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DID YOU READ

IFC News: The lives of prequels.

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And falling.
This week on IFC News:

Matt Singer is inspired by "Hannibal Rising" to take a look at five less than august prequels and the whole prequel phenomenon:

The classic line used to justify prequels is "we know where the characters will end up, but not how they will get there."

But, of course, if how they got there was all that interesting, that was the story the filmmakers would have told in the first place. Thus another fundamental flaw of prequels: they tell no stories, only backstories. By their definition, prequels fill in the holes in the history of characters, or explain how characters transmogrified into the icons we know them to be. But those icons became popular because of who they were in those films, not because of who they were before those films which is totally irrelevant. Many prequels include the phrase "The Beginning" to attempt to bestow some sort of narrative significance, but they’re not fooling anyone.

Two great interviews this week. Michelle Orange has a long chat with Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, the director of "The Lives of Others":

Have you noticed that reactions to "The Lives of Others" vary from country to country?

Yes — not a great deal, but there are a few things. In Japan they’re very interested in the musical aspect of the film, and American audiences do see parallels to the Patriot Act, and in Russia they find it most extraordinary that any of the Stasi people were brought to some kind of justice. In Spain they only go on about the fact that I beat Almodóvar at the European film awards.

And Aaron Hillis talks with Maria Maggenti of "The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love" about her new film, "Puccini for Beginners":

I’d like to think of myself as a progressive-minded critic, but I often feel that most LGBT cinema isn’t strong enough to reach beyond its niche audiences. Obviously, there are plenty of exceptions, but what’s your assessment?

Yeah, I have to be honest, I feel the same way. I think I’m in an interesting position because "Two Girls" was, at the kind of… I won’t say the zenith, but it was part of this notion of a niche audience, and I know that because of how the film was marketed. At the same time, many believe that the film had "crossover potential."

In the DVD column, Michael Atkinson covers "The Science of Sleep" and Ryuichi Hiroki‘s "Vibrator."

In the podcast, we take a look ahead to Februrary and March.

And Christopher Bonet has what’s new in theaters this week.

+ IFC News

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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 IFC.com

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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.

Uncle-Buck

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

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…