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A Valentine’s Day for the Economically Depressed

A Valentine’s Day for the Economically Depressed (photo)

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This Valentine’s Day weekend, there’s plenty to make you want to clutch your significant other tight in the dark — Isla Fisher wields a credit card, Jason Voorhees puts on his hockey mask one more time and Clive Owen is the quite ridiculous vessel for an entire nation’s displaced rage.

“As Seen Through These Eyes”
In the works for ten painstaking years, writer/director Hilary Helstein’s debut feature achieves its noble goal — to tell, in her words, “an uplifting story about the Holocaust” — by focusing on concentration camp prisoners who made the best of their limited resources and created artwork, many of whom survived the horrors to go on and become internationally recognized artists. Mixing archival footage with candid testimony from the survivors, Helstein presents these remarkable people and their equally remarkable work — music, art, poetry — that served then as it served now, as a testament to the indomitable nature of the human spirit. Maya Angelou narrates.
Opens in New York.

“Confessions of a Shopaholic”
On a Valentine’s Day weekend when concession stand employees will be asking couples “What size popcorn? Large, regular or, just been laid off?”, this candy-coated wish-fulfillment fantasy arrives to remind us all just how we came to be where we are. Aussie director and rom-com veteran P.J. Hogan (of both “Muriel’s-” and “My Best Friend’s Wedding”) helms this smartly dressed adaptation of Sophie Kinsella’s chick-lit odyssey with Isla Fisher as Becky, the compulsive spender clutching a Visa bill the size of a phone book. Having landed a job writing a financial advice column, Becky resolves to pay off her mountain of debt and in the process discovers that materialism is a fallacy and what matters is that you learn to love yourself. Of course, having a job at a prestigious New York magazine owned by an absurdly wealthy guy who happens to be quite into you doesn’t hurt either.
Opens wide.

“Friday the 13th”
With an unparalleled pedigree in the making of first-rate cinematic pap, German music video director Marcus Nispel (of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” remake) returns to deliver the latest incarnation of cinema’s most enduring psycho with a script from the guys behind “Freddy Vs Jason.” Looking like they just walked off an ad for United Colors of Benetton, a group of blissfully unaware teenagers arrive at the now-deserted Camp Crystal Lake for a night of unsupervised revelry. Jason and his trusty machete, as always, are only too happy to oblige. With executive producer Michael Bay acting as the adult voice of reason, we can only imagine what terrors await them, or us, for that matter.
Opens wide.

After 70 years of big-screen organized crime romanticism, Matteo Garrone’s docudrama (adapted from Roberto Saviano’s exposé of Naples’ Camorra crime syndicate) will likely serve as a wake-up call for audiences used to viewing the mafia through Hollywood rose-tinted lenses as a principled organization that rewards loyalty and honor. Billed as an example of hyperlink cinema (a trendy, Web-conscious way to describe interwoven, disparate storytelling), “Gomorrah” had critics falling over themselves to praise its audacity, with some even heralding a new era for the mob movie. Employing mostly non-professional actors and even a few actual criminals, Garrone orchestrates five intertwined stories touching on the deadly organization that runs Naples and how their actions affect the daily lives and fortunes of every Neopolitan. In Italian with subtitles.
Opens in limited release.

“Great Speeches From a Dying World”
After walking 1200 miles to meet his favorite director in his last doc, “Walking to Werner,” Seattle-based filmmaker Linas Phillips returns to the streets to showcase the plight of the homeless population through the stories of ten men and women, each asked to select a great speech from history that he or she feels is relevant to their lives. As the economic recession continues, Phillips offers a poignant reminder that the difference between the famous and the forgotten is measured merely in how much attention the rest of us choose to pay.
Opens in New York.

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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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