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Odds: “Expelled” trumps Ono and Godard drops out.

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06022008_expelled.jpgYoko Ono has lost her bid to have use of John Lennon’s “Imagine” removed from the problematic Ben Stein anti-Darwinist doc “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” reports the AP:

U.S. District Judge Sidney Stein ruled that if the case went to court, the filmmakers would probably win under the fair use doctrine.

“That doctrine provides that the fair use of a copyrighted work for the purposes of criticism and commentary is not an infringement of copyright,” Stein wrote in his decision in Manhattan federal court.

On Stein’s side, the claims were that Ono and co. were trying to censor the film; on Ono’s, that they’d used her husband’s song for free without permission. While just about everything about “Expelled,” particularly the way the film’s been handled in terms of gloatingly antagonistic publicity, has struck me as ugly and repellent, this does seem an impressively firm ruling on the side of doc makers and others who employ fair use in their work. Sorry, Yoko — free speech isn’t always pretty, and sometimes it inexcusably equates evolution with the Holocaust.

IESB claims that Tim Burton is attached to direct a movie adaptation of “Dark Shadows,” with his frequent screenwriting collaborator John August on the script and Johnny Depp rumored to star as Barnabus Collins. Meanwhile, having reportedly made children in test audiences cry, Spike Jonze’s “Where the Wild Things Are” will be reshooting in L.A. from June 5-30, according to

Jean-Luc Godard has dropped out of Tel Aviv’s 12th International Student Film Festival after earlier announcing he’d attend “as a private citizen and as an eternal film student.” From the AP:

“We are very disappointed because he seems to have succumbed to pressure from pro-Palestinian groups who launched a campaign for people to boycott Israel,” [festival official Morane Tal] added, without elaborating.

To elaborate for her — the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel called Godard out last week with this open letter, which suggests that “Taking part in this festival is not art separated from politics, as if it can be; rather, it is a crude politicization of art, allowing it to become complicit.” Apparently, it stuck.

Finally, at Time, Pelin Turgut notes that the films of Nuri Bilge Ceylan, despite being heralded abroad, “routinely flop back home”:

Critics bemoaning the dearth of interest in cultural fare (book sales are shrinking along with art-house film audiences) point to a brutal 1980 military coup as the start of this malaise. The generals ushered in an era of economic liberalization and anything-goes cowboy capitalism that rapidly transformed the country into a consumerist McHeaven.

[Photo: Once again, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” Rocky Mountain Pictures, 2008]

+ NY judge: Film can use John Lennon song (AP)
+ Director and Writer Named for Depp’s DARK SHADOWS! (
+ ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ Preps for Reshoot (Bloody-Disgusting)
+ French-Swiss director pulls out of Israeli film festival (AP)
+ Open Letter to Jean-Luc Godard from occupied Palestine (
+ Turkish Director Fêted in Cannes, Ignored at Home (Time)

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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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