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Cannes 2009: “Kinatay.”

Cannes 2009: “Kinatay.” (photo)

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There are two easy types of film provocation. You can prod an audience with boundary-pushing images — say, Chloe Sevigny painting Vincent Gallo’s tree — or by testing their tolerance for style or narrative experimentation — say, Vincent Gallo driving, driving, driving, driving. “Kinatay” (which translates to “Butchered”) tries out both, culminating in an act of gruesome violence after a patience-trying buildup of dread and boredom over a long, unlit nighttime car ride. The film’s main character is a upbeat teenager who’s just married the equally young mother of his baby. Short on cash, he’s been dabbling in petty crime, and blithely hops in a van with a friend who’s a member of a local gang for an unspecified but presumably dodgy job. It’s apparent early on that something very bad is going to happen at the final destination — the woman they pick up, bind, gag and beat into unconsciousness is kind of an unmissable sign — but the guy stays, the camera peering at his unhappy, conflicted face as he passes up different openings to cut and run or to help their captive escape, lingering as he witnesses and becomes complicit in something monstrous.

Roger Ebert called “Kinatay” the new “worst film in the history of the Cannes Film Festival,” succeeding the original cut of a certain road/blowjob feature. That’s a bit strong. Director Brillante Mendoza is just convinced that ideas must equal difficulty — and so, with last year’s “Serbis,” the theater itself had to be the main character, the teeming human dramas it sheltered deliberately, coyly captured only in oblique fragments. With “Kinatay,” the problem is more that the ideas aren’t that good, unless you want to take its protagonist, a callow kid who can’t look away as things get more and more unpleasant, as a stand-in for the audience. In which case, maybe you’re meant to do what he never manages to and walk away — the film gives you plenty of opportunity to, and plenty of people did.

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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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