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The New York Asian Film Festival strikes back.

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04082008_sukiyakiwesterndjango.jpgMy favorite sign of summer — the New York Asian Film Festival is, as they put it, “back like a bad dream.” It’ll be running from June 20 through July 6 this year. The line-up so far (descriptions theirs):

SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO – we unleash the beast a full month before it hits movie theaters: Takashi Miike’s berserk, bloody, out-of-control English-language spaghetti western, guest-starring Quentin Tarantino. Full of female gunfighters, clockwork wheelchairs, razor sharp samurai swords and tiny fetuses growing inside blooming flowers this is the Takashi Miike movie Variety calls “one of his wildest ideas yet.” And they’re right. (A co-presentation with Japan Society’s Japan Cuts: Festival of New Japanese Film)

L: CHANGE THE WORLD – the prequel to last year’s hit DEATH NOTE movies, this is another pop gothic popcorn muncher and this time it’s directed by Hideo Nakata of THE RING and DARK WATER fame. (A co-presentation with Japan Society’s Japan Cuts: Festival of New Japanese Film)

ASSEMBLY – China takes the war movie and kicks it up to eleven in one of the year’s biggest blockbusters. The first half is a dirt-in-your-teeth war film about the Ninth Company’s last stand during China’s 1948 Civil War. The second half is a dissection of the way war heroes are put on the shelf and forgotten once the sounds of battle fade. Truly epic, and truly magnificent.

MAD DETECTIVE – the New York Times says that this dark, nightmarish thriller from Johnnie To “reaffirms his status as an action master.” And they’re right!

DAINIPPONJIN – this giant monster mock-u-mentary is the movie that “Cloverfield” should have been. Ever wonder what happens when giant monsters go into heat? Wonder no longer! (A co-presentation with Japan Society’s Japan Cuts: Festival of New Japanese Film)

ALWAYS 1 & 2 – these two massively budgeted feel-good Japanese blockbusters about a Tokyo neighborhood rebuilding itself after World War II have won 14 Japanese Academy Awards between them and sold millions of tickets. ALWAYS 1 sold-out the NYAFF in 2006, and this year we’re bringing it back with its enormously satisfying sequel. (Always 2 is a co-presentation with Japan Society’s Japan Cuts: Festival of New Japanese Film)

M – Lee Myung-Se (DUELIST, NOWHERE TO HIDE) turns in one of the trippiest films of the year. A celluloid hallucination, it’s like dreaming with your eyes open and it inspired legions of fans to take to the streets of Seoul in protest when one theater wanted to end its run early.

ACCURACY OF DEATH – Takeshi Kaneshiro (FALLEN ANGELS, HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS) rules as the sexiest angel of death ever seen in this pitch perfect remake of “Death Takes a Holiday.” It’s a romantic comedy that manages the neat trick of being both genuinely funny and genuinely romantic. (A co-presentation with Japan Society’s Japan Cuts: Festival of New Japanese Film)

And we’re super-excited about LADY WHIRLWIND: AN EVENING WITH ANGELA MAO, a celebration of the life and works of martial arts legend, Angela Mao. You may remember her best as Bruce Lee’s sister in ENTER THE DRAGON, but Angela Mao was one of the greatest female screen fighters of her time and she will be here in person to do a Q&A and introduce newly discovered prints of two of her classic films.

[Photo: “Sukiyaki Western Django,” First Look International, 2007]

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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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