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Opening nights.

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06182008_passchendaele.jpgYesterday, the Toronto International Film Festival announced that its opening night film will be “Passchendaele,” a $20 million World War I epic from actor/director Paul Gross, whose other helming credit is 2002’s “Men With Brooms,” as far as I know, the only curling rom-com in existence.

Guy Dixon at the Globe and Mail talks with Gross, who based the film on the life of (and stars as) his grandfather Sergeant Michael Dunne:

“About two-thirds of the film is set on the home front, so it is a romance that culminates in battle,” Gross said. “It is at times epic and at times terribly intimate.”

When it premieres at TIFF and then hits Canadian screens this fall, the movie is expected to draw inevitable comparisons to the 1981 Australian film Gallipoli. In many ways, Passchendaele tries to do what Gallipoli did: portray a key moment in a country’s history for that country’s audience.

Over at his blog at the New York Post, Lou Lumenick wonders if the May 15, 2009 opening date that Universal has set for Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Borat” follow-up “Bruno” will mean it’s Palais-bound: “Cohen’s ‘Borat’ created a sensation on the late-summer festival circuit, including Venice and Toronto, that helped turn it into a box-office hit. So don’t be surprised if ‘Bruno’ opens the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.” Using a premiere date to guess at a film’s presence at Cannes doesn’t always work — see “Sex in the City”‘s non-appearance this year — but if “Bruno” does make it to the festival, I can only imagine the bathing suit photo-ops to come.

Also: David Gordon Green’s “Pineapple Express” will open the Just for Laughs Film Festival in Montreal, reports Variety.

[Photo: “Passchendaele,” Alliance Films, 2008]

+ Will ‘Bruno’ Open Cannes ’09? (NY Post)
+ ‘Pineapple’ opens comedy festival (Variety)

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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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