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Hiding the salami.

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"You're in a merry mood today, Mr. Todd."
But only in the 2005 Howard Dean usage — Steve Rose at the Guardian complains about how the UK trailer for "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" tortuously obscures the fact that the film’s a musical: "Stung at paying to see a collection of tortuously constructed Stephen Sondheim tunes when they were expecting a gory Gothic thriller, a fair proportion of cinema audiences has been walking out of Sweeney Todd. A complaint has even been made to the Advertising Standards Authority." Apparently the marketing powers in England blame the bursts into song for the film’s lukewarm box office here, and are trying to will them away with the force of false advertising. Mark Shenton at the Guardian’s Film Blog thinks its no wonder, that there’s no consistent audience for the grown-up musical these days ("People are still suspicious of musicals’ artificiality"), though he doesn’t discount "High School Musical"’s near-satanic power over a younger crowd.

Peter Hartlaub at the San Francisco Chronicle has a list of eight musical suggestions "for people who hate musicals." Fair warning: He wrote the piece on the occasion of the release of "Across the Universe," which, he notes, "wasn’t included but would probably fall in the top five."

Dan Callahan at The House Next Door turns to an early period in the genre, looking at Criterion’s Lubitsch Musicals set that comes out next Tuesday:

Maurice Chevalier and Jeannette MacDonald are the nominal stars of this early talkie series, either together or paired with other players, and you just have to accept and even embrace the former’s full-frontal “ooh la la!” chortles and the latter’s not-yet-calcified operetta hauteur if you plan to make it through these pictures alive. They both came from the stage, and they have just the right lightly formal quality for Lubitsch’s theatrical bits of business. Though a little of Chevalier’s strenuous Gallic charmboat act goes a long, long way, it must be said that Lubitsch makes MacDonald surprisingly sexy and even touching in her pre-Nelson Eddy salad days at Paramount.

+ What the Sweeney Todd trailer failed to tell us about the film (Guardian)
+ Sweeney Todd won’t revitalise musicals (Guardian Film Blog)
(SF Chronicle)
+ Eclipse Series 8: Lubitsch Musicals (The House Next Door)

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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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