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DID YOU READ

Odds: Tuesday – Amerika.

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"Nobody is going to hit as hard as life."
Watching "Hannibal Rising," Slate‘s Dana Stevens finds herself experiencing an unexpected emotion for a half-assed would-be blockbuster: shame at being an American.

First of all: As a folk archetype, a supervillain for our times, this is the best we can come up with? A vaguely Eurotrash schoolboy who eats people’s cheeks? And secondly, where do we get off using the trauma of the Second World War as an excuse for Hannibal’s (that is, our) insatiable appetite for murder? If pop-culture fantasies really do serve as a psychological X-ray of our collective fears and desires, this is one sorry-ass session on the couch.

Mmm…cheeks. Also meditating on national identity is "Shaun of the Dead"/"Hot Fuzz" star Simon Pegg, who, at the Guardian, dwells on the differences between British and American senses of humor and whether or not Americans understand or appreciate irony.

When Americans use irony, they will often immediately qualify it as being so, with a jovial "just kidding", even if the statement is outrageous and plainly ironic. For instance…

A: "If you don’t come out tonight, I’m going to have you shot… just kidding."

Of course, being America, this might be true, because they do all own guns and use them on a regular basis (just kidding). Americans can fully appreciate irony. They just don’t feel entirely comfortable using it on each other, in case it causes damage. A bit like how we feel about guns.

According to BBC, the Serbian village of Zitiste, 33 miles north of Belgrade, will construct a Rocky statue to ward off decades of bad luck.

The idea came from Bojan Marceta, a village resident, when he saw the latest Rocky film "Rocky Balboa".

"I felt as if Rocky has come from our village, he had to fight to win his place in society," he told B92 radio.

John Koopman at the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Maltese Falcon has been stolen.

John Konstin, the owner of San Francisco’s John’s Grill on Ellis Street, said someone broke into a locked cabinet on the second floor of his establishment and took a signed reproduction of the Maltese Falcon — one used for publicity stills for the movie — along with several vintage and signed books by and about Maltese Falcon author Dashiell Hammett.

In The Australian, Michael Bodey defends Baz Luhrmann‘s "Romeo + Juliet" as "one of the few Shakespeare films to transcend cinema’s otherwise stodgy adaptations of the greatest playwright’s work."

At the New York Times, John Freeman Gill outlines the "Law & Order"ing of the death of Adrienne Shelley.

And at the New York Review of Books, Daniel Mendelsohn analyzes Pedro Almodóvar and his women. On "Volver":

It wasn’t until I myself returned and saw the film a second time—and stayed long enough to confirm the identity of the film clip you see at the very end—that the merits of this subtle new film started to affect me, and I began to see what a great change in ideas it represents. For if Bellissima is about a mother whose fantasies of glamour adversely affect her family’s ability to live real life (the Anna Magnani character uses up their small funds for grooming little Maria), what’s interesting and, finally, moving about Volver —what suggests that it’s the logical (if not quite as extraordinary) next step from the masterful All About My Mother—is that in Almodóvar’s new film, motherhood trumps Art.

+ Eurotrash Schoolboy (Slate)
+ What are you laughing at? (Guardian)
+ Serbian village venerates Rocky (BBC)
+ Maltese Falcon swiped from SF restaurant (SF Chronicle)
+ Baz as a Bard man
(The Australian)
+ Murder, They Wrote (NY Times)
+ The Women of Pedro Almodóvar (NY Review of Books)

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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…