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Top 10 of the Decade List Time: Surfing the Zeitgeist.

Top 10 of the Decade List Time: Surfing the Zeitgeist.  (photo)

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Welcome to the end of the decade (unless you’re one of those “decades start in the year one, not zero” cranks). More specifically, welcome to the end of the decade as seen by every publication wanting to list the aughts’ best films. The rundown from the UK’s The Times is a peculiarly schizophrenic juxtaposition of highbrow, middlebrow and pop hits: it’s probably the only list you’ll see “L’Enfant,” “There Will Be Blood” and “Anchorman” placed in sequence. Number two is the duo of “The Bourne Ultimatum”/”The Bourne Supremacy”; number one is “Caché.”

In praising “Caché,” The Times inadvertently reveals the dangers of praising something based solely on zeitgeist-y extrapolation: “The film’s twin themes resonate perfectly with the defining concerns of the time: tacit national guilt about a questionable foreign policy, in the film it’s France’s occupation of Algeria, but it’s not hard to piece together the parallels with more recent conflicts. Plus, as round-the-clock surveillance became a part of our daily lives, here was a film that captured the creeping paranoia that resulted from the eyes of unseen strangers invading private life.” Much the same could be said of the Paul Greengrass-directed “Bournes”: what’s Matt Damon doing but running from guilt about his CIA past? What’s the run through Victoria Station if not an implicit comment on the surveillance state? Oh well.

My personal pick for zeitgeistiest-of-the-zeitgeist is Ulrich Seidl’s underappreciated “Import/Export,” a movie so NSFW that its IMDB link will lead you to an inappropriate poster. If the whole “national guilt”/”surveillance culture” thing seems a bit overwrought to you, consider Seidl’s clear-eyed gem instead (not that you can Netflix it or anything). It’s got Eastern Europe and Western Europe switching countries (a nurse goes from Ukraine to Austria, a shiftless Austrian makes the reverse move) in search of economic opportunity; the whole movie’s mired in prescient economic gloom. Seidl’s film is specifically about the literal/symbolic of Old Europe — but a few years into our recession, the shoe fits further out. And whereas Haneke fixates on surveillance, “Import/Export” keeps an eye on webcam sex and porn, which is probably of greater concern to a lot of people who wouldn’t admit it. There’s more than one way to skin a zeitgeist, is all I’m saying here. Needless to say, the below trailer should not be viewed anywhere near co-workers.

[Photo: “Caché,” Sony Pictures Classics, 2005.]

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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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