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Rage (Against the Mobile Device)

Rage (Against the Mobile Device) (photo)

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Call me a Luddite, but I am opposed to the idea of watching a film on a cell phone. Not only is Sally Potter’s (“Orlando,” “The Man Who Cried,”) new film “Rage” being made for release on mobile devices, it’s premiering on them before a theatrical release. The release on September 21st will take place in seven parts, one each day through web/mobile application, Babelgum.

(Lily Cole as Lettuce Leaf in “Rage.”)

The episodic release seems to add further insult, but the film does not have a conventional narrative structure, or even any real locations. Instead, the story is told through a series of individual performances shot on green screen, in the guise of one on one interviews. Something about being behind-the-scenes at a New York fashion show when an incident on the catwalk turns into a murder investigation spanning seven days. Spellbinding I’m sure, but it doesn’t wet my whistle given the format. At least it lends itself to this “revolutionary” multi-platform release. If the artist intends on her work being viewed this way, in pieces on tiny screens, then at least it’s got that going for it. Does that excuse it for you?

The good news is that “Rage” stars Judi Dench, Jude Law (as a woman), John Leguizamo, Dianne Wiest, Steve Buscemi, Eddie Izzard, Lily Cole, Simon Abkarian, Patrick J. Adams, Riz Ahmed, Adriana Barraza, Jakob Cedergren David Oyelowo, and Bob Balaban. There’s a lot of names in there I like a great deal and wouldn’t mind watching their solo performances. Does that excuse it for me?

There was a bit I read in releases that really got to me: “The film consists entirely of a dynamic series of interviews, as if shot by a schoolboy on his mobile phone.” Really? If I wanted to watch a something shot by a “schoolboy” on his phone, I’d watch this. Have we dumbed down our content so much already that we’ve moved on to our technique? I really hope we move past this youtube standard. This is like a feature vlog, no?

Potter directed and scored film with long time collaborator Fred Frith (“Before Sunrise”) who has composed or contributed to the scores of several of her films in the past. Maybe the talented Potter will be remembered for this pioneering effort, but it reeks of gimmickry to me. Still, I’m looking forward to watching Dame Judi Dench fire up what looks to be either a wonder joint or one hell of a Gauloises. Balaban is always a good time, obvs.

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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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