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Talking to yourself.

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04222008_frederickwiseman.jpgThe spring issue of The Threepenny Review has a symposium on the various forms of editing, with contributors ranging from Walter Murch to literary critic Christopher Ricks. Most aren’t online — fortunately, one of the few that is is from documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman. He gives a nicely grounded explanation of how he shapes a film from footage:

The editing is finally finished when I go through the film and try to explain to myself why each shot and sequence is in the film. I have to express in words both my rational and non-rational decisions. Since I like talking to myself, this is the last pleasure of the editing process.

Also worth a look: Greil Marcus on memory, his childhood and “Blue Velvet.” On the film’s opening sequence:

These shots don’t play like a dream, and they don’t play like the beginning of an exciting new story. They play like memory, and they stay in the mind like a common memory laying itself over whatever personal memories a person watching might bring to the images– because what the sequence seems to be showing a viewer is a proof that the notion of personal memory is false. The details of the sequence could, perhaps, be excavated to match specific details of Lynch’s own boyhood, but what is striking about these quiet, burningly intense images is that nothing in them is specific to anyone. They are specific– overwhelmingly specific–only as images of the United States.

[Photo: Frederick Wiseman’s “State Legislature,” Zipporah Films, 2007]

+ Frederick Wiseman On Editing (Threepenny Review)
+ Tied to History (Threepenny Review)

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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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