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What we learned from the “Fantastic Mr. Fox” junket.

What we learned from the “Fantastic Mr. Fox” junket. (photo)

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Wes Anderson’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox” had its world premiere at the London Film Festival this week. A boatload of reporters were there — 250 print, 35 broadcast/online — some on 20th Century Fox’s dime. After wading through the many reports, here’s what I’ve learned:

The London Film Festival is becoming a bigger deal.
Its budget has been increased by $3 million from last year, which means it has the power to fly in more journalists for such events, which means more media coverage, which means more people to take the festival seriously as a launching pad for European advertising and word-of-mouth. Of course…

Journalists hate anyone who gets to travel for free.
A lot of the American attendees at the junket were bloggers, causing Defamer’s Richard Rushfield to sneer “In the crowded media landscape, it’s not easy to create buzz for a new film. It takes years of careful positioning, delicate marketing skills, a well-cultivated grassroots network… Or you can just buy a bunch of bloggers trips to London.” But eventually he has to sound the usually “death of journalism” knell, concluding “For all but those few working for the dwindling number of publications with a travel budget, the thought of getting your employer to cover your trip to Tahiti is absurd. But nonetheless, that same employer will expect their reporters to provide them with the interview with Vince Vaughn that can only be had in Tahiti. So what’s a poor schlub to do but swallow his doubts, and go to Tahiti.”

Patrick Goldstein is scandalized no one asked Anderson about an article where his DP was quoted as calling him a “sociopath.” “I have to admit that if I were interviewing him today, I’d be bugging him for some plausible answers,” Goldstein writes.

Fox thinks Wes Anderson is finally ready to make money.
The most an Anderson movie’s made in the US is $52.4 million for “The Royal Tenenbaums” in 2001.His films attract loyal cults on DVD, but their theatrical performance is increasingly wan. Given how often Anderson’s aesthetic is accused of being juvenile, it seems that making a stop-motion “family” movie (without, apparently, compromising his tics one bit) is enough of a conciliation for Fox to invest in this being a hit.

A few of the early reviews: Screen Daily (“laconic, terribly old-fashioned but fantastically fun”); Variety (” its retro charms will likely appeal more strongly to grown-ups than to moppets”); Hollywood Reporter (“a visual delight”)

[Photo: “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation, 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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