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It takes a village to release a Zac Efron movie.

It takes a village to release a Zac Efron movie. (photo)

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Richard Linklater’s “Me And Orson Welles” — which has been kicking around for a year since its premiere at Toronto 2008finally has a distribution deal in place, and it’s a doozy. The company that funded it — Cinemanx, based on the Isle of Man — has partnered with no less than four others to put the film out. Cinetic Media is managing sales, Freestyle Releasing will handle theatrical, Pandemic Marketing will tackle the (duh) marketing, and Warner Bros. will put out the DVD. Phew.

Obviously, this is not how things are usually done. And on the surface, it’s strange that a movie starring Zac Efron (who got respectable results for “17 Again” earlier this year, proving his “High School Musical” fanbase is willing to migrate) should have such a hard time getting play. Presumably distributors figured that a period ’30s drama about an irrelevant dead guy would prove a step too far for tween girls questing for an Efron fix. Of course, there’s always the spin: This is not a weird, tenuous ad hoc deal; it’s an trailblazing new path in film distribution!

Per Cinemanx chairman Steve Christian: “We’ve developed what we believe is an exciting road map for distributing this film, one we hope will pave the way for many others to come.” A nice enough way of putting a good face on what could conceivably be called “bravery due to lack of options.” Cinetic’s become a powerhouse for unorthodox marketing strategies (see this New York Times article on how they got the unsellable “Push,” aka “Precious,” sold), and I certainly could see them doing something like this again. But is splitting the cost really the least risky way to market uncertain fare? Or is this just a one-shot way to deal with an asking price that was presumably too high for any one company in these uncertain times?

Either way, “Me and Orson Welles” will hit U.S. theaters November 25. And props to Variety reporter Dave McNary for casually working into the middle of a sentence the intriguing if totally irrelevant factoid that Christian is “descended from ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ mutineer Fletcher Christian.”

[Photo: “Me and Orson Welles,” Cinemanx, 2008]

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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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