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Advertising is the new music video.

Advertising is the new music video. (photo)

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Shane Meadows is a remarkably pragmatic director. Today he appeared at London’s Nokia store to hype a promotional stunt tied to the London Film Festival, in which aspiring filmmakers are invited to submit a 90-second short showing “what being connect in 2009 means to you.” First prize gets you a trip to the fest and the (ambiguously worded) “chance” to work on Nokia’s next ad campaign, but showing up at the store got you the more realistic chance to talk with Meadows and have him view your work,

If anyone knows how to pragmatically negotiate the line between getting paid and making art, it’s Meadows. “Somers Town,” his last film to get a release here, was bankrolled by Eurostar. In return for making arguably his best film yet, Meadows figured out how to end a basically plotless youthful idyll with his protagonists taking Eurostar from London to Paris, thereby justifying product placement as a) his climax b) what’s possibly just a dream sequence. He didn’t entirely escape criticism, but most people were so pleased with the film they let it go. And now Meadows is making it clear it wasn’t a one-off. And why not?

Plenty of directors make TV spots for money — see the Nike football/combat themed ads from David Fincher and Michael Mann — and their fans check this work out with no resentment. Time was when the next generation of auteurs emerged from music videos — lo and behold Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze, David Fincher, et al. Meadows is attempting to show that you can initiate a project under corporate sponsorship and still come out winning. Of course, that’s all much easier when you have an established reputation.

[Photo: “Somers Town,” Film Movement, 2009]


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


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.


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

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…