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Same old song?

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09082008_cineaste.jpgThe heart of the newest issue of Cineaste is a massive symposium on that favorite topic of debate of film writers — print criticism versus online criticism, critics versus bloggers, and on and on.

I’ll ‘fess up to only scanning it — this used to be a treasured topic of mine as well, but lately it’s seemed awfully insular, much retreading of old arguments with no ground gained (is there ground to be gained?), focused on medium when its content that’s actually at stake. As laid out in the intro, print versus online is hardly the appropriate divide anymore: “A certain number of longtime print critics have either been forced–or chosen–to become full-time bloggers, writers who started out as bloggers or Web critics have found print jobs, diehard Internet critics occasionally make appearances in film magazines…” The issue is more short form versus long form, or academic tendencies versus populist ones, or those knowledgeable about film history versus those who think cinema started in 1977.

Still, there’s plenty of food for thought there, and I’d like to salute Amy Taubin for making a point I don’t agree with but that should really be used to launch its own symposium:

I never believed that film critics had much stature or authority in our culture. If there is some kind of perceived loss of same, it probably has more to do with the fact that the century in which history was written as cinema is over, and film itself no longer has the cultural, social, and political importance it once did. The Internet has marginalized traditional film culture. Employing the Internet as a means of distributing and exhibiting movies will make more movies available to more people, but it will not restore the status of film culture–neither the status of movies per se nor the chatter that goes on around them.

Providing a bit of extra context and commentary on their contributions: Andrew Grant, Glenn Kenny and Girish.

+ Film Criticism in the Age of the Internet: A Critical Symposium (Cineaste)
+ Critics vs. Bloggers, Chapter 387: The Cineaste Critical Symposium (Filmbrain)
+ Crits Blitz For Net Hits (Some Came Running)
+ Cineaste, Toronto (girish)

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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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