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Mumblecore mocks itself.

Mumblecore mocks itself. (photo)

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I guess one sign that you’ve really made it is when you can poke fun at yourself and it’s not just an inside joke for your friends. With “Birthday Suit,” a new three-minute short on “Funny or Die,” mumblecore figurehead/sometime colleague Joe Swanberg achieves the latter, if only barely — hanging at a 48% approval rating, “Birthday Suit” seems to be lost on some of the site’s audience.

In films like “Hannah Takes The Stairs” and “Alexander The Last,” Swanberg’s toyed with very plausible-looking sex scenes as a way of advancing narrative. The premise of “Birthday Suit” is that Swanberg is making his first movie with biggish-name stars (“Sex and the City”‘s Jason Lewis and Vinessa Shaw of “Two Lovers”), and the sex scenes are going to be green-screened, with the naughty bits reconstructed digitally. “If anybody for even a split second realizes that that’s a digital erection, then we’ve failed at our job,” Swanberg deadpans, appearing as himself alongside some of his mainstays (notably Kent Osborne as a dweeby CGI engineer providing stunt genitalia).

It’s a genial joke that works at multiple levels, mocking over-elaborate CGI technology that replicates things that don’t really need replication (a la Robert “Beowulf” Zemeckis), as well as actors congratulating themselves for “bravery” in doing nudity/sex scenes. But mostly it makes fun of Swanberg himself and the kind of movies he makes — ones that could be considered a little sex-obsessed. I look forward to the Andrew Bujalski follow-up, which I presume will be a “Waking Life”-style rotoscope of 100 minutes of coffee-shop chats.

[Photo: “Birthday Suit,” Funny or Die, 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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