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Sundance gets more annoying.

Sundance gets more annoying. (photo)

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So Sundance woke up all sweaty and hungover a few days ago and apparently decided it was time to change its ways. The quirky Fox Searchlight acquisitions, the earnest Amerindie movies like “Sin Nombre” going nowhere slowly but self-righteously…something didn’t feel right. Was this the same festival that gave us Steven Soderbergh and Quentin Tarantino? No. No it wasn’t. It was fat and out of shape. It needed…mumblecore!

Hence, as indieWIRE reports the first major act under new festival director John Cooper is the somewhat patronizing news that Sundance is adding a new section, to be called “Next,” consisting of six to eight narratives, “selected for their innovative and original work in low- and no-budget filmmaking.” Which I thought was the whole point of the festival in the first place, but more movies are more movies. Yay!

I don’t know why, but this presumably good news just makes me irritable. First off, the article states that the in-house staffers are referring to “Next” as “<=>” in a homage to performance artist and “You and Me and Everyone We Know” filmmaker Miranda July, which is pretty twee and decidedly gross to my taste. More importantly, as the article correctly notes, this puts Sundance in competition with fests like SXSW, whose bread and butter is programming the very films Sundance stupidly ignored in the first place. You know, the kids: Andrew Bujalski, Joe Swanberg, “Team Picture”‘s Kentucker Audley, whatever. And I’m not even saying SXSW is that great — frankly, they program a lot of garbage — but at least they’ve evolved and kept up with changing trends in American independent filmmaking. (It’s an absolute embarrassment, by the way, that two of the best American films of the last few years — Jeff Nichols’ “Shotgun Stories” and Bujalski’s “Beeswax” — had to go all the way to Berlin to premiere.)

So what’s this mean? As Cooper admits in a later interview with indieWIRE, “It hurts a little when you are not supporting some real vitality within our community,” recognizing that the festival is behind the times. But they’re going to penalize and ghettoize filmmakers with no marketing team and few technical resources by putting them on display in the Special Ed division? Because that’s what this feels like. What Sundance doesn’t need is a “special” division: it needs to integrate its competition and place everyone on the same playing field. What’s so hard about this?

[Photo: “Mutual Appreciation,” Goodbye Cruel Releasing, 2006]


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…