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Copyright infringement, sadistic streaks and Hitchcock.

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09092008_disturbia.jpgSheldon Abend was a literary agent who purchased the rights to “It Had to Be Murder,” a 1942 short story by Cornell Woolrich that was adapted by Alfred Hitchcock into “Rear Window.” He died in 2003, but his estate endures and has finally noticed that the 2007 Shia LaBeouf thriller “Disturbia” is an awful lot like Hitch’s film and filed a copyright infringement lawsuit.

Abend was litigious in life, too: “It Had to Be Murder” has already been the basis of an influential copyright case, 1990’s Stewart v. Abend — that would be Jimmy Stewart, and there are more details at Wikipedia.

On the Hitchcock tip, John Russell Taylor at the London Times asks if the director really was a misogynist, and attempts to refute what’s become generally accepted with anecdotes. Strangest snippet:

The playwright Rodney Ackland, who worked with Hitchcock on the script of Number Seventeen in 1932, was exceptional in that he was openly gay. Hitch was fascinated, and once said to him: “I think I would have been a poof if I hadn’t met Alma at the right time.” An exaggerated view of his coming to terms with his feminine side? Who can say? But undeniably he was more at home with women.

Also at the TimesJonathan Coe draws comparisons between Hitchcock and Disney, noting that they were both “brands,” and that they both displayed a “virulent streak of sadism.” And Sally Kinnes gets Hitchcock quotes from Stephen Frears (“When I made Dangerous Liaisons, the shot of Glenn Close and John Malkovich coming downstairs is absolutely based on the ending of Notorious.”), Anna Massey, Bharat Nalluri and others.

[Photo: “Disturbia,” Paramount Pictures, 2007]

+ NY lawsuit claims ‘Disturbia’ copied short story (AP)
+ Was Alfred Hitchcock a misogynist? He was adored by actresses (London Times)
+ Sir Alfred Hitchcock: Giant with a taste for bondage (London Times)
+ The genius of Alfred Hitchcock, the man who knew so much (London Times)

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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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