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Hollywood is falling down.

Hollywood is falling down. (photo)

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Culver City is one of the world’s more recognizable non-places. It’s surrounded by L.A., but has its own mayor; the population, technically, hovers below 40,000. It’s been a hotbed for Hollywood film production ever since the ’20s, when Hal Roach and MGM built studios there. “Gone With The Wind”‘s old South was located there, as was Tarzan’s jungle; later, it was Andy Griffith’s Mayberry.

Culver Studios itself — a big mansion building used in “Gone With The Wind”‘s opening credits — is still standing, but, like the rest of California’s film industry, it’s in trouble. NPR reports that Studios head James Cella is putting the mansion up for lease, but it may be too late — to stay afloat for now, he’s had to sell all 91,000 props. And really, how can he hold onto productions when there are 30% tax breaks to be had for shooting in Connecticut and 42% in Detroit?

Sure, there’s nostalgia for a Hollywood system whose breakdown has been going on since the ’60s, but there’s more to it. “Most of the really great talent behind the talent,” Cella laments, “the grips and carpenters, they’re all leaving.” Some veteran actors are sounding the alarm: Alfre Woodard, for one, although she has an unfortunate way of putting it: “They’ll bring two or three people from L.A., you get shipped off to Canada, and then they hire all locals, when that whole call sheet would be filled with your colleagues in L.A. who have moved here, who have trained, who came to the place you come to make movies and television. The crews are lovely people, and I’m not putting them down at all, but the soul of making film does not lie in the hinterlands. […T]he quality has gone down. You can tell you’re not where you’re supposed to be. You can tell the location is fake.” The assumption that LA is a “real” location and Canada somehow a “fake” one is curious, but you can see where she’s coming from.

Still, Woodard’s complaint seems beside the point when most of the interesting American movies of this decade come, geographically, from some place that isn’t L.A. The recent strength of small and mid-level semi-independent American film is a tribute to the availability to film crews everywhere. These days, there are centralized tech communities all over the country, and I can’t help but think film is richer for it. The time for seeing those same office buildings, diners and streets over and over again, charming as it was, has passed.

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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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