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IFC News: Baumbach, Burnett.

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"Make sure you can handle rejection. I can't."
We’re a little under the weather and have been remiss — here’s this week’s IFC News update:

Aaron Hillis talks to Noah Baumbach:

Even though Margot has some dislikeable qualities, you’ve said before that you hope audiences will understand her. Reverse Shot
wrote about this film that "the compassion [Baumbach] once showed
toward his neurotic characters, starting from his 1995 debut, ‘Kicking
and Screaming,’ has turned into rancor." In defense of that, would you
personally want to spend time with these characters, and how
mean-spirited do you see the film to be?

A lot of us do spend time with these characters. People might not want
to see that in a movie, but I think this behavior is a lot more common
than what people let on or recognize. On the other side of it, I’m not
writing about people I necessarily want to go hang out with. It’s
certainly not why I’m writing about them. In a lot of ways, I think the
question is wrong. I’m not saying yours is; you’re reading from a
review. I don’t really know how to start talking about these people
with "Oh, they’re unsympathetic." First of all, I don’t think that’s
true from even sensitive people’s criteria. Pauline is not a perfect
human being, but I think she’s very sympathetic. I think Malcolm, the
kids and John Turturro’s character are sympathetic. I have a lot of
empathy for Margot, but I understand how people might… you know, I’ll
give them a pass on that one. She dominates a lot of the movie, and I
know that can be difficult for people, but in the movies and books I
like, there is such a thing as an unreliable narrator. I suppose it
fits in a Jim Thompson novel, but why not have it in movies that are
actually closer to our lives, that are about real human interaction
[rather] than trying to sympathize with hitmen, murderers, or some

On the podcast, we discuss motion capture and whether it should be considered animation.

Michael Atkinson tackles "Berlin Alexanderplatz" and "Killer of Sheep." On the latter:

There’s no story, but there are people — mainly, Stan (Henry Gayle Sanders), a poor slaughterhouse laborer with a loving wife and curious children whose life in the outer-urban wastes is in the process of bulldozing his pride and confidence. Burnett’s film proceeds from the very beginning as if every image and moment of Stan’s life is a mythic truth to gaze upon, and damn if it isn’t sweepingly convincing in the process. The action, for instance, of attempting to carry a disembodied car engine down a flight of tract-housing stairs has positively Sisyphean traction. It’s not a movie you pick dramatic highlights or even visual memories from; instead, it flows before you like a despairing folk song made real, a blues anthem older than movies or Burnett himself.

Matt Singer reviews "Southland Tales" here ("For all its cleverness and evocative imagery, an incredibly uneven movie") and "Margot at the Wedding" here ("[Baumbach] may have invented [a dysfunctional family] so convincingly screwed up, so far beyond repair that spending 90 loveless, awkward minutes with them could be seen as a waste of time").

And Christopher Bonet has what’s new in theaters. And we’re headed home to steep ourselves in tea.

+ IFC News

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Rev Up

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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Give Back

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

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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