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Scaling the Variety paywall.

Scaling the Variety paywall. (photo)

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This may be a little inside baseball, but in updating our Sundance Cheat Sheet, it’s been an interesting thing to watch how different outlets are handling link etiquette, particularly in regard to Variety, which recently put a paywall on their Web site to limit readership to their subscribers.

This has led Filmmaker‘s Scott Macaulay and others to lament not being able to see or have the desire to link to Variety‘s coverage, which is one of the only places you can find reviews of some of the more obscure titles in the Sundance lineup, whether of a low budget NEXT film like “Bilal’s Stand” or a World Cinema documentary like “Kick In Iran.” (Oddly, there’s a loophole through Variety‘s specific Sundance page that allows their coverage to be viewed for free, whether purposefully or not.)

As you may be aware, Variety and their rival the Hollywood Reporter are having rough years, mostly because of advertising dollars, but also in the loss of talent like Anne Thompson to IndieWire and Michael Fleming to Nikki Finke’s (We recapped this last month.)

Stranger still, while Variety is losing out on readers to their paywall, as Chris Thilk notes on Movie Marketing Madness, the Hollywood Reporter is trying out ways to broaden their appeal by teaming with the online community Flixster to put co-brand their content, as they’ve already done with IMDbPro for years. All of this comes as print-first news outlets are reconsidering how much monetary value to place on their content, particularly in wake of Apple’s recent announcement of the iPad.

This isn’t to say much more than things are changing in the way that film news is being delivered, but the trades, as beleaguered as they are, have always been a valuable resource, and it’s the smaller movies that may get lost in the crunch. Even at Sundance, there are some films that may not exist to the world at large if they aren’t reviewed in some way or another.

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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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