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Once more, with feeling.

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"Right now we're at war, and people are dying every day."
Reading about the "Captivity"‘s planned premiere party in Michael Cieply‘s report in the New York Times, we had a chuckle or two at producer Courtney Solomon’s (see here) shameless baiting of anyone who might care to listen. To wit:

All of which is a prelude to an undisclosed main event that, he warned last week over slices of pizza a few doors from his company’s new offices on the Sunset Strip, is “probably not legal.”

“The women’s groups definitely will love it,” Mr. Solomon hinted. “I call it my personal little tribute to them.”

Oh, you. Whether anyone will care about the flick Mr. Solomon and After Dark Films are so frantically hawking remains to be seen, but we’re more curious about what’s currently on the mind of director Roland Joffé, the two-time Oscar nominee who premiered the first cut of "Captivity" at the Sitges Film Festival last year, who was asked to return to the studio for reshoots in order to make the film more torturelicious, and who didn’t give a comment to the Times.

A quick tour of the latest round of writings on torture porn:

At the Boston Globe, Geoff Edgers takes a group of psychiatrists, led by director Eli Roth‘s father Sheldon, to see "Hostel II." We feel like this is the kind of well-meaning piece people will dig up in 20 years to make fun of.

Gutheil agreed, and said that while he would encourage fans of
horror films to see "Hostel: Part II," he would not recommend it be
shown in prisons. Serial killers would also not be a good target

"By fusing the erotic and violent, there are ways you create fantasies that become a playground for serial killers," he said.

Shane Danielson at the Independent finds something admirable in the "oddly monotonal quality" of Roth’s filmmaking: "[I]t also speaks to the lack of empathy in contemporary American culture, as well as other trends – the fragmentation of narrative, the increasingly utilitarian, disposable tenor of human relations." "Roth’s film echoes (and derives associative potency from) the appalling images from Abu Ghraib," writes Nigel Floyd at Time Out UK. "[B]ut one would be hard pressed to claim that it advances our understanding of the torturer’s mindset. Nor does the reworked ‘Captivity’ say anything new about the sadistic, controlling gaze of voyeurism." John Patterson at the Guardian is ready "to drop the metaphors and face up to the real nastiness all around us."

Finally, shifting to a subject more taboo on American cinema screens than smoothies made of liquefied body parts, Geoffrey Macnab at the Independent takes a peek back at the sex and scandal of "Last Tango in Paris" and wonders how shocking it would look to modern day audiences, finally concluding:

Last Tango would struggle to find a mass audience today. After all, this is an uncompromising art-house film from a revered European auteur. The idea that such a film could play for years on end in London cinemas is nowadays unthinkable. Nor is there much sense that audiences have the energy to get as worked up as they did in 1972, when even the film’s detractors at least had passionate opinions about it.

+ Already Under Fire, a Producer Is Going Further (NY Times)
+ Psychiatrists-turned-film-critics call ‘Hostel II’ painfully compelling (Boston Globe)
+ Blood brother: Director Eli Roth, inventor of ‘torture porn’ (Independent)
+ Could critics of ‘torture porn’ at least watch the movies? (Time Out UK)
+ Putting the gory in to allegory (Guardian)
+ Last Tango in Paris: Can it arouse the same passions now? (Independent)

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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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