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Someone should be making martinis.

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"New York was his town, and it always would be..."
It’s one of our great cinematic shames that we seem congenitally unable to enjoy, or sometimes even sit through, the films of Woody Allen — yes, not even "Manhattan," a shiny new print of which opens at Film Forum tomorrow for a week-long run. The prickly, rationalizing Californian in us finds the film a concentrated dose of so many of the things we’ve disliked about New York, even as we years ago packed up and moved here to benefit from closer proximity to those very things. But J. Hoberman‘s article on the film in the Village Voice , in which he argues that "Manhattan" is Allen’s "dream of the movies," both makes us feel better about this stance and ready to try to watch it again:

What’s most authentic about Manhattan is its fantasy. The New York City that Woody so tediously defended in Annie Hall was in crisis. And so he imagined an improved version. More than that, he cast this shining city in the form of those movies that he might have seen as a child in Coney Island—freeing the visions that he sensed to be locked up in the silver screen. In a way, Manhattan is Allen’s personal Purple Rose of Cairo—the movie in which he successfully projects himself into Hollywood make-believe. It’s his version of an Astaire and Rogers musical, as romantic as Casablanca, as slickly metropolitan as Sweet Smell of Success. It’s also as haunting a celebration of the transitory as a Lumiére actualité.

In New York, Bilge Ebiri has his own thoughts on the film:

I’ve always believed that it was Woody’s response to 2001: A Space Odyssey:
The scene in the planetarium, and the scene framing Woody next to a
skeleton suggest that it’s a very human and ground-level reply to those
who would seek to find the meaning of life from Olympian heights (or
expensive sci-fi epics). Even the celebrated shots of Manhattan
emerging to "Rhapsody in Blue" evoke the Monolith emerging to "Thus
Spake Zarathustra."

Both Stephen Garrett at Time Out New York and S.T. VanAirsdale at The Reeler catch up with the film’s cinematographer, the great Gordon Willis, if only on email. From Garrett’s interview:

In The Paper Chase and All the President’s Men, you make atmospheric use of Boston and Washington, respectively. How do other cities compare to New York?

Boston is very fife-and-drum: small, conservative, lots of students and lawyers—a little more starch in their underwear. Not always a knockout visually. Washington is monolithic. It’s not a place I much like looking at. I get the sense there’s no one really living there. New York has great soul. The light in the city is wonderful: canyon upon canyon, changing all day long. And the relativity of the graphics: So much buried in and around buildings, stuffed between two rivers. I love all of that.

Meanwhile, Allen claims his new, yet-untitled film about Barcelona will present the city "the same way I presented Manhattan to the world through my eyes." [Via the AP.]

+ Defending Manhattan (Village Voice)
+ AFI 100 List Takes ‘Manhattan.’ And Shoves It. (New York)
+ Take five with Gordon Willis (Time Out New York)
+ Letters From Gordon (The Reeler)
+ Woody Allen to begin work on new movie (AP)

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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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