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Going “Up,” “Offshore” and Down to “Hell”

Going “Up,” “Offshore” and Down to “Hell” (photo)

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With Cannes now wrapped up, this week finds everyone on the move as a trio of Indian workers go to Michigan, Sam Raimi goes home and Karl Fredricksen and his yappy companion go, well, up.

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Best known as the unknown film that won the Best Foreign Language Oscar, Japanese director Yojiro Takita’s tonally eccentric story of guilt and self-realization finally gets a chance to prove its bonafides. Crushed by the dismantling of his Tokyo-based orchestra, newly unemployed cellist Daigo Kobyashi (Masahiro Motoki) returns to his sleepy hometown to work performing burial rituals at a funeral home, a job that slowly transitions from a necessity to a duty to a calling. In Japanese with subtitles.
Opens in limited release.

“Drag Me To Hell”
The first film from Ghost House Pictures to actually be directed by the boss, “Drag Me To Hell” finds Sam Raimi returning to his blood-splattering roots to have some fun. It’s an opportunity for him to reintroduce himself to horror’s biggest patrons, the gore-hungry teens that are too young to remember “Evil Dead.” Alison Lohman stars as Christine, a loans manager who turns down the application of an elderly gypsy woman, only to have the woman respond with a terrifying curse. Credit Crunch Horror — brilliant!
Opens wide.

“Laila’s Birthday”
A Palestinian judge forced by bureaucracy to work as a taxi driver in Ramallah, writer/director Rashid Masharawi’s hometown, struggles to navigate the daily chaos of the city and purchase a birthday cake for his daughter, something that in an occupied territory becomes a seemingly insurmountable task. Masharawi mixes politics with near-silent comedy touches.
Opens in New York.

A less than obvious candidate to tackle the tenuous relationship between the Tutsis and the Hutus in Rwanda, New York-based Korean filmmaker Lee Isaac Chung ably illustrates the tensions via the forbidden friendship of two boys who stand on opposite sides of the ethnic divide. Employing a handheld approach that lends the story even more immediacy, Chung’s story follows Munyurangabo (Jeff Rutagengwa), who, accompanied by his friend Sangwa (Eric Ndorunkundiye) embarks on a journey of revenge. In Kinyarwanda with subtitles.
Opens in New York.

Likely due to the success of “Slumdog Millionaire,” writer/director Diane Cheklich’s 2006 debut has finally secured itself a theatrical run. Equal parts fish-out-of-water comedy and anti-globalization satire, the film tells the tales of an Indian businessman’s scramble to assemble a call center and a Michigan worker’s struggle to save one. In English and Hindi with subtitles.
Opens in limited release.

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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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