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Sex, violence, voice-overs.

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"I am dead already."
At a roundtable interview for "Eastern Promises" at Toronto, Empire notes the following exchange about the film’s extraordinary and already infamous centerpiece, the nude bathhouse fight scene:

“I was paid a great deal of money”, said Mortensen, laughing.

“When we started to explore that, to my surprise, I found that Viggo does not have any genitals, so we had to actually CG in genitals to make it look realistic”, Cronenberg said, laughing.

“I had to give up some of my salary”, noted Mortensen.

“The CG was very expensive”, nodded Cronenberg.

Heh. Amy Taubin talks to Cronenberg in the latest Film Comment, and, hilariously, gets drawn into the genitalia discussion as well:

I found a piece that someone had posted on Ain’t It Cool News about having seen a preview of the film.
Was it the guy who was obsessed with Viggo’s balls?

I don’t know if I performed an act of repression, but I don’t remember seeing his balls.
You do see them. It’s just that they go by rather quickly.

Right. I meant I didn’t notice them in particular.
It wasn’t like there was a close-up of them. But this guy was obsessed. He even wrote “big hairy
balls.” Well, that’s one way of looking at it. They’re definitely
there, as you would imagine, but it’s only if you’re looking for them
that that’s what you see. Because mostly he’s shot in full figure. So
when people decide to run the DVD frame by frame, they are going to see
everything at one point or another. Of course, a lot of the time it’s
going to be slightly blurred because he’s in motion.

Walter Addiego at the San Francisco Chronicle draws parallels between the scene and the stairway sex in "A History of Violence" in his interview with Cronenberg and Mortensen, with Cronenberg noting that "If you played those scenes side by side, it would be pretty interesting. You’d start to see there’s a weirdly erotic element in the fight scene and there’s a weirdly mortal attack in the scene on the stairs (with Maria Bello) as well." And Nathan Lee at the Village Voice asks the director about an iffier choice, "Eastern Promises"’ sporadic, purplish voice-over: "Normally I hate voice-over, because it’s on the outside looking in… It means something’s not working right, like you need a novel to explain the movie. But in this case, the novel is inside the movie."

Meanwhile, the film’s two stars are bobbing around some interesting projects: At Entertainment Weekly, Missy Schwartz writes that Mortensen is in early talks to star in John Hillcoat‘s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer-winning, Oprah-adored apocalypse tale "The Road." And Naomi Watts confirms to (hush now!) that she is indeed in talks to star in a remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s "The Birds."

+ David Cronenberg: Drifting Toward the Mainstream (Empire)
+ FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Film Comment)
+ Whose Reality? (Village Voice)
+ Viggo Mortensen May Hit ‘The Road’ (Entertainment Weekly)
+ Naomi Watts on Funny Games and The Birds (ShockTillYouDrop)

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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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