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Can you build a business off of movie clips?

Can you build a business off of movie clips? (photo)

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My friend Theo Panayides once proposed that “Mulholland Drive” acts as a series of “semi-narratives one can revisit more or less at random, like putting on a CD.”

That was eight years ago. These days, the CD is dead but the idea of movies as discrete bits lives on, on YouTube, where you can find popular scenes before studio lawyers take them down, or, better yet, compiled into “greatest hits” compilations (like this “Gran Torino” one). Because, let’s face it: your average viewer doesn’t want to sit through all the dramatic, expository stuff more than once. You want to skip rights to the fireworks and LOLs.

I’m not immune; sometimes you just want some funny stuff to power you through your lunch break. So I’ll give the recently beta launched the benefit of the doubt, despite some major conceptual hiccups.

CEO Zach James says “It’s pretty cool to be able to send a clip from ‘Sixteen Candles’ to my sister on her birthday, or a ‘Wayne’s World’ ‘Party on!’ clip to my friends on a Friday night.” Well no, sending “Wayne’s World” clips on a Friday night isn’t particularly “cool” by any definition I’m aware of, but I get what he’s saying.

There is, of course, the ever-present danger of that self-proclaimed “hilarious guy” everyone knows playing a clip of something and then re-enacting it as it streams — but, thank god, there are no selection from “Anchorman” available. At least not yet.

A cursory perusal of the selection reveals a paucity of older films, even the cool, grimey ’70s ones — what I wouldn’t give for the original “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three” or one of Charles Bronson’s ’70s sneers. I’m skeptical, too, of the idea that the site’ll revive back catalogue DVD sales; if you can have all the cool bits for free online, why buy the DVD? But certainly a stable base of clips that won’t get pulled at any moment for future reference/amusement is a good thing. For example: here’s a clip from “Igby Goes Down” — the most underrated faux-screwball comedy of the aughts — that was once on YouTube and now isn’t. It’s about how vegetarians roll wussy joints:

[Photo: Party on. “Wayne’s World,” Paramount Pictures, 1992]

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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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