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District 9’s newcomers

District 9’s newcomers (photo)

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The plot of “District 9” centers around a group of aliens in Johannesburg, South Africa that no one knows anything about at the outset. Likewise the film’s director and talent are unknowns, though I suspect they will be quite famous (and treated much better) in short order when this film opens. Indeed, I suspect Blomkamp is the new onomatopoeia for the sound of success.

First time feature director, South African Neill Blomkamp came to the project when he came to the attention of “District 9” producer, Peter Jackson. It’s a long winded tale about Jackson looking for a fresh director to take on a film version of the video game “Halo” – it folded under financial pressures and led them to develop the comparably low-budget “District 9,” which is based off of a short that Blomkamp made in 2005 called “Alive in Joburg.”

The soundtrack too is made up of South African players, most notably Zola. Not exactly a newcomer, he did the soundtrack for the film, “Tsotsi” set in Johannesburg (also playing the character Fela) which took the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2006.

Sharlto Copley (how do they construct these names?) a total newcomer stars as the heavily blown out Wikus Van De Merwe. Copley, a former TV producer, is an old work pal of Blomkamp’s and reportedly gave him his first job. It seems the director insisted on returning the favor and casting Copley as the lead in his first film [EW]

In politics that’s called cronyism, but in film, that’s love. “District 9” opens tomorrow, Aug 14th.

“Alive in Joburg”

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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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