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On the underserved ballet/dance audience.

On the underserved ballet/dance audience. (photo)

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Two (or three, if you squint) dance movies scored big over the weekend: Michael Jackson’s last stand “This Is It” continued to score overseas with $29 million; meanwhile, in New York, Frederick Wiseman’s documentary “La Danse” took in $21,000 in one weekend, better than any per-screen average in the U.S. box office (save, predictably, $100,000/screen for “Precious”), and Maureen Dowd felt the need to write a totally pointless column about “The Red Shoes” — playing alongside “La Danse” at New York’s Film Forum — and when I saw it on Saturday, it was about ten seats away from being sold out. So maybe her column wasn’t that pointless.

This, I’d submit, seems like a weird weekend coincidence, but isn’t really. Though I presume this has nothing to do with a voracious Wiseman fanbase suddenly manifesting itself, the promise of coordinated dancing holds great appeal. Consider that broadcast TV networks survive upon reality shows now, especially ones where “talent” rules supreme. We live in a nation where — thanks to “America’s Got Talent,” “So You Think You Can Dance” and “American Idol” — not only has the basic vaudeville format been revived, so has the idea of paying to see one thing done well. The musical was noisily and publicly “revived” this decade — thanks to the stillborn likes of “Moulin Rouge” and “Chicago” — but none of the revivalist musicals really have focused on unmediated dancing.

American viewers are, whatever studios think, not really invested in “production values,” etc. — witness the recent success of “Paranormal Activity.” Granted, the freak twin-dance-movie success of “La Danse” and “The Red Shoes” is confined to the same theater (Film Forum) so far, but I don’t think it’s anomalous; I’m pretty sure that when movies like “You Got Served” and “Stomp The Yard” can make money for their dance sequences alone, TV’s dance craze might translate into a new kind of dance-fixated movies — not necessarily in traditional musical song-and-dance terms, but in movies explicitly privileging dance. The big dance movies so far have been “urban,” but I think that’s a fluke. As long as it delivers the core thing (dance, shocks, whatever), ninety minutes of well-filmed dancing will be as successful as much as anything else.

[Photo: “The Red Shoes,” MGM, 1948.]

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Rev Up

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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Give Back

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…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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