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Tokyo versus “The Cove.”

Tokyo versus “The Cove.” (photo)

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“The Cove,” the Louie Psihoyos-directed outrage doc about dolphin drive hunting, capture and killing in Taiji, Japan, isn’t turning out to be the relative box-office hit it seemed on track to become after winning an audience award at Sundance and gathering glowing reviews. Having only pulled in a total of $422,812 so far in limited national release, the film was used as the lynchpin of an LA Times article last week about the struggles of environmental docs to attract crowds.

Now the filmmakers are throwing down a very public gauntlet to the Tokyo International Film Festival for rejecting their film (a dubious way to publicize your film, as AJ Schnack points out) — the festival, which has a green theme this year, hasn’t yet announced its lineup. Producer Fisher Stevens emailed Deadline Hollywood Daily to say “the main goal for making the film was to shut down the cove in Taijii, Japan, where 2,300 dolphins are killed every year. Most of the Japanese population has no idea that this is going on. What better way to let them know than to premiere it on the green carpet of this years festival.” Psihoyos said similar things to Peter Howell at the Toronto Star, adding “It is essential that Japanese people see this film. They have the same reaction as an American audience, but they have the added emotion of shame.” And Jeffrey Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere is, for whatever reason, trying to put the responsibility for what comes next on jury president Alejandro González Iñárritu.

I’ve expressed my issues with “The Cove,” but beyond them, since when does a festival have a moral obligation to accept any film? And beyond that, “The Cove” is made by a group of Americans, funded by an internet billionaire, in order to scold and, as the director puts it, shame an entire country — where it’s now also expected to be welcomed? Imagine a doc in which, say, a Swedish crew sneaks into a slaughterhouse in the Midwest, films and castigates the conditions, mocks the security with which it’s met and the area in general, bullet points national health problems linked to beef hormones and then concludes that it’ll be great to reproach and enlighten the ignorant American population. And then imagine how well that film would go over here.

[Photo: “The Cove,” Roadside Attractions, 2009]

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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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