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De la Iglesia goes to Oxford.

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04212008_oxfordmurders.jpg“The Oxford Murders” seemed an uncharacteristically buttoned-down choice of project for fearless Spanish cult film director Álex de la Iglesia, he of the lurid and hilarious “The Day of the Beast” and the dedicatedly nasty “Ferpect Crime.” Shot in English in the U.K., the new film features Elijah Wood and John Hurt as a grad student and professor tracking down a serial killer by means of mathematical and philosophical concepts. It opens this week in the UK (ThinkFilm is set to distribute in the U.S. and has yet to attach a date), and at the Guardian, Alex Cox describes his small role in the film and reassures that there’s still some oddness to be found:

Kalman is an Oxford don, driven mad by his inability to solve a complex mathematical quandary. His laboratory becomes a lair; he showers in the kitchen; he throws computer monitors through the window (yay!). In addition to going mad, Kalman develops horrible cancers: both his legs fall off. He gets to buzz around in an electric wheelchair for a while, carrying a skull. Then one of his arms falls off, and he’s last seen lying naked on a hospital gurney, writing one word repeatedly with his remaining hand.

Later, Cox speculates on, as he puts it, “Latino-English cross-pollination,” and wonders if his scenes are “an opportunity for Alex to cut loose from the ‘Englishness’ he must celebrate elsewhere.”

Kevin Maher at the London Times, who sums the film up less promisingly as “a pleasing piece of Da Vinci Code meets Agatha Christie hokum,” interviews Wood and find more oddness in his scenes with Leonor Watling, who plays his nurse girlfriend:

That relationship produces the movie’s raunch, including scenes of Wood sucking freshly cooked spaghetti out of Watling’s cleavage. Which, naturally, was a first. “It’s a funny thing,” he says, eyes brightening. “You’ve got a naked woman in front of you, and part of you wants to be able to enjoy it, but out of respect for the person you’re working with, you can’t.”

[Photo: “The Oxford Murders,” THINKFilm, 2007]

+ I gave my right arm to be in this film (Guardian)
+ Kicking the hobbit: Elijah Wood has come of age in The Oxford Murders (London 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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