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Pennan vs. Forks, towns made touristy by movies.

Pennan vs. Forks, towns made touristy by movies. (photo)

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Today, innumerable thousands of shrieking tweens (and older counterparts who really should know better) will descend on the nation’s multiplexes, baying for “New Moon” blood.

The phenomenon isn’t limited to theaters: Forks, Washington — where Stephanie Meyer set her novel without ever visiting — has seen tourism jump way up, from 18,000 visitors in 2008 to more than 64,000 this year alone. Twihards come in hoards, over 100 a day, desperate for a scrap of town memorabilia, stealing dropped library cards and offering cheerleaders cash for their uniforms. It’s all very impressive and frightening, and undoubtedly good for a lumber town long suffering from the closure of mills and unemployment.

Meanwhile, consider Pennan, Scotland. In 1983, Pennan achieved cult fame as the setting of Bill Forsyth’s “Local Hero,” the very definition of a sleeper hit that’s retained a loyal following over the year. It’s a sweet movie (a little too sweet for me, actually) about an oil-company man coming to Pennan to snap it up, only to discover that the natives would be happy to sell for the right price and figuring out that he’s the one becoming most attached to the village. Our hero keeps in touch with the office via a red phone booth; thanks to the movie, that booth gets more calls than any other in Scotland.

So the UK — which guards its regional cultural touchstones jealousy — gave full, multi-paper notice to the news that Pennan’s endangered by mudslides and a crack in the cliffs. Pennan’s actually remains a minor but solid tourist attraction 27 years after the film’s release. Will future tweens make pilgrimage to Forks a generation hence, visiting Dr. Cullen’s fake parking spot? Of course not: tween fandom erupts fast and then evaporates. So if you’re sick of “Twilight”-mania, deep breath: in ten years, this’ll just be a distant memory.

To add random hilarity to your day, click on the first link up top, which will take you to an Evangelical article on with the “Twilight” phenomenon that quotes one Bill Schnoebelen, an Iowa minister and “former Satanist who practiced vampirism for several years.” He claims “hundreds of people drink blood as part of vampire cults.” I, for one, would really like to meet these people. Were they at the midnight screenings last night?

[Photos: “Twilight” Points of Interest, from; “Local Hero,” Warner Bros., 1983]

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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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