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DID YOU READ

“Six in Paris,” “Arch of Triumph”

“Six in Paris,” “Arch of Triumph” (photo)

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One of the loveliest freeform ideas to find patronage and popularity in the New Wavey 1960s was the omnibus film, a rarely cohesive but always tempting quasi-genre defined as a collection of exclusively commissioned short films. These projects usually began with a general theme but were always most interested in gathering the generation’s coolest hotshot filmmakers and encouraging them to whack off and make their special kind of havoc, but in compressed form. The aesthetics of the genre are questionable — never is the entirety of an omnibus very satisfying — but its smash-up ranginess of conflicting styles and potpourri perspectives make the movies irresistible. (Favorites of any connoisseur would include 1962’s “The Seven Deadly Sins,” 1963’s “RoGoPaG,” and 1969’s “Love and Anger,” all of which feature the era’s most promiscuous omnibus-er, Jean-Luc Godard.) They’re still being made: the Korean New Wave collection “If You Were Me” (2003) is a knockout, as are the unsettling pan-Asian horror mix, “Three… Extremes” (2004), and the international “Ten Minutes Older” pair of collages from 2002. (We will not waste screen space on 2002’s “11’09″01 — September 11.”) In fact, one of the more popular recent examples, the swoony Parisian neighborhood safari “Paris je t’aime” (2006), was in concept a remake of one of the omnibus film’s pioneering launches, 1965’s “Paris vu par…” (“Six in Paris”), except with three times as many directors and with films one-third the length.

The original film was a classic, hit-the-streets New Wave experiment for producer Barbet Schroeder — six filmmakers, six arrondissements, cheap 16mm cameras, non-pro actors: go. A romantic mistaken-identity dalliance from scholar-semi-New Waver Jean Douchet (“Saint-Germain-des-Prés”) is forgettable, but that’s followed by “Gare du Nord,” Jean Rouch’s survey of a fraying marriage, performed handheld and in one fearless 16-minute take (what impossible 16mm camera did he use?). Featuring Schroeder himself and a Christina Ricci-plus-Angelina Jolie beauty I’ve never seen before named Nadine Ballot, the short’s an O. Henry tale made electric by Rouch’s analytical perspective, especially once Ballot’s prickly wife leaves the apartment and the camera climbs into the elevator with her, the sounds of her hollering husband fading into the distance. Comedy-maker Jean-Daniel Pollet creates an amusingly procrastinative hooker-and-john scenario (“Rue Saint-Denis”), featuring his frequent lead, the astonishingly Keaton-esque Claude Melki.

10212008_archdetriomphe.jpgEric Rohmer was handed the Place de l’Etoile and the Arc de Triomphe, and so his wry perambulation takes the form of that torturous intersection, as pedestrians and cars do battle, Parisians try to ignore the tourist monument in the middle, and a lone middle-class clerk navigates an unstable urban world. Claude Chabrol wages an all-out attack on a petit bourgeois family (“La Muette”) as the mother and philandering father (played by Chabrol and his wife Stéphane Audran, not a non-pro) eat and bicker and eat some more, and their rebellious son contrives ways to subvert them and finally to shut them out altogether. And Godard chimes in with one of his least characteristic pieces (“Montparnasse-Levallois”) — the travails of a girl stuck between two lovers, both of whom are abusive louts who are farcically so obsessed with their rhyming mechanical vocations (metallurgic action sculpture, auto body work) that they cannot even acknowledge her when she begs for sex. Shot by Albert Maysles, the short looks more like “Grey Gardens” than “Pierrot le Fou.” But the coalescent upshot of “Paris vu par…” is as both a fascinating time capsule (at a moment when, according to Rohmer in the DVD’s liner notes, “Paris is being destroyed”) and a New Wave primer, prioritizing the fleeting textures of life over story, and making the real places in which characters find themselves epically vital.

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Final Countdown

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 IFC.com

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Rev Up

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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Give Back

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

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…