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Monday morning massacre?

Monday morning massacre? (photo)

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The recession is officially fading and box-office grosses are as strong as ever, but the entire film industry seems to contracting in pain today, from major to micro.

Variety reports that Universal has frozen development for the rest of the year — if your project wasn’t already realistically getting made, there’ll be no more cash for rewrites and meetings. Disney’s allegedly doing the same, and Warner Bros. is dealing with its financial woes by stiffing writers. Meanwhile, indieWIRE‘s Anne Thompson calls this year’s Toronto an “indie bloodbath,” with only one big-name title sold for seven figures — Tom Ford’s “A Single Man” — and the days of releases for all long over.

Now, Universal’s been having an infamously bad year, but why is every other major freaking out? Prudence, for once, or sheer paranoia? And the indie market is in panic because this year doesn’t have a “Slumdog Millionaire” type sensation — but it’s never been the norm for a little “indie” to take in $377 million worldwide?

Indie film’s always had its boom-bust moments; think back to the ominous predictions of doom unveiled for Sundance in the late ’90s, when high-profile busts like “The Spitfire Grill” and “Happy, Texas” threatened to kill the acquisitive spirit. Thompson predicts that, at least for now, anything above a micro-budget level is going to have a hard time getting into theaters. My basic reaction to that is something between a shrug and a cheer: that the dismal-looking “Creation” is the kind of movie that’s getting shut out of this new climate isn’t the most terrible thing I can think of.

It’s fascinating that a quirky comedy like “Get Low,” a Toronto crowd-pleaser that stars Bill Murray as a mortician and that sounds like the kind of film that normally would’ve been a distribution slam-dunk, is suddenly a “challenge.” It seems like distributors still underestimate the potential of nakedly commercial fare like “Slumdog” for needless reasons, all the while putting out less-than-stellar fare simply because it seems broad and has a name actor attached — like one of this week’s releases, the Clive Owen male weepie “The Boys Are Back,” whose gooey trailer I’ve heard audiences repeatedly openly laugh at. There’s a whole world of movies made whose target niche seem to be middle-aged couples who can’t be bothered to research what they see before they head off to the theater. Is that really how you play it safe?

[Photo: “The Boys Are Back,” Miramax Films, 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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