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Harmony Korine’s found footage film.

Harmony Korine’s found footage film. (photo)

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Whatever you think of art film’s designated provocateur, it’s hard to imagine anyone less famous than Harmony Korine getting a movie into major festivals that was conceived of only four months before, shot in two weeks, and consists mainly of dudes in old-person masks fellating tree branches, drinking wine bottles and — yes, indeed — humping trash. But such is “Trash Humpers,” 74 plotless minutes that gain value from a dedication to the shoddiest of VHS aesthetics; the film was edited on anachronistic VCRs, and it shows in good, nostalgic ways. It’s oddly painless, but provocative in a too easy way: Ugliness is truth, and truth ugliness.

Korine was calm and unruffled when facing the press after the screening, and they in turn asked only respectful questions. He addressed his inspirations in order. “With this movie, what happened was I grew up really close to — and live now close to — where we filmed,” Korine explained. “My wife bought this little black dog and made me walk it two or three times a day, so I would walk it in these back alleyways. Generally I like to walk at night, and I remember as a kid I spent most of life in abandoned parking lots and back alleyways and under bridges, and they now are just littered with garbage. Sometimes when I’d walk through these alleyways they would resemble humans, the way they would be laying with these things blowing over them. I don’t know what happened, I just started imagining what it’d be like to hump them. At the same time, when I was a kid there used to be a group of elderly guys who would sometimes peep through windows in the neighborhood. I’d always look through my window and catch them looking at the girl next door in this yellow house. It was a common thing.”

As for the VHS: “Sometimes when I would travel to movies, people would give me films or hand me tapes or a bird’s nest or something, and someone came up to me and handed me a video tape and told me to watch it, that they had found it in a thrift store. Usually I throw the stuff away because I’m scared to look at it, but this one I kept. A couple of months later my wife was there with her friend and they said to put a movie on, so as a joke I put this tape in. And what I saw was mainly these kids driving around, punching each other, playing tuba, screaming at each other, just things that were kind of silly and mundane, but they both started yelling at me to take it off and I said ‘Why?’ And they said, ‘because someone’s going to get murdered.’ It was a strange reaction for them to have, but then I thought it was an interesting idea, to make an idea that was like a VHS tape, that was like something that was found.”

Those were the money quotes, and they were genuinely entertaining: the rest of the conference was less so, with Korine giving many variants on the vague, art-school-y statement “They only want to take evil and make it somewhat beautiful or transcendent.” He repeatedly said he wasn’t sure if “Trash Humpers” even qualifies as a movie. He meant it in a good way, because conventional movies are boring. I’m not so sure.

[Photo: Korine at press conference. Photo courtesy of Jason Shawhan.]

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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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