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Joining in Joe Dante’s Movie Orgy.

Joining in Joe Dante’s Movie Orgy. (photo)

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“There will be images you’ll never forget, though you’ll want to,” Joe Dante promised a packed house at the New Beverly this past Saturday night, as the audience settled in for the four-and-a-half hour Movie Orgy. It was the second time the Orgy played the New Bev — L.A.’s best revival theater — with roughly an extra hour added to the collage of ’50s and ’60s B-movies, educational films, TV serials and other ephemera of the era. Though New Bev management read their typical riot act — turn off cell phones and no Twittering, Dante quickly rebutted by saying, “this is a movie that was designed to be walked out on.”

Nearly five hours later, few did. Even though the novelty of seeing oddities from the Atomic Age and earlier is slightly less elusive since the advent of YouTube, nowhere could one find a collection as expertly curated as what Dante and partner Jon Davison first started as film students in 1968 (though many of the clips are out of circulation). As Dante said in his introduction, the Movie Orgy is difficult to describe (though a pair of great interviews by Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule‘s Dennis Cozzalio helps to clarify things), but the “Gremlins” director acknowledged that it all started when he and Davison saw the re-release of the “Batman” serials of the 1940s and realized how racist they were. As a result, the duo began splicing together kitschy films like “Attack of the 50-Foot Woman” and “College Confidential” and TV shows like “The Lone Ranger” in ways that were subversive at the time and, from the raucous reaction to much of the footage, remain so now, such as when the film quick cuts from the opening credits of “Ozzie and Harriet” to a screaming black man or a fleeting glance at a biblical epic that ends with the line, “But Esther, make it known to everyone that you are not a Jew.”

There’s a method to the madness, and the brilliance of the film is how it builds upon itself, either with thematic transitions (the opening to “The Naked City” segues to nudes bathing), condensed narratives (whole films and TV shows are reduced to one scene, complete with opening and closing credits), and callbacks to shots from a film they played hours earlier, the most ridiculous being to the teen rebel film “Speed Crazy,” where the lead character’s constant refrain of “Don’t crowd me!” transcends being a mere running gag. Yet in line with its opening with a faux MPAA rating of “Z for Unsuitable,” “The Film Orgy” is likely to be unavailable to the masses because of rights issues, though Dante has hinted at a repeat performance. (And like Saturday night, he might even bring the workprint of “Gremlins” along with him.)

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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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