be offered up to the press tomorrow in what we fully expect to be a dreadful clusterfuck of a screening.

Amongst the backlog of reviews we haven’t yet had time to write: David Gordon Green‘s "Snow Angels" is the best film we’ve seen so far, a delicately drawn portrait of a small-town tragedy that’s the most fully realized thing the director’s done. "Teeth" got off to a rocky start but turned out to be good fun; "Joshua" similarly (and cleverly) shakes up horror genre conventions. A lot of directors are hopping the fiction/non-fiction fence — "Joshua" is from "Hell House" director George Ratliff, "Rocket Science" from "Spellbound"‘s Jeffrey Blitz, and "The Pool" from "American Movie"‘s Chris Smith. The only documentary we’ve seen so far (at festivals we tend to develop inexplicable anti-doctite tendencies) is Robinson Devor‘s "Zoo," which was fascinating if not particularly successful. And — sign of the times — almost every film we’ve seen offers a blatant or backhanded love tap to Christianity. Taken separately, there’s no one instance worth mentioning (we did hear people calling out Sam Rockwell‘s turn as a recovering alcoholic turned born-again evangelical in "Snow Angels" as particularly unflattering, but it didn’t strike us as so very unbalanced). Over the course of a four-film day, it’s more striking — the festival is a-simmer with repressed blue-state rage and resentment.

And now Stu VanReeler, camped out in the hotel lobby next to us, tells us "Joshua" has just been sold for $4 million to Fox Searchlight, meaning we’ve actually seen something that was then acquired, and we can warm our hands over the flames of smug relevance. Ah, we feel practically cozy.

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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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