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Grass is greener.

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"Are there things I should know and don't?"
The weather and the astounding cost of living aside, life must be nice in the UK: Robert Hanks at the Independent reports that "According to figures released by the UK Film Council, foreign language movies are considerably more likely to be a box office smash than a decade ago."

The audience is now so significant that Britain’s multiplexes, which were once the bugbear of arthouse enthusiasts, have been able to capitalise on a suitably supple market. Large, multiscreen cinemas that, when they were established would have thought of a subtitled film as a quick and easy route to financial ruin, are now looking for a new way to cater for a more sophisticated – and demanding audience.

Curses! Wasn’t that also the plan for multiplexes Stateside? Also in England and the rest of the EU: It’s now illegal to misquote critics for marketing purposes; no more reducing "This film is a splendid train wreck with unbelievable displays of bad acting across the board" to "Splendid…unbelievable." Andrea Hubert gets reactions from critics all around at the Guardian, which has always harbored an interest in publicity misquotes — two years ago James Silver tracked down the questionable origins of the one positive quote being used to flog Guy Ritchie‘s turkey "Revolver."

Shane Danielsen at the Guardian‘s Film Blog, meanwhile, pines for France and its way with the modern film policier:

Unvarnished British realism is alive and kicking – Ken Loach‘s Sweet Sixteen will be remembered as one of his finest works, while recent debuts like London to Brighton, Red Road and Dead Man’s Cards all announced the arrival of major new talents – yet British films seem for some reason to have trouble marrying the truthful accounts at which they excel, to the stricter narrative templates of genre film-making.

He mentions "36 Quai des Orfèvres," a film we quite liked but that still hasn’t managed a release here due to its perplexing insistence on being a broad, slick thriller and also being in French, when everyone know that all French films must be talky dramas about adultery.

On our end, we’re a little more envious than usual of Canada, where, as Alwynne Gwilt reports at the Globe and Mail, 52% percent of responders to a poll would be against a ban of showing smoking in films and TV shows. "I think the smoking numbers in Canada are under 20 per cent so obviously there are some people out there who see the artistic ability to have smoking in films," says the manager of the polling place. And, as bad as it may be for health, one has to admit it looks so very good on film.

And Canada, or at least Toronto, is unusually tilted toward Hollywood this year — Michael Cieply at the New York Times looks over the serious, awards-minded TIFF line-up.

+ How film fans fell in love with subtitles (Independent)
+ Hold the front page! (Guardian)
+ Police, camera, action? Not in Britain (Guardian)
+ Ban smoking on screen? Most Canadians think that would be a drag (Globe and Mail)
+ Cue the Film Awards Season and Strike a Somber Note (NY Times)

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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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