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DID YOU READ

SXSW 2009: “We Live in Public.”

SXSW 2009: “We Live in Public.” (photo)

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Josh Harris might just be too good a subject for a film. A dotcom millionaire, Harris was unerringly ahead of his time, seeing promise in the internet before it really existed, focusing on chat at the dawn of services like Prodigy, moving into web-only TV before there was even infrastructure for it, and putting the home life of himself and his girlfriend online 24/7 all the way back in 2001. (The fact that by the end of “We Live in Public” he’s been forced to flee to Ethiopia to escape his creditors seems today merely more evidence of forward thinking.) Such was Harris’ foresight that the filmmaker he picked to document his work some ten years ago was Ondi Timoner, now the only director to twice win the top nonfiction prize at Sundance. Timoner was there to capture his rise and the fall and to get some truly spectacular footage, which she assembles with plenty of snap, crackle and pop. But she can’t bear not to editorialize on top of it all, and the conclusion she draws, a cautionary one about how putting your personal life on the web in exchange for the attention it brings is a faustian bargain, seems as dated as a dial-up connection.

If there is a lesson to be learned from Harris, it’s probably more like: Being ahead of the curve doesn’t mean a damn thing, not unless you’re also able to act on it. When Harris pools together the last of his once formidable theoretical fortune and crawls back to the tech world years later in search of funding, new business plan in hand, no one even knows who he is. And he isn’t perfectly clear on that point either. He’s a web entrepreneur at the dawn of the age of internet fame, a pop-eyed geek who mistakes himself for a celebrity and puts his business on the backburner in order to pursue experiments like Quiet, an extravagant month-long art installation/party in which attendees wore uniforms, slept in pods, showered and shat in the open and were filmed the whole time. It’s a project Harris claimed reflected his vision of what life in the wired future would be like. When that wound down, he convinced his new girlfriend Tanya Corrin to move in with him for a 100 day adventure in continually webcast cohabitation, broadcast 24/7 at weliveinpublic.com. The many cameras around their Manhattan apartment mean that the implosion of their relationship by day 81 is squirmingly well documented.

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“We Live in Public” often feels like it’s on fast forward, Harris’ fortune won and lost in an hour, the quick-cut images of the Silicon Alley heyday bleeding into ones of 9/11 and the more somber and sober New York that followed, producing a sense of overloaded shell-shock. As we get a decade on from the dot com days, the common reading of the era seems to be one of hubris and also of failed idealism, but Harris’ manipulation of everyone around him was misanthropic, playing off their worst exhibitionist tendencies, his idea of an internet-shaped world fascistic. And yet, even as his business was failing and his lover walking out the door, he did everything he could to maintain his place in the online game, and maybe that’s the most telling thing all.

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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 IFC.com

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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

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…