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Venice embraces 3-D, the Jonas Brothers.

Venice embraces 3-D, the Jonas Brothers. (photo)

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The 66th annual Venice Film Festival, which runs from September 2-12, has some undeniably awesome premieres in its line-up, with new films from Fatih Akin and Claire Denis, George Romero’s latest zombie movie, and, most importantly, Werner Herzog’s “Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call New Orleans.” (Revisit the woozy trailer here.) But what the film world, or at least the very small portion of the film world who can afford to travel to Venice these days, really should be concerned about is: Will the Jonas Brothers pull of the Persol Award?

You know, the brand new Persol 3-D Award, the festival’s attempt “to embrace the wave of innovative 3-D film-making as well as the returned focus of watching films in traditional cinema settings” while grasping at those last straws of relevance. Nine films are competing for the inaugural award, which according to the festival will go to “the feature film which at best embodies the exploration of this new frontier of the cinematic language.”

The bright side is that Joe Dante’s new horror film “The Hole” will be premiering at the festival. The dark side is that it’ll be competing against stuff like “Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience” and “Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs.” Pretty much every movie released in 3-D in the past year — going back to last summer’s “Monsters Versus Aliens” — is represented, and, as one Manny The Movie Guy points out, they’re all American productions, which speaks volumes about the expense of what the Venice press release, parroting the studio party line, is calling “a ‘third cinematic revolution’ (after those of sound and colour).”

It’s possible to believe 3-D is the way of the future: the perfectly legitimate “Coraline” and “Up” are in contention. But I can personally verify that there’s zero legitimate case for “Battle For Terra” and “Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs”, and there’s more where that came from. Even as commercial promotion — Persol’s famous for their glasses, which Marcello Mastroianni wore throughout “La Dolce Vita,” but I guess they could make a case for the importance of perfect vision for cinema’s Third Frontier — this seems nakedly embarrassing. The jury for this competition includes both the LA Weekly‘s Scott Foundas and the New York Times’ Dave Kehr, which is like getting the Michelin restaurant reviewers to judge new fast-food franchise burgers.

But maybe that’s just me. I’ve heard nice things about “My Bloody Valentine 3D.” Maybe it will finally receive its rightful recognition at Venice.

In related news, Joe Bowman’s round-up of posters for Venice and Toronto movies is pretty neat.

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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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