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While we were out.

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Karl Markovics plays Salomon Sorowitsch.
A few things that slipped by while we were at the festival or doing our civic duty and waiting around in a windowless room to be called to be put on a jury:

The list of films contending for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar® was announced: 63 countries submitted a film, a new record thanks to the participation of Azerbaijan and Ireland. We’ve always found the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar® to be the second most reliably frustrating Oscar® category after that of Best Documentary Feature Oscar®, but this year’s list is both solid and strikingly sparse on films that the average moviegoer will have even had a chance to have heard of — "The Orphanage," "Persepolis" and "The Counterfeiters" are, of the few titles with distributors, the only ones likely to receive a release in more than a handful of theaters. It’s hard out there for an international film, sure, but we’re also curious as to why this year’s sleeper darling "Once" wasn’t Ireland’s submission — was it DQ’d for some reason? It would seem a shoo-in to win, and one we wouldn’t have grumbled about. Except for our unexplainable hallucination of subtitles onto "Once" for… Czech and non-use of Gaelic, we suppose. We’re tired and apparently going crazy — "Kings," is, incidentally, mostly in Gaelic, and "Once"’s best Oscar hopes probably are in the song category. Also, it’s only October, and we’re in trouble if the year’s films are already blurring into one massive (but apparently subtitled) megafilm.

David Lynch is in Israel promoting transcendental meditation as a path to inner and outer peace, reports the AP. Such is the power of his filmmaking that when he met with Israeli President Shimon Peres, Peres did not slap his own forehead and say "Oh, meditation is the answer! If only we’d been told earlier, we could have avoided all of the unrest caused by centuries of religious, political and cultural conflict!"

And at Pusan, director Peter Greenaway joined that curmudgeonly club of filmmakers and the like who’ve declared cinema dead. Writes Clifford Coonan at the Independent:

"Cinema’s death date was 31 September 1983, when the remote-control
zapper was introduced to the living room, because now cinema has to be
interactive, multi-media art," he told a director’s masterclass.

It should be noted that September has 30 days.

We’ve always liked Greenaway’s argument that cinema is being held back by its ties to literature and straightforward narration, something he did return to in this latest rant, adding that "Cinema is wasted on cinema – most cinema is bedtime stories for adults." Related: A mere month and a half ago, Ridley Scott at the Venice Film Festival announced that "I think movies are getting dumber, actually. Where it used to be 50/50, now it’s 3% good, 97% stupid." (Via the Guardian.) Oh, memories, misty watercolor memories…

+ 63 Countries Seeking Foreign Language Film Oscar® (
+ Lynch Promotes Meditation on Israel Trip (AP)
+ Greenaway announces the death of cinema – and blames the remote-control zapper (Independent)
+ Pitt happy, but Ridley Scott grumbles (Guardian)

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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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