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SXSW: “Blackbird.”

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Is there anything new a film can offer on the subject of heroin? "Blackbird" is a junkie love story from writer/director/playwright Adam Rapp, whose last film, "Winter Passing," flickered in and out of theaters briefly last year, and it does bring to the table one thing we hadn’t yet seen on screen: a grown man removing an adult diaper and using wet naps to wipe his ass. Otherwise, "Blackbird" is an unremarkable doomed romance about a homeless Gulf War veteran junkie named Baylis (Paul Sparks) who meets and woos teenager runaway turned stripper turned fellow junkie Froggy (Gillian Jacobs). The film is set in the still-gritty mid-90s New York longterm New Yorkers like to romanticize, and while it contorts itself not to do the same, we still found ourselves looking covetously at Baylis and Froggy’s cement-walled squat — so much space! And in downtown Manhattan!

The lithe and wary-eyed Jacobs is clearly destined for greater things, and if "Blackbird" were a little more pointed (and if Natalie Portman hadn’t already made her mark on the bewigged lapdance scene), her role as Froggy would be star-making. She flips between sexual bravado and devastating vulnerability, and if the revelations about her past towards the film’s conclusion are both expected and over-the-top, the path there takes unexpected turns. "Blackbird" dares to draw a harsh urban world that’s also filled with unexpected kindnesses; Baylis and Froggy both receive help from near or total strangers, and, for a while, it seems like they’ll manage a functional life together. They don’t, but that’s par for the course — sometimes we wish someone would make a movie about a kid who dabbles in heroin for a while, then goes on to become a success tax attorney or the like.

"Blackbird" currently has no US distribution.

+ "Blackbird" (SXSW)
+ "Blackbird" (IMDb)

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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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