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Where are all the big stars? Documentaries.

Where are all the big stars? Documentaries. (photo)

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Last week, there was plenty of attention given to the fall of the Hollywood star system, but there is one realm of filmmaking that seems to be unquestionably benefiting from marquee attractions — documentaries.

While others ponder the value of Julia Roberts and Russell Crowe in this day and age, the doc world is gearing up for a fall loaded with stars… from other fields. It’s a trend that actually started earlier this year with the release of “Valentino: The Last Emperor,” the Matt Tyrnauer doc about the Italian fashion designer that’s been going strong theatrically since March, even though the film has now hit DVD. This week, another fashion icon makes her screen debut — not counting “The Devil Wears Prada” — as you might’ve picked up from her appearance on David Letterman Monday night:

Getting Anna Wintour to take off her signature sunglasses might be considered an achievement on its own, but there’s no denying that R.J. Cutler’s doc “The September Issue,” about the publication of Vogue‘s most ballyhooed annual edition, got the kind of publicity that eludes most nonfiction films. And it’s not alone in terms of star-driven docs. Besides new films from rock star documentarians Joe Berlinger (“Crude” on 9/9) and Michael Moore (“Capitalism: A Love Story” on 9/23) in upcoming weeks, “It Might Get Loud,” a film featuring actual rock stars Jimmy Page, Jack White and the Edge, has done well in a limited release. Then there’s LeBron James, who’ll be landing in the only place he’ll appear taller than he does in person with “More Than a Game,” a doc that chronicles the highs and lows of his high school basketball team as they compete for a national championship.

Although “More Than a Game” doesn’t open until October 2nd, it’s currently playing an under-the-radar Oscar-qualifying run at a dollar theater in Pasadena, CA (along with Lionsgate’s other upcoming sports doc “Facing Ali”) where James’ star appeal actually attracted an audience for an afternoon show with no advertising at all and a higher price of admission. Sure, it’s an easy hook, but the reception at both the film’s recent premiere in James’ native Akron, Ohio and at this year’s opening night of Silverdocs suggests, as “The September Issue” does, that documentaries may get some well-deserved attention soon — and that the recently relocated Cinema Eye Honors may need to dust off their red carpet.

[Photo: “The September Issue,” 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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